At this self-proclaimed "grown-up bar," brothers Eric Palm, who worked at The Matchbox
for 14 years, and his brother Dan Palm, who put in seven-plus years at Silver Palm
, decided to go out on their own. The result is a swank Wicker Park joint covered in lots of wood, and lined on the ceiling with tin.
"We're doing bar food but we're doing it better," says Eric. "Everything is done in house." The brothers' down-to-earth approach contrasts with the hipster-cool, image consciousness of the kids in the neighborhood. Plus, at Gunner's, the Palms are hoping to attract a bit of a mature crowd — people who are around the same age as the Palms.
With all that experience, the Palm brothers certainly know their way around the bar. Freshness is the key, and all drinks are made with real fruit juice. Vodka drinks are also infused in-house with fresh fruit.
"I'm accustomed to people saying 'That's the best margarita I've ever had in my life,'" says Dan.
As for food, the first thing is to try the burger, topped with bacon and fried egg. The chorizo tacos cost only $2.50; and the weekly specials cost only $10-$12, depending on the season. Three Floyds beer-battered chicken tenders, hand-cut fries and kettle chips add to the delicious bar food menu.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler