New bars in Chicago: Reviews of new sports bars, lounges and pubs

From a wrestling-themed pizza bar to a taco dive with 56-ounce margaritas, new bars in Chicago are all over the map. We checked out five newcomers to assess the good, the bad and the empty.

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  • New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox

  • New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox

  • New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox

  • New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox

  • New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox

  • New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox

New Chicago bars: The Dog's Bollox


With new bars opening every week, where should you drink this weekend? To answer that question, we evaluated five newcomers based on the six most important criteria: drinks, eats, service, price, first impressions and the ever-important question, "Bro or no?" Here's the lowdown on the Dog's Bollox, the Squared Circle, Billy Dec's Ay Chiwowa, American Junkie and the newly remodeled rooftop bar Vertigo Sky Lounge.

 

RECOMMENDED: Best sports bars in Chicago

The Dog’s Bollox
3210 N Lincoln Ave, 773-880-9620, thedogsbolloxchicago.com.

FIRST IMPRESSION Wonderfully chill. At 12:30am on a Friday, this new Lincoln Avenue bar (formerly Beckett’s) is about half full, with plenty of open seats. The artwork here all features dogs, but otherwise the look is nothing special—a long, wooden bar and an array of tables. 

DRINKS The focus is on beer, with nearly 30 craft brews on tap. Some of the latest adds: Furthermore Fatty Boombalatty, Ommegang Rare Vos and Bell’s Smitten Golden Rye Ale. There’s also a list of wine by the glass or bottle and a few cocktails, including a refreshing Moscow Mule served in a copper mug.

EATS A menu of “global street snacks” includes everything from samosas and banh mi to a bacon-wrapped hot dog and tempura cheese curds. Unfortunately, the kitchen is no longer serving when we arrive.

SERVICE Perfectly pleasant. This is the poster child for your average neighborhood bar.

BRO OR NO? Not a single starched polo in sight.

THE TAB $19 for two drinks. Food items range from $3–$16. 

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