UPchicago Bar Crawl: Edison Park
If you venture to Chicago’s far northwest side you’ll find the cozy neighborhood of Edison Park. I like to think of this neighborhood as the last stop in the city possessing that Chicago flavor before hitting the suburbs. I grew up next to Edison Park and I remember walking through the neighborhood, anxiously waiting to be old enough to experience the surrounding nightlife. Edison Park is home to various types of bars and restaurants all with something different to offer, but more importantly are all within close walking distance, making Edison Park a prime location for a bar crawl in the colder months of the year.
Edison Park Inn
6715 N Olmsted
If you are looking for a good bar to stop in before dinner, look no further than Edison Park Inn. The Inn has an extensive appetizer menu, full service bar with daily specials, live music, and an eight lane bowling alley in the second story of the building.
The Inn offers a unique start to a bar crawl in Edison Park because you can still watch the game, enjoy a full service bar, and bowl a game or two with your friends. If bowling is not for your group, the first floor offers a great atmosphere with a large island bar. You can enjoy the sound of live music and never knew you were a level below a bowling alley.
I recommend visiting the Inn on nights the Blackhawks play or when there is a UFC event. On these nights, the bar is packed and the atmosphere intensifies. Furthermore, to get a better bang for your buck, the bar offers drinking specials on nights the Hawks play.
The Curragh Irish Pub
6703 N Northwest Highway
The ambiance of this bar is something you would really have to experience for yourself. The interior of the bar is decorated with dark wood and Irish stenciling. When I walked into this bar for the first time it felt like an upscale pub I visited when I was in Ireland. There is plenty of room to sit at tables, however, the bar itself is rather small.
I recommend visiting the Curragh to sit at a table, order some food and expect to be waited on. Each time I visited the service was fast, friendly and never failed to put me in a good mood. Also, the food wasn’t too bad either.
The Curragh heavily advertises their wide selection of specialty Irish drinks such as the Black and Tan, Half and Half, Irish American, Black Death, Black and Blue, and basically any other beer or cider that mixes well with a Guinness. If you prefer cocktails to beers, they offer a full martini menu and an impressive wine list.
6686 N Northwest Highway
Now that you’ve experienced some good fun and food in Edison Park, the Emerald Isle a large crowd of people enjoying live music or socializing inside the bar or in the beer garden. The Isle has an extensive drink selection including craft beer by local Chicago companies. It’s hard to find rare beers like this in other bars in the area so don’t be afraid to try something new at “The Isle.”
There is often a cover on weekends to get into the bar, but it pays for itself after a couple drinks or pitchers. Drinks at the Isle are notoriously cheaper than other bars in the area. Expect to stay here for awhile because the building is spacious with multiple bars and a beer garden so there is plenty to see and waiting for service never seems to take very long, no matter how packed the bar is.
Mecca Supper Club
6666 N Northwest Highway
It seems as though many bartenders now are pressured to make sure they pour an exact shot every time they make a drink. The Mecca is a joint that is smaller, but its quality is unmatched. The bartenders have been in the scene for a long time and know how to make a good drink. Simply put, you get what you pay for.
Along with the extensive selection of liquor, there is the unique charm of the Mecca. During early evening hours, the place appears to be exactly how it’s advertised: a quiet supper club. However, at night on the weekends, the staff takes away all of the tables in the dining area, exposing a dance floor after the DJ sets up shop in one of the booths. You must check out this establishment if you are in Edison Park.
6733 N Olmsted
I can think of no bar better to end a crawl than the Snuggery. This bar is two floors of a great party atmosphere with friendly waitresses and bartenders who love their job. On weekends the Snuggery offers DJs and dancing, drawing a larger crowd for a good time. Once you enter the revolving door entry way you are submersed into an environment that will make you anxious to mingle with new friends as well as old.
The best nights to go to the Snuggery are on the weekend because they offer drinking deals on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
This bar was a part of the neighborhood from 1974-1991 but closed. After re-opening in the fall of 2010, the Snuggery is back on a mission to provide a care-free atmosphere for all who enter. Come to this bar with the intention of letting go of your problems and I guarantee you will have a good time.
Other places to check out in the area:
J’s Sports Lounge — 6689 N. Oliphant
Formerly the dive bar known as Nick’s, J’s is the newest bar in Edison Park that offers a downtown vibe without having to make the commute.
Moretti’s — 6727 N. Olmsted
Just next to The Snuggery, Moretti’s has been a staple of entertainment in Edison Park for many years with award winning pizza and plenty of liquor to choose from. If you have the time (and money at this point) you should make this a stop on your bar crawl.