Huettenbar (Bar, Lincoln Square)
Location: 4721 N. Lincoln
Phone: (773) 561-2507
Between the arching sign over Lincoln Avenue and the Giddings Square Fountain estled in the center of what is perhaps the central block of Lincoln Square, the Huettenbar stands out from every establishment around. It looks as if someone took a ski lodge from Germany and plopped it near a Cold Stone, as if the bar wants nothing to do with its surrounding businesses and would be much more at home off a dirt road, surrounded by majestic conifers. The inside of the bar has the same feel as the outside except amplified, perhaps due to the fact that you can no longer turn your head and see a Chase Bank or a Subway.
Lincoln Square is a decidedly German section of town and the Huettenbar is a decidedly German Pilsstube (it means ‘bar’ you irresponsible, delinquent, underage hooligans). If you are expecting to find Miller Light on tap, they have a faucet in the bathroom that you are welcome to fill your cup with. You’re going to look at the taps, pick a German word, and get a liquid resembling in color a piece of furniture made from heavily varnished walnut tree wood, which by the way would not seem out of place in the Huettenbar.
We were lucky enough to sit in the stampstich, as it was a Tuesday evening. When you get that main booth by the front door you feel like the king of the Huettenbar; close enough to the bar and front door to be where the action is, but safely tucked away in your own private nook. The decor is fantastic, but on this particular evening I can’t tell, because of the walnut tree-colored beer. Instead we focused on the flavors and the conversation, which are the mainstays of the establishment. I remember my nights past in the Huettenbar, which is like a fine bavarian chocolate — I don’t eat it every day because it is to be savored when I do.
This is not some new-wave restaurant and bar, taking focus away from the bartenders by serving up half-hearted chicken fingers. Grab a bag of pretzels with your stein of molasses and be happy. If you wanted food so badly you should have visited Gene’s Sausage Shop or the Brauhaus before you came. Huettenbar is an experience, not a place to get trashed with your besties or your brah’s from high school. I know you totally haven’t hung out since homecoming, but pick a different spot. Don’t ruin the Huettenbar for the rest of us. I felt the same way at the conclusion of our stay as I did writing the conclusion of this piece: drunk. I am only kidding, I would never drink and write, you irresponsible, delinquent, underage hooligans.