When considering the decor of Hamilton's—exposed brick walls meet well-worn hardwood floors to frame a stately bar flanked with crimson leather stools—it seems possible that this is where the professors of Loyola University congregate to down a neat scotch after class. You get to thinking that behind the mallard-green exterior of this establishment are scruffy intellectuals with weathered elbow patches, engaging in stout-fueled squabbles over the works of Proust and Dostoyevsky. In reality, Hamilton's—or Hammy's, as it's known to regulars—is a loud and randy college bar overflowing with seemingly underage girls who've exchanged their women's studies notes (and most of their clothing) for whatever fruity drink happens to be on special that night.
Although partially redeemed by a fantastic and affordable bar menu that includes plenty of wraps, tacos and fried foods, Hammy's can be a bit much for the non-collegiate patron to suffer through during the evenings. That said, many regulars rely on the super-cheap specials like dollar-burger Mondays, 20-cent tiny wings on Wednesdays and the ever-popular cheap pizza selections that mark Sundays. Specials change a few times a year, so be sure to ask the bartender what's cheap for the night. Monday night karaoke gets pretty crazy, and the Thursday Ladies Night is always packed, but it's the weekends that have won the hearts of Loyola students for generations. Every night is college night, but Friday makes it official with DJs and domestic beer specials. On Saturdays, the back room opens up for retro dance parties, resulting in hordes of well-soused co-eds writhing and grinding to classic '70s and '80s songs that topped the charts well before they were born.
Centerstage Reviewer: K. Tighe