#348. Logan Bar & Grill – 2230 N. California
#349. The Rocking Horse – 2535 N. Milwaukee
#350. Bob Inn – 2609 W. Fullerton
#351. The Chicago Diner – 3411 N. Halsted
#352. Revolution Brewing – 2323 N. Milwaukee
#353. Cole’s Chicago – 2338 N. Milwaukee
#354. The Whistler – 2421 N. Milwaukee
#355. Billy Sunday – 3143 W. Logan
#356. Whirlaway Lounge – 3224 W. Fullerton
#357. The Double: An Urban Tavern – 3545 W. Fullerton
#358. Black Sheep – 3441 N. Sheffield
#359. Clark St. Beach – 3419 N. Clark
#360. Salt & Pepper Diner – 3537 N. Clark
#361. Redmond’s Ale House – 3358 N. Sheffield
#362. Beer on Clark – 3415 N. Clark
#363. Mullen’s Bar & Grill – 3527 N. Clark
#364. Tarantino’s – 1112 W. Armitage
#365. Hangge-Uppe – 14 W. Elm
I know Jay already made our apology but I would like to echo it: we should have wrapped this up earlier. Though we finished our drinking on-time, we did not keep up well with the blogging. That is largely my fault but here we go with the last post.*
After we drank the last bar dry, a huge weight was taken off our shoulders. Down the final stretch, we racked up a lot of bars in a short time but we made it!
Now that I’ve had time to reflect on the yearlong challenge, it was a hell of a year. Not many people can say that they’ve drank at over 365 unique bars in a year, let alone their entire life. What started out as wanting to find the best bars in Chicago for a happy hour, to watch football, to take a date, and have a bro-night out, turned into an opportunity to spend a year with my best friend doing what we did best.
Beyond the fact that I can drink an exuberant amount of beer, the lesson I learned completing the the 365 challenge was the importance to do something for yourself. Our 20s are an exciting but often apprehensive time. We’ve all heard the cliche that we should “work to live” rather than “live to work” but too easily we find ourselves doing the latter. It’s very easy to get lost in the demands of our day-to-day lives and careers; too often finding ourselves saying we are too “busy” and continue to put certain things off (see: this blog post). I, as much as anyone, know now is the time to put in the extra hour at work and to be planning for the future but as you start 2014 I ask you to make sure you take time to do something for the joy of it. Travel to a city you’ve never been. Give back and volunteer. Move to a new city. Meet new people. Do something for the joy it.
Last year, the 365 challenge was a blast and an experience I’ll always remember. It didn’t hurt that it included booze, sporting events (turtle races and roller derby are sports, right?), and great friends. The year was spent consuming over a thousand drinks, sitting in hundreds of barstools, competing in several trivia nights, drinking our way through a few bar crawls and one food challenge gone terribly wrong. We had triumphs (14 bars in one day during the Great Bucktown Barcrawl!) and some defeats (e.g., Tuesday morning after this Monday Night…it was rough). We drank in dress pants and sweatpants, alike, while enjoying many great Chicago craft beers and cringing at the taste of Jeppson’s Malort. We found some gems (e.g., Danny’s Tavern) and some just awfully managed dumps (e.g., Yak-Zies). All the while, somewhere deep in our hearts we still know we should totally open a bar!
Many asked, “What do you two talk about during those long hours drinking together?” With a friend, it doesn’t matter what we are talking about. Whether we were chatting about the game on TV, discussing one of my crazy theories, or getting some life advice, I enjoyed every sip. While we may be able to burn away the calories from all the beers we drank, the memories made during this year living drunkly will never be forgotten.
Now to wrap it all up, I thought I’d give everyone some great bars to visit. While my favorite bar still might be the Full Shilling, here’s my list of top can’t miss bars in Chicago:
- Favorite go-to bar: Sheffield’s
- Great bars any night of the week: Three Ace’s (great food and atmosphere), Guthrie’s Tavern (board games!), Racine Plumbing Co. Bar & Grill, Bub City (great BBQ and live music)
- Best dive bars: Higgins Tavern (free popcorn), Bob Inn (free Golden Tee), Happy Village (free ping pong), Gingerman Tavern (free pool, Sunday-Tuesday)
- Best date places: Uncommon Ground (delicious food), The Barrelhouse Flat (refreshing cocktails)
- Best sports bars: Derby Bar & Grill, The Bird’s Nest (best wings in the city), State Restaurant
- Best surprises of the year: Danny’s Tavern, Shoe’s Pub, 25 Degrees
- Bars to remind you of college: Big Joe’s, Friar Tuck, Wellington’s Tavern
- Bars that scream Chicago: The Hangge Uppe, Boiler Room