Corcoran’s Grill & Pub (Bar, Old Town)

Location: 1615 N. Wells St.
Phone: (312) 440-0885

Since it’s opening in 2000, Corcoran’s Grill and Pub has been a staple in the Old Town neighborhood. Nestled on the bustling corner of North and Wells, Corcoran’s offers an oft-tried, rarely accomplished juxtaposition of the traditional Irish pub and the Chicago neighborhood bar.

One of its unique features is the array of seating options. A cute street café welcomes you in front of the pub. Inside the wooden front doors is the spacious main bar. A beer garden rests outside in the back and even runs along the left side of the building for over-flow seating in the warmer seasons. And behind the beer garden is the coach house, a smaller bar area with a distinct vibe of its own.

Of course in the blistering winter months, when Chicagoans only go outside to pick up pizza and pop into a bar, Corcoran’s is a warm oasis. Patrons will find the typical long bar with individual seating as well as tables lining the walls with wide booths (the pizza…) and plenty of corner nooks for friends to bond over buckets of Coors Light and an order of their jumbo wings.

And thanks to its close proximity to The Second City (across the street), the pub is a regular hangout for both local comedians and visiting celebrities. The mingling of neighborhood regulars, out-of-town visitors and Chicago comedians adds a distinct buzz to the late-night atmosphere.

And if you need a low-key night to catch a Bears game with some friends, you’ll be satisfied too. Corcoran’s, like most bars in the city, becomes Ditka’s house on game days. Big-screen TVs hang on the walls inside the bar, on the vine-laced fences enclosing the beer garden out back, and around the coach house.

The menu isn’t much different than your typical pub. Burgers, wings, and Old Town sliders highlight the food portion. Wash a slab of beef down with a draft beer, wine, a mojito or maybe a shot of Jack. And if you stop in during the day, you can choose from a nice selection of lunch specials.

So whether you’re in town one night for a show, you’re new to the neighborhood and looking for a cool spot, or even if you claim yourself loyal to another bar, Corcoran’s is a must visit. I safely bet you’ll become a regular before you can say, “That makes a baker’s dozen for me, Bob.”


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About Cheryl Thomas

Cheryl grew up in rural northern Indiana, where everyone is somehow related to a farmer and horse and buggy stations are in the Wal-Mart parking lots. She moved to Chicago a few months after graduating from IU and has since fallen hopelessly in love with the city. She likes trying new deep dish places, exploring used bookstores and dive bars, chatting with strangers on public transit, and all sorts of writing - especially fiction and playwriting.

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