Fountainhead (Bar, Lincoln Square)
Location: 1970 W. Montrose Ave
Phone: (773) 697-8204
The Fountainhead is one of my favorite bars right now. It’s relatively young to the scene, but it seems to have settled comfortably into its location on the corner of Montrose and Damen. This particular part of the neighborhood suffers from a dearth of bars (although the Oakwood 83 is across the street… if you ever wondered where registered sex offenders hang out at 3 in the morning), so when Fountainhead opened a few months ago it was welcomed by all.
“What’s in a name?” I ask myself. My iPhone tells me that Fountainhead gets its name from an Ayn Rand novel which Wikipedia tells me is about an architect who chooses to toil in obscurity for embracing a modernist aesthetic rather than conforming to his society’s tradition worshipping system. Yeesh…that all sounds pretty severe. It’s still a nice sounding word though.
The whiskey and beer lists at Fountainhead are blast-your-ass good. Sick shit on tap. Lots of locals, one-offs, and obscurities. The Single Malt section is pretty ridiculous too. Independent bottlers, vintages of 30 years plus, and everything is dirt cheap. I work in the “industry” –- quotation marks added for extra douchiness –- and that leaves me vigilant when it comes to sniffing out gratuitous mark-ups. Fountainhead is practically giving liquor away. I chose a Yamazaki 18 year from Suntory in Japan. Ever seen Lost in Translation? “Suntory time. Good time.” Chicago’s own William Murray. Look it up. Holler at your boy Bill!
I love it. My scotch comes in a cool stemmed glass with a water back in a fragile-looking pitcher that resembles a miniaturized Neti pot. I feel like my pinkies should be sticking out when I pick it up. It tastes amazing. Honey and heather and pipe tobacco. I’m in the zone. The menu at Fountainhead is good. Everything I’ve tasted has been pretty spot-on –- good fries, good beer-braised pork shoulder sandwich, decent mac n’ cheese –- and today the pork plate with various forced meats is rustic and tasty. Check it out if you’re up for a great night out!