Bar Deville (Bar, Ukrainian Village)
What do you get to drink at a bar that has a lot of great beers? Well if it’s Bar Deville — not a beer. Bar Deville, French for “bar of the city,” has some of the best mixed drinks in Chicago, most inspired by Managing Partner Brad Bolt. When asked on our bar crawl if he was a bartender or a mixologist he replied, “I’m a bartender.” Bolt proves there is no need for fancy terminology to make a good drink. Based on my request that I like tequila and citrus flavors, I end up with what tastes like a more organic version of Big Star’s La Paloma — simple syrup, fresh lime and grapefruit, club soda — and yes, my favorite, tequila.
Walking into Bar Deville feels like walking into a South Side basement. Wood paneled walls line the area around the bar along with a series of high backed booths. It all seems so simple. In fact, some people would probably walk in and walk out before they realized what an elegant dive bar Bar Deville actually is.
The details of the interior reveal themselves gradually; delicate wood carving and large mirrors hang over the booths on the back wall. Walking towards the back there is a photo booth perfect for fun times with friends. The next room has a great pool table, large overstuffed leather couches — this is not a just a dive bar anymore.
Oh wait what’s that? You’re standing by the pool table and you hear some hot catchy beats coming from even further back in the bar, so you follow the sound and come across the lounge of Bar Deville where intimate groupings of vintage armchairs, settees and couches surround a dance floor and a DJ.
Is there a better combination than what Bar Deville has to offer? Not for me, but let’s review as we walk back through the bar. DJ dancing the night away — check, pool table and relax time — check, great cocktails — check, and an awesome dive bar feel, but not a dive as we’ve discovered. I also love the location of Bar Deville. Damen and Huron is just far enough away from the Violet Hour, so the crowd is always a perfect size.
This review originally appeared in UPchicago Bar Crawl #3: Ukrainian Village.