A historic North Side pub that's been churning out beers for nearly 75 years, Kelly's Pub opened in 1933, just one day after the Volstead Act was repealed. Three quarters of a century later, the Lincoln Park corner tavern holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously run, family-owned bar on the North Side. Some might ascribe this success to that infamous Irish luck—which bubbles over in the form of golden shamrocks crowning a stein of beer on the pub's vintage sign—but it's actually more like wisdom.
You see, Kelly's has learned a thing or two over the years; most notably, it's learned how to sidestep stereotypes by stacking them atop one another. Mornings find Kelly's an old-school bar, complete with a loyal faction of hardcore drinkers getting an early start. The mid-afternoon/happy hour incarnation is true to the neighborhood sports bar form. Nine televisions stream through various sporting events as the nine-to-fivers sip on post-work pints. When night falls, Kelly's becomes the ultimate DePaul student bar with jukebox blaring and college kids boozing and schmoozing. During the summers, the beer garden (which was built for the 1986 film "About Last Night," starring Demi Moore and Rob Lowe) is a popular alternative to the over-crowded inside. Out here, the roar of the L nearly deafens, but chugging your beer until it passes makes for one hell of a drinking game. Those that live nearby should beware—it's easy to plan your week around the rotating food and drink specials. Tuesdays mean $1.50 beers and $1.00 burgers, Wednesdays bring ten-cent wings, but the sloppiest of the bunch is Thursdays—known to regulars as "blursdays"—when tallboy beers sell for only three bucks.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: K. Tighe
Kelly's Pub was mentioned in these articles...
Repeal Day Parties, 12/4/08
Toast the end of Prohibition (75 years on) with a few drinks at these Chicago bars.
Virtual L: Armitage (Brown), 8/19/08
On your mark, get set, consume!
Back-to-School Bacchanalia, 8/28/07
Whether you cheer on the Wildcats or the Blue Demons, we'll tell you where to go for some school spirits.