Chicago >Bars & Clubs > The Rail Bar
4709 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062541.967256 -87.678997
Neighborhoods: Far North Side, Ravenswood
If you're looking for a sports bar with games (and an updated schedule online), inexpensive fried food, burgers and beer specials, you've found it.
Too many tvs, bad sound quality juke box, but good food! – While the food is good and the drink specials WERE good, the rail has one of the worst atmospheres of any bar in this city. I walked in to 15 televisions playing games that, to my observation, no one in the bar was paying ANY attention to. Yet everywhere you look, there they were. The room feels nice enough and the servers were courteous, but the jukebox's MP3s were so tinny and low quality that it sounded like nails on a chalkboard (not to mention the horrible acoustics of the room). SUMMARY: only go to The Rail if you are able to sit outside and enjoy the neighborhood, food and decent beer selection OR want to watch a game on the tele.
Fish Fry! – Every Friday Night, I go out looking for great fish fry. The group ended up at The Rail and we were amazed! The fish fry is great and affordable ($6.95 all you can eat!). Although we were there early and the bar was pretty dead, the music was very loud. We asked the waitress to turn it down slightly, but she didn't get around to it. Even though the ambiance left something for our chatty group to be desired, the food was absolutely terrific. Yum... so good!
Good Specials, Spotty Service – I've been to The Rail quite a few times, and enjoy it. Inside has really been cleaned up, and there are plenty of TV's to watch a game. They were very friendly about changing the channel on one of the TV's to the game that I wanted to watch. The specials are great. It is hard to beat $1.50 burgers, even if it isn't the choicest meat you have eaten. It's the service that has been up and down. The beverage service has always been pretty good, whether you are at the bar or seated, but the food service leaves something to be desired. If the place is packed, and you are hungry, you might as well go somewhere else and come back for a drink once you're done because you're not eating anytime soon. I was meeting my wife and her friend there for dinner and they said that it took them about an hour to get their hamburgers. I then ordered a burger about an hour later with less people in the place, and got it in about 15 minutes. If nobody's there, you're good to go. If the place is full, head somewhere else. One thing worth mentioning is the quality of servers and bartenders. Gentlemen, your eyes may hurt from staring at them if you are there too long.
Overall, I would recommend checking it out.
This Ravenswood sports bar beckons a neighborhood crowd with casual food, cheap drinks and TVs galore. – The Scene
Named for its proximity to the Damen El stop and tastefully decorated with contemporary photos of Chicago transit, this casual spot has a bright, spacious feel thanks to skylights that run the length of the bar. Eleven flat-screen TVs punch up the room's traditional exposed brick, beamed ceiling and dark hardwood design.
A casually dressed, well-behaved neighborhood clientele of various ages enjoys the game or just hangs for a chat, a bite to eat or a game of darts. Stella, Sierra Nevada and Blue Moon are among the 12 drafts available, with weekday beer specials keeping prices low. There's a full menu of appetizers and sandwiches like the Rail Burger and The Skirt, the house's specialty charbroiled skirt steak. Sunday brunch features huevos rancheros and griddle pancakes.
Refreshingly New Bar – The atmosphere is nothing shocking and new, but the Ravenswood area was in dire need of something besides run-down dive bars. They cleaned up this place and plastered the place with tvs for sports coverage. The food is excellent, the staff is friendly, and they're reasonably priced. I'm glad to see a bar like this open in my neighborhood.
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