The Whistler (Bar, Logan Square)
Location: 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Phone: (773) 227-3530
The first thing you notice about The Whistler is that you’ve walked past it. We backtracked until we found a small picture window full of art and an awning carrying nothing more than an address. The bouncer was a friendly young gentleman about my size, meaning that he’d have a hard time bouncing a check let alone a rambunctious patron. I understood as we got inside, however; The Whistler reads like an exclusive New York music nook, only nobody looks at you funny. Everyone we met there, bouncer, bartenders, band, and even a lively, dancing patron were warm and congenial. The Whistler is small, so they don’t beat around the bush— they fill the bush with bourbon. Heavens to Betsy, so much bourbon! My heart sank for a moment. I’ve always stylized myself as a gin/rum kind of guy. I decided to bite the bullet and order a bourbon, no mixer, warm, like a man. To add to the experience I chose Old Grand-Dad, a one hundred proof bourbon. I knew it was one hundred proof because The Whistler lists the proof of each of their liquors. I challenge a corporate chain like McDonalds to print the calories right on the menu next to each item.
My fear about drinking bourbon melted away as I began to sip and the band slipped into their set. Oh, hadn’t I mentioned? The front of The Whistler is taken up by a stage bathed in red light and was home to Darts & Arrows on this particular evening. I’m not sure what genre you’d put them into (as I was drinking one hundred proof bourbon), but they had an upright bassist, so I was pleased as pumpernickel. The final unmentioned feature of The Whistler is the patio. It looks as if your friend from college wanted to have a get-together in his backyard. There are white holiday lights strung around and several table and chair sets. Like the inside of the Whistler, it is small, cozy and inviting. There are some bars where you are trying to have a “blast,” and then there are bars where you go to have a great night; The Whistler is the latter, in every positive sense of the phrase.
Alright, fine, it was an Old Grand-Dad and ginger ale. And I let most of the ice melt into it.
This review first appeared in UPchicago Bar Crawl #2: Logan Square.
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