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Sportsman's Club

1/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is now open in Humboldt Park.

2/16
Photograph: Martha Williams
Sportsman's Club
3/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is serving cocktails, wine and beer in Humboldt Park.

4/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

A cocktail made with rye, Dolin Blanc and Benedictine is on the cocktail list at Sportsman's Club.

5/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is from Heisler Hospitality and a pair of Barrelhouse Flat vets.

6/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

The Sportsman's Cocktail is made with amaro, tart cherry and absinthe at the Sportsman's Club.

7/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is now open in Humboldt Park.

8/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club features taxidermy and stuffed animals throughout the space.

9/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club has chess boards built into the tables.

10/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club has chess boards built into the tables.

11/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

A cocktail made with gin, Peychaud's and lime is on the menu at Sportsman's Club.

12/16
Photograph: Martha Williams
Sportsman's Club
13/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is now open in Humboldt Park.

14/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is from Heisler Hospitality and a pair of Barrelhouse Flat vets.

15/16
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sportsman's Club is a cocktail, beer and wine bar in Humboldt Park.

16/16
Photograph: Martha Williams
Sportsman's Club
Humboldt Park

Bar review by Amy Cavanaugh

“We’re going to get you an amaro machine for your birthday!” my friends told me after I ordered a second amaro shot immediately after finishing my first. The amaro machine is the best thing at Sportsman’s Club, the new bar in Humboldt Park. It’s a chilled shot machine (like the old Jäger machines), and managing partners Wade McElroy (TrenchermenBarrelhouse Flat) and Jeff Donahue (Aviary, Barrelhouse Flat) are constantly adding amaros to the mix, so the shot is never exactly the same. On my visit, the shot included Cynar, Fernet-Branca, Averna and Cocchi Rosa, and there was even a taste difference between the two shots I had.

The amaro machine should be an indication that McElroy and Donahue are treading in dark, bitter territory, which is what I would drink exclusively, given the option. Besides the shot, which is $4, there are four rotating cocktails ($10), which change daily, in addition to the house Sportsman’s Cocktail ($8). On my visit, the menu consisted of a daiquiri, a Toronto, a Martinez and a ginger beer–bourbon cocktail. The short-lived nature of the menu means your experience will be hit or miss—the daiquiri was pleasant, but the Toronto (whiskey, Fernet, simple syrup, angostura) and the Martinez (gin, vermouth, maraschino) didn’t taste very balanced, or particularly exciting, which, at $10 in a neighborhood bar, they should be. Better to stick to the amaro shot and a beer. 

The bar used to be an old Polish dive, and when McElroy and Donahue moved in, they kept the original bar in place and added a tapestry of a French hunting scene and more taxidermied animals than you can count. Plus, checkerboards are built into tables and there’s a small area where you can take beer to go. When I arrived on a weekend night, the place was absolutely packed, probably due to its proximity to the Empty Bottle. But anyone who didn’t find a seat had one drink and moved on. Us? We managed to snag a couple bar stools, where we stayed until we’d had our fill of amaro.

Venue name: Sportsman's Club
Address: 948 N Western Ave
Chicago

Venue phone: 872-206-8054
Website: http://drinkingandgathering.com
Opening hours: Sun–Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 5pm-3am
Transport: Bus: 49.
Price: Cocktails, $10
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