So after I went on and on a couple days ago about how I don’t drink much, now I’m writing about Chicago bars.
You see, the same day I blogged about drinking in Havana, I received a review copy of this great new guidebook–Historic Bars of Chicago by Sean Parnell (Lake Claremont Press, 2010)–and was surprised by how many I’ve visited.
For starters, the two places I went with my husband on our first date are in the book–the Chicago Brauhaus and the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. Then months later we ended up at the Cork & Kerry near my future mother-in-law’s house and at Club Lucky for our first dinner with my parents.
I’ve frequented some venues for music (Buddy Guy’s Legends and the Cubby Bear) and others during my childhood (the Billy Goat Tavern, Heartland Cafe, Murphy’s Bleachers, the Pump Room, and Hackney’s).
As I read through the book, I realized that unlike restaurants and cafes, many Chicago bars have withstood economic recessions and countless food trends. Bars are actually a great place to learn about the city’s history.
Parnell’s descriptions of the bars make me want to visit them all. One in particular is Hala Kahiki, which means the House of Pineapple in Hawaiian. After I blogged about tiki bars in Chicago several weeks ago, I’m on high alert for everything Polynesian. Here’s a short excerpt from Historic Bars of Chicago about how Hala Kahiki became a tiki bar:
Stanley and Rose Sacharksi bought a wood-paneled, Dillinger-era tavern in 1965. After experimenting with bamboo, Stanley went whole-hog tropical.
I see Hala Kahiki even serves Singapore Slings.