Emmit’s Irish Pub (Bar, River West)
Location: 495 N. Milwaukee
Phone: (312) 563-9631
on the unique nightlife of a foreign country is part of the kick I get when I travel. No doubt I have found myself in some exotic and sketchy night spots across the world. But, it’s usually close to the end of my travels, when I have worn myself thin of the strange and wild, that I crave something homey. Something ‘Chicago’. And every strange new country I’ve passed through, regardless of language barrier, has nestled in it a traditional Irish
Pub. I’ve had a Guinness in KilKenny’s Pub in Ko Samui, Thailand, and thrown darts at O’Sullivan’s in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There is a recipe for the Irish pub that is contagious to the world. But for me, a Chicago native, Irish pubs are my comfort food.
Emmit’s Irish Pub could very well have been the model for these foreign establishments. On a weekday night the bar services a small older crowd made up of what I imagine to be local policemen and politicians. It seemed an ideal location to get tricked into a bar crawl over a quiet pint with my new buds from UPchicago. The walls are littered with Gaelic futbol jerseys and Chicago Fire Department
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flags, capturing the Irish-American blue collar history of Chicago (the bar is owned by two Chicago Fireman, Kevin Doherty and Ron Halvorsen ). Speaking of history, Emmit’s has quite the colored past. In the 1980’s, the bar was the site of 2 gunned down would- be robbers and Chicago’s abolition of the bar’s “dwarf tossing” (an old Australian pub tradition). What would a historic Chicago pub be without scandal?
Visit Emmit’s on a Friday night and you’d better sharpen your elbows and ruddy up your Irish nose, because the place gets packed
with young folk. The juke box carries both traditional Irish music and modern fan favorites (see: Lou Bega’s ‘Mambo #5’). And if you are looking for an authentic Irish Pub for upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, Emmit’s will fill your glass with green beer and your ears with “The Wild Rover”.
There is nothing more Chicago then the Irish Pub culture. Emmit’s is the epitome of this, it’s
This review first appeared in the River West Bar Crawl
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