Top 10 New Bars of 2008


Another year, another beer, and boy did we drink a few at Chicago's 2008 bar openings. We were buzzed in every season: We boozed at hotel lounges, inside gastropubs and by DJ stands modeled after church altars. Here, in no particular order, find the best new scenes of the year.

Updated: November 24, 2008

Chicago's Finest


Hub 51

51 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60610

Sure, they officially call it a restaurant, but make no mistake: Night after night, this is one bumpin' scene. Chalk it up to the gorgeous wait staff, equally pretty patrons and the basement-level lounge for another DJ-driven party.


Fifty 50

2047 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

When the home teams are losing, there's one more reason to hate a sports bar. But face it, Chicago, this city is dotted with them. Ups to this Division Street staple for bringing more to the formula than Budweiser mirrors and video poker. Strategically placed flatscreens, gussied-up bar food and multiple levels of lounging make it easier to cope on game days.


Uncle Fatty's Rum Resort

2833 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

On name alone, this basement-level bar won the affection of Lakeview residents looking to throw down shots like it's 1993. And why wouldn't they? It reminds all of spring break: beach chairs on sand, a tiki bar and a friendly crowd swaying to live bands.


Religion

720 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610

The mere thought of getting trashed in a church is sacrilegious, which is, admittedly, 90 percent of this club's appeal. To assuage that guilt, simply kneel to the house DJ spinning high from the altar, raise your hands and say "amen."


The Whistler

2421 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Diversity is hip, y'all. That's evident from this Logan Square bar's mashup of punk, soul and Afro beats to its global selection of spirits, from Belgian ales to Midwestern brews.