Imagine for a moment you're going to meet up with two of your bestest bros. Maybe you were friends in high school, maybe college roomates, or maybe you served on a submarine together however you want this to go is fine there are no wrong answers here. You decide to get together on Clark Street, Chicago's watering hole. It's a warm summer evening, the Cubs just lost another game (this is a scenario not a fairy tale), and despite prior experience, you're absolutely sure you and your wing men work best as a team, and over the course of the night you guys will only become that much more charming.
Tonight isn't just about trying to pick up women though, tonight is about catching up. The heavily congested Wriglyville might not be the best place for intimate conversation. Well, about a mile south down Clark Street and you will find an area full of options. There are plenty of bars around but for the most part they're reasonably spaced apart so you're not bumping into the people walking out of the establishment next door, and as an added bonus many have some great outdoor seating!
It's 6pm, the evening has officially begun. You decide to start things off at The Galway Arms. Apparently, it's Chicago's premier Irish-themed bar and you and your friends are a cultured bunch. This is a terrific starting point. The beer menu is overwhelming, and the outdoor patio is awesome. and is fairly large. There are around a dozen tables covering its surface and it still isn't cramped. Large tubular torches have also been installed around the patio that when lit really adds to the summertime atmosphere.
The interior of the bar is quite unique. When you first walk in you think this looks like a really large apartment, and that's because it is. They have certainly made the most of this arrangement too. The bar is divided into different rooms, but the rooms aren't isolated so you can easily flow through them. This is helpful when you want to change your seating arrangement, but don't want to be too awkward about it.
When you open the beer menu you are confronted with sixty plus choices of high quality crafts and imports. Nowhere in this heavy volume will you see the words Bud, Miller, or Coors. This makes Galway an awesome place to try out new prospect brews and revisit old favorites you might not be able to find anywhere else, however this does come at a price. You can easily expect to spend over $20 on just three beers. So after you conversed over a few stouts it might be time to move on to something else.
It's about 8pm now and things are starting to pick up. Just across from Galway's is The Tin Lizzie, clever huh? This place is a bit more standard, but still good. They have week long $3 well drinks, as well as $3 Miller and Coors bottles. So it's a good place to start picking up the pace.
The bar itself is open to the street. So open it almost looks like it's missing a wall. You could literally reach out and grab people on the sidewalk, but don't, it's frowned upon. It's a nice feature, there's a constant refreshing breeze throughout the bar.
The tap selection is decent enough, Blue Moon, Fat Tire, Magic Hat, etc. There's also around ten or so bottles to choose from. The bar menu has a lot of options, we especially love their oven-baked sandwiches. They're simple yet provocative.
It's around 10pm now and the veneer of civility is starting to slip. You were warned about reaching out and grabbing people on the sidewalk just one too many times so now it's time to step out and try another place.
Well, head back to where you started (yeah sometimes drinking involves a little going and back and forth) and right next to Galway is Mickey's Bar and Patio. Mickey's also has a very large patio that fills up at night, and once the music starts flowing from the sound system it becomes quite the party spot, and it's also well heated for chilly summer nights.
The patio has a distinct feel to it that makes you think of Jimmy Buffett and Florida. Sitting in a chair, surrounded by lush green plants and hanging decorative lights, you half expect to look out and see a beach instead of a street.
The drink menu is pretty standard but every day of the week different drink specials are offered. For example, on Fridays they offer $3 Mickey's Grenades, $4 Fire Balls, and Fish Bowls for ten bucks. Mickey's also has a wide array of specialty cocktails that they put a lot of care into making. Make sure to get the Cherry Lemonade Mojito! It's also important to note Mikey's stays open till 3am on Saturdays!
So now it's about 2am. You and your friends are all caught up, but it doesn't really matter because you won't remember most of what they told you anyway. It's time to say your goodbyes and resolute to do this more often. As usual, not much success with the ladies, but dammit you had a good time! Another solid night south on North Clark.