Chicago >Bars & Clubs > Old Town Ale House
219 W North Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.910922 -87.635524
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Central
Classic Chicago dive bar. Best part is the hand painted portraits of political figures and celebrities on the walls. Cash only!
If you're wondering where ptomaine goes to die – Then wonder no more. The service is terrible, the drinks are watered down and what passes for food wouldn't be attractive to a starving dog.
As well - the walls are lined with this crappy art, and it's a hang out for old hippies who didn't get being a beatnick right the first time around.
Honestly, if you're deciding between going here and staying home, stay home.
Affordable and quaint – If you are looking for a place to take a moment and unwind with good music and an affordable cocktail, then the alehouse is the place. Nothing fancy about it, but a place to feast your eyes on strange memorabilia, unique art and interesting conversation.
A great tradition – The Old Town Ale House is a neighborhood treasure, has been there for many years. The clientele is as varied as it gets and always interesting. The juke box has always been one of the best and most eclectic in the city. All the greats from nearby Second City have frequented it. Hope that it will continue in its unique tradition.
Outrageous regulars - great prices – Unbelievable evening in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. I watched the passage of construction workers, professionals, editors & writers, Second City actors, bartenders and neighborhood families visit this bazaar art-ridden haven. Not to be missed....they surprise me every time I visit - even after 3:00am
Great Art - Great Prices - Funky Customers – Love the permanent sexually explicit art collection....incredible value on ale....every time I went in ....completely different atmosphere...always crazy...always fun....a legendary DIVE bar.
One of the weirdest and most entertaining cross-sections of Chicago humanity. – The Scene
Walls are a jumble of knickknacks, Halloween masks, old Chicago photos, discarded toys and found artwork. More than 100 friends are immortalized in the portrait mural and in the head-shot collage of lesser-known Second City grads behind the bar. There's even a lend-one-take-one library of paperbacks.
Everyone's here. Grizzled regulars heatedly arguing movies at one end, a young couple chatting in the front window nook, a few frat brothers playing pinball near the back, the lone visitor swapping stories with the bartender, the eccentric playwright nursing coffee in a corner. More Second City alumni have wound up face-down here than in any other bar in Chicago. Everyone from John Belushi and Bill Murray to well-known TV barfly George Wendt have awakened in a daze, vowing never again to be lured by the Ale House's grimy siren song.
classic – Old Town Ale House rocks. The crowd, for the most part, has been frequenting the place for years. The jukebox rocks with old jazz and blues. You can always find someone to talk to here.
What a cast of characters! – This is truly a Chicago classic, from the beehive-haired bartenders to the crusty regulars. Dark and smoky. Great pinball, and big shelves full of books for browsing. Second City types hang here after their shows.
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