The West Loop continues to grow in size. Unfortunately, at the current rate of expansion, the number of good bars in this former manufacturing district probably won't catch up to the population until 2016, and so the second outpost of this Lincoln Park classic bar has been a popular stop for residents.
The western digs have a slightly classier vibe than Stanley's original, including a slew of banquettes covered in patterned fabric that resembles Andy Warhol's Flower paintings. Rooster sculptures and stainless steel Stanley's signs are littered throughout the joint, and the focal point of the bar—a Southern-style front porch—looks like it came from a Steppenwolf play set in Mississippi. A few too many beers and you might be compelled to break out a banjo, chew some tobacc, and sip some sweet tea.
Comfort food still rules, and you'll find one of Chicago's great all-you-can-eat Sunday breakfast buffets, where you can load up on creamy mac and cheese, crispy fried chicken, sweet thick waffles, sawmill gravy and biscuits and fresh baked cookies for dessert. If you tied one on the night before and are in search of a little hair of the dog, Stanley's on Racine also continues its traditional bloody mary bar tradition; the make-your-own affair features an endless assortment of tomato juices (clamato included), various hot sauces, olives, celery and citrus, allowing you to mix your poison the way you like it.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant