Wrigleyville Bar Project

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We're here to profile some of the local watering holes around Wrigley, so that you aren't the poor sap who gets dragged into going to the Cubby Bear before the game, wherein you are soon left wondering how your life spiraled out of control so quickly. Tommy Buzanis has pledged to help out with this column, as he is no stranger to the bottle, but you can rest assured that those promises are as empty as his shot glass. So here it is, another sporadically timed, mildly entertaining column that you can only find here at the TMS. Actually you can probably find lots of info on Wrigley bars in a much more concise and helpful format, but that's neither here nor there.

Today's Bar: Rebel Bar and Grill, 3462 N Clark St.

Website: http://www.rebelchicago.com/

Douchebag Factor (1-10, with 10 being this guy): 5

Who You'll See Here: Pretty much your standard twenty something Wrigleyville dweller who wants to try 'that one new place'. An amiable mix of douchiness and down to earth young couples looking for another couple to swing with.

What to order: The menu is the typical fare found all these new trendy sports bars trying hard not to be your father's sports bar. Not just chicken strips. Panko crusted chicken strips. Sweet pear and chicken panini. And of course, what trendy sports bar would be complete without mini sandwiches? We opted for the combo platter and it was good enough. The chicken strips were tasty and not too greasy, the mini corn dogs were a little piece of carnie heaven, and the mini burgers were positively White Castle-esque. The cheese quesadilla on the other hand, was bland and dry. Beer is familiar if uninspired.

If you were to see a celebrity here, it would be: James Vander Beek, Kyle Orton, Scott Baio, Willy Taveras, Matthew Lillard.

Summary: Located in the old Billy Goat Tavern space (I think), Rebel is like a smaller, less intimidating version of some of the huge rape magnets popping up along Clark Street (I'm looking at you Moe's). Dark as hell, with blood red walls and lots of TVs. Along the walls are some cool, black and white prints, mixing sports and celebrities. James Dean. Lou Pinella (as a player). Marilyn Monroe. Mike Ditka (also, as a player). Jake Nicholson from 'The Shining'. Bonus points for the one of Barrett punching AJ, especially fitting considering that I visited during the Cubs/Sox series at Wrigley. Black leather and candlelight is the motif of choice and there is a DJ booth situated next to the bar that I'm sure plays 'hot beats' at night. I can already hear the fat, sweaty chick from Naperville slurring, "Play some Nellllllly."

Like I said, the food was pretty good, the TV's were all huge and well placed, and the crowd wasn't too obnoxious. But what really stood out, at least initially, was the service. Our waitress was always around, and even offered us a half price round when we tried to close out our bill. Then, for the next round, I said, "We'll take the check unless you want to give us another half price round." Done.

Of course, now I look at my bank statement and see that it was charged an extra $10. Swindled. No soup for her.

So really, there's nothing about this place that really deserves your regular patronage, but you could do worse. Like standing in a 30 deep line to get into Casey Moron's. Boo. Like Merkle's did, and my herpes, this one has the potential to be a grower.

Thunder Matt Rating: 7 empty Old Style cans out of a 12 pack. It could have been 8 if not for that two faced waitress.

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