As opposed to some of the other high-priced bierstubes and brauhauses in Lincoln Square, the Hansa Clipper keeps a low-key, somewhat hidden profile. Squeezed into a small storefront on Lincoln Avenue, the Clipper is easy to wander past and hard to see into, but usually the strains of German tunes will come filtering out, especially during the afternoon.
The wood-paneled room features a decent sized bar with a good selection of German brews on tap, including Warsteiner, Warsteiner Dunkel, BBK, Bitburger, Spaten and Stiegel. You won't get taken for a ton of cash, either: Each quarter-liter of beer costs $3, and each half-liter is $5 across the board. Bottled beers and German liquors are also available as well along with an average selection of domestic drinks.
You're more than likely to have plenty of room to shoot a round at the 75-cents-per-game pool game. Most afternoons and evenings the bar will be yours, if not with the company of a couple old guys sipping wine or coffee at the end of the bar, speaking to each other in their native tongues. It's easy to sit and become part of the woodwork as the staff and locals chatter away in Polish, German or Austrian.
The German pride vibe is undeniable. Old Bavarian flags with Iron Crosses (from before chopper-culture made them cool) hang prominently, and sometimes you get the feeling that suggesting that the Suedetenland was never really a German province is a good way to get you whacked with a cane and scolded "Verboten!" The place only livens up when bands play on Friday and Saturdays and during open mic sessions on Wednesdays.
Centerstage Reviewer: Karl Klockars