Wrigleyville Bar Project: Wrigleyville North

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 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: Wrigleyville North (3900 N. Sheridan Rd.)

Douchebag Factor (1-10, with 10 being this guy): 3

Who You'll See Here: "regulars", creepy old guys, young people, sensible Cub fans, country music fans, people who don't act like Jersey Shore trash/meatheads.

What to order: They had $8 pitchers when I was there, and it was the big, old glass pitchers. That's tough to beat given the neighborhood. Look for $1.50 bottles of Old Style on game days. Ordering a mixed drink here is no joke. If you get a whiskey and coke, you can expect the drink to be at least half full of whiskey.

If you're looking for food then you're barking up the wrong tree. You can get a small bag of Combos to tide you over, but don't expect any pub food. If you want that, there's plenty of places to grub within a stones throw.

If you were to see a celebrity here, it would be: Sam Elliott, Roy Oswalt, Chip Wesley

Website: now do you really think the place I just described would have a website? Look it up in the White Pages.

Summary: If you're looking for a spot to pick up some gash, do tons of Jagerbombs, listen to American Pie on the jukebox, and try to "be seen", this is not the place for you. The sign on the front of the bar outside says it all. Well, actually, it doesn't say anything at all. It's just an old-timey Old Style beer sign. If you look closely, you can see where the sign used to say "Wrigleyville North", but has been removed.

Don't let this description scare you, this is no pretentious bar. It's not some place trying to be chic by being hard to find or full of trucker hat wearing hipsters dripping in irony. It's an old style neighborhood bar that just happens to be damn close to Wrigley Field (corner of Sheridan and Byron). The time to really enjoy yourself here is a Friday or Saturday night, when the house band "Just Us" play this small, corner bar. I'm not even a fan of country music, but these old boys are an absolute blast to listen to. Much like the bar itself, these guys aren't playing to impress anyone, they're just up for a good time, a few tips, and a few beers.

Since the smoking ban, Wrigleyville North is a much greater place to hang out. Back in the day the place looked like a Cheech and Chong video when you walked in. The bathrooms were decent - nice and big and fairly clean - what more can you ask for? If the band isn't playing, the bar has a quality juke box and you'll surely hear a diverse selection of music selected by the other bar patrons.

I know I've kind of described this place as an old man's American Legion style bar (actually, that's not far off), but it is a pretty diverse crowd. Sure, you've got some suspect looking regulars there, but there's also a good mix of all ages and genders. If you're looking for a no-frills place and you want to get away from the John Barleycorn Wrigleyville experience, give this place a shot.

Thunder Matt Rating: 8 Old Style fan bottles out of a twelve pack.

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