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Farraguts Tavern

View Map5240 N. Clark St., Chicago
Tel: (773) 728-4903
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Editorial Review of Farraguts Tavern

The golden lettering and picture windows smack of a just-opened faux-Irish bar, but there's some textual slippage; Farragut's is a neighborhood place, doesn't serve drinks with the word "bomb" in the name and nary a backwards hat can be seen. And if any of that changed, you'd know it quickly; the bar has seats for no more than 30, with most of the unoccupied space taken up by the free pool table.

Expect an older but a bit rowdier crowd than the typical Andersonville drinking establishments. Regulars dominate afternoons and evenings, shooting pool and complaining about the Cubs, and later on, a slightly younger and flashier crowd rolls in. Farragut's has staked out a middle ground between nearby Simon's and Hopleaf as a dive-y joint with above-average beer and modest prices, and people have reacted accordingly.

No nightly specials, but the pool table is always free (be prepared for a wait) and the bartender is usually pushing a cheapo special (currently $2 Budweiser Select and $2.50 domestic pints). Weekdays are far from slow, although the bar is so small that the crowds are never daunting.

Apart from the sign outside, Farragut's might be the last bar on Clark to knuckle under to the adverse affects of advanced-stage yuppie-itis. Two dollars won't get you a matchbook at most Northside bars, but it'll get you a whole drink at Farragut's (well, as long as you order a $2 drink).

Free pool, Beer Nuts and at most three varieties of those 25-cent bags of snicky snacks. Also a battered Golden Tee machine, and one of those video-slot games that you can't actually win money from, with three color TVs for more successful entertainment. More than a dozen brews on tap and about 20 more available bottled, including a good selection of gourmet Belgians (Duvel, Chimay, Delirium Tremens) and other imports like Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Mixed drinks are dirt cheap, with well drinks ranging from $2-$4 and name brands not much more (a stiff Johnny Walker and soda is only $4.50).

Centerstage Reviewer: Pete Beatty

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3 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday-Friday, 3 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday

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chicago, metromix