The Chipp Inn (Bar, Ukrainian Village)

Location: 832 N. Greenview Avenue, Ukrainian Village
Phone: 312.421.9052

Ukranian Village/Noble Square is my proverbial “hood” and I was an over zealous task master when insisting certain funky dens not be missed. I found myself putting my foot down the hardest on dear old Chipp Inn and thus earned a clue what bar I would review.

It’s important to note that while the waves of yuppy nation are crashing over Division street and seething gentrified foam at the heels of West and East Village, there are many “local” bars that serve as a stomping ground for the working class families of the area, past and present. This is only exacerbated on the weekends when vans full of middle-aged suburban ex-residents come piling into their in-town favorites. Chipp Inn could be classified as one of these bars.

But don’t cringe from the consistent local crowd that occupies this friendly corner pub, they’re never anything but welcoming once they’ve sized up the Chicago Ave. delinquents who found their hidden gem. The neon old style sign harks to our crawl like a lighthouse in a sea of residential darkness, the tininess of Fry Street making the place all the more intimate. There’s a bar and a pool room at Chipps, and that’s it. While two box set televisions duel over which baseball team sucks more, I insist on a Matilda as it’s really the only high mark beer occupying their tap. Tessa and I slip into the small pool room, negotiating the minuscule pool table so we can examine each black and white photo like archeologists. The bar goes back to the prohibition days of 1897 and they document it well. A familiar aged gentleman decorated in bright red colors and weighed down in medals then greets us like an ambassador, as he may very well be for all the times I’ve seen him here. I look around and my fellow crawlers seem far too comfortable, the very reasoning behind my insistence now biting us in the ass.

This review originally appeared in UPchicago Bar Crawl #3: Ukrainian Village.


David Frankel McLean

About David Frankel McLean

I’ve been thinking philosophically about Chicago since I was jaywalking the streets at the age of 10. I don’t root for both baseball teams and I don’t put Ketchup on my hot dogs. When someone says they’re a Chicagoan they are speaking of a heritage and a doctrine, not just a location. What that doctrine is I’m not entirely sure, it’s constantly changing with the growth of the city and I’ll spend my entire life trying to figure it out.

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