The Rocking Horse (Restaurant/Bar, Logan Square)

Location: 2535 N. Milwaukee
Phone: (773) 486-0011

Located right off of the square on Milwaukee, The Rocking Horse is a bar that aims to please. A large rocking horse hangs outside of the bar — a glimpse of the unique decor inside the drinking establishment.

The interior is lit with small groupings of vintage lighting that look like they were carefully selected at Salvage One. The drink menu offers its hipster clientele a large selection of beers. The Rocking Horse has 16 beers on tap and over 60 types of bottles. I ordered a Three Floyds Gumballhead, which they were out of, so I ended up drinking an ice water. I guess I just got stubborn they were out of my select, because clearly there were plenty of options.

I did sample a bit of the bar fare at Rocking Horse which was delicious. The menu has typical bar food with some unique items like Jalapeno hummus and Portobello fries. We had to go for the regular fries because they make them so many delicious ways. Do you like your fries with gravy? Do you like your fries Greek style? Do your like your fries topped with chili cheese? Maybe you like them chimichurri style? We went for the poutine fries and they did not disappoint. It’s amazing to me how something that looks so inedible because it is covered in brown sauce is actually a heavenly platter of god food.

The bar has plenty of specials — one for every day in fact. If you’re on a date there and you get bored they have games in the back like pool and Pac-Man, so you can feign interest in your date and channel all your energy into the left corner pocket or gobbling up cherries and avoiding blue ghosts. For the good dates that you want to remember forever, you can step into the vintage photo booth and get your picture on.

My only regret of the evening was not looking at the jukebox until I was on my way out the door. I think a jukebox can say a lot about an establishment; a well-balanced selection is key. Walking over to check out the list at Rocking Horse I could have guessed they would have The Smiths and I was correct. The jukebox summed up Rocking Horse for me. They had their classics covered saying “we know our music” — The Smiths, The Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash — but then they’ve got the new stuff to say they’re also hip. In short, what you might find at Pitchfork and Lollapalooza — Pavement, Sleigh Bells, MGMT, Phoenix, Santogold, and Grizzly Bear.

This review first appeared in UPchicago Bar Crawl #2: Logan Square.
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About Caitlin Fitzgibbons

Caitlin is an contributor with a bi-weekly column on people-watching in the city.

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