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Bar review: Door No. 3


The Double Door opens a dive bar, but it's only open during shows or for a Tuesday night comedy event.

 (Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography)
1/5
Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography

Door No. 3 is a new speakeasy that opened underneath the Double Door.

 (Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography)
2/5
Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography
Door No. 3 is a new speakeasy that opened underneath the Double Door.
 (Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography)
3/5
Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography

Door No. 3 is a new speakeasy that opened underneath the Double Door.

 (Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography)
4/5
Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography

Door No. 3 is a new speakeasy that opened underneath the Double Door.

 (Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography)
5/5
Photograph: Gene Ambo Photography

Door No. 3 is a new speakeasy that opened underneath the Double Door.

FIRST IMPRESSION Originally touted as a speakeasy lounge under the Double Door, Door No. 3
 (1572 N Milwaukee Ave) turns out to be just another dive bar. It’s only open on nights when there’s a show or special event and Tuesdays for an ongoing comedy show. The entrance is located on the south side of the building, through the alley under the El tracks on North Avenue. Though recently redone, the interior is cold and dark with garish red lighting. The unfinished exposed brick walls and modge-podge bar are reminiscent of basements you might’ve hung out in during high school. We stopped in on Black Wednesday, one of the busiest bar nights of the year, and found it practically deserted. Overall the dive bar atmosphere was straightforward, honest and unpretentious—a welcome addition to the neighborhood’s growing scene.

DRINKS When the speakeasy concept was announced, we had our hearts set on a reasonably priced craft cocktail list akin to nearby Big Star or Violet Hour. No such luck, as the selection is strictly cheap beer and mixed drinks. All of your hipster favorites (Ham’s, PBR, Tecate) and local selections (Two Brother’s, Half Acre) are available in cans and bottles, nestled alongside a decent whiskey and bourbon selection served in no-fuss plastic glasses. Heineken is on draft, and there’s a fridge stocked with 40s of King Cobra if you dare to delve into the exciting world of malt liquor.

FOOD No food is served, but a lonely snack machine in the corner features vending classics like potato chips and Knott’s Berry Farm’s raspberry shortbread cookies. You’re better off saving your quarters—Big Star’s taco window is within stumbling distance.

SERVICE Off-duty doormen, bouncers and a scattering of regulars seemed to be the only ones around the chilly evening we stopped by. The affable bar staff offered pleasant conversation and even invited us to join in on a round of shots with the usual crew.

THE TAB $16 for two bourbons.

RECOMMENDED: The best bars in Chicago. From rooftops to dives, we've got a watering hole for you.

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