IF THE BLACKHAWKS WON:
Fans of a winning team know that their opportunity for gloating is only good for a limited time. So while your first stop should be a quick glass of bubbly at the Tasting Room. (Leave this for later in the night and you’ll be too tipsy to really appreciate the Champagne), your second stop should be looking for fans of the losing team. Try Westend first. It would take a lot of nerve for anybody but a Hawks fan to step in here, so you might end up empty-handed. No problem—revel with your mates. Sing the Hawks song. (Okay—learn the Hawks song.) And when it gets too packed in there, try 31. Union Park. Here you’ll find those other fans grouped in the corners, overcompensating for their misery with loud guffaws and lots of beer. Smile at them smugly and watch the tears drop.
Had enough of that? Then get out of that bar and get to Jak’s Tap, where the only thing they take more seriously than hockey is beer, a good thing when your throat is hoarse from yelling “Detroit sucks!”
Finally, just when you think you’ve had enough, make one more stop at Third Rail Tavern. It should be pretty empty in there by this point, so take a seat, order a beer and toast to the Hawks. Then toast to Hawks fans. Finally, toast to winners—which, tonight at least, includes you.
IF THE BLACKHAWKS LOST:
It’s easy to fall into a stupor of self-pity when your team loses. But that’s why they made bars: to distract you from those annoying thoughts (or at least make you sleepy enough that you forget them).
In other words, distraction is the name of the game here. So for your first stop, head to Beer Bistro. Behind the bar there’s such a staggering variety of beer that it can numb a troubled mind—unless there are fans of the winning team there, which is likely. If so, head to 9 Muses. There, you can complain to the guy on the stool next to you ad nauseam. Because chances are he doesn’t speak English, so your Blackhawks rants are (wait for it) all Greek to him.
When that gets boring, head to Lumen and look up: The illuminated ceiling here blinks and pulses in hypnotizing designs, which should occupy your mind for at least a moment or two. If that doesn’t work, go next door to the Publican. One beer here has enough alcohol to calm even the most restless mind.
And if your thoughts still return to the Hawks, go to Lake & Union Grill & Tap. Not for the company, not for the drinks, but, yes, for the lap dances. It very well may be the worst lap dance of your life, but that’s the point: If the sheer horror of it doesn’t snap you out of your depression, nothing will.