Nestled in between condo construction, the Ravenswood Metra Line and various side streets, Millie's hides out as one of the last old-school, local joints that's still worth visiting. In business (in one way or another) since before the Prohibition, Millie's can get you an early start with a 7 a.m. open door and an inexpensive one as well: Domestic bottles will only set you back $2.50.
Steeped in old Chicago tradition, Millie's has the requisite neon in the windows and "Old Style On Tap" sign dangling above the door, but venture past the entrance and you'll find yourself in one of the coolest, friendliest joints in the 'hood. Blood-red walls bear flecked black velvet adornments, delicate and worn with age. Old breweriania advertises "Budweiser Light" from the days when "Bud Light" wasn't even a novelty.
Millie's doesn't have anything on draft, but the aforementioned domestics are cheap; the 24-ounce can of Budweiser for $4 is even cheaper per volume, and imports are equally accessible at $3.50. Some accommodations for the present have been made: Golden Tee and an Internet jukebox have their places in the room, but hang out during afternoon hours and you can while away the time with local news and conversation with the regulars.
It's easy to see why the bar likes to call itself "The Ultimate Neighborhood Bar." Millie's is one of those taverns that's increasingly hard to stumble across these days, when every drinking establishment investor wants to open the next Irish-bar-in-a-box down the street. It's continued proof that you don't have to exist on a major thoroughfare or right next to an El stop to stay in business. With the land value around the bar at a premium, it's in your best interest to stop in before someone makes the owner an offer she can't refuse.
Centerstage Reviewer: Karl Klockars