When the going gets tough, the Irish drown their sorrows in pints of Guinness and bury their faces in baskets of fish and chips (or so the story goes). At this neighborhood bar a hop-skip-and-jump from condo-filled downtown Evanston, beer drinkers of all nationalities follow that lead, relaxing with a cold one and some better-than-pub-grub eats. Teenagers steal kisses on park benches across the street, travelers check in and out of the nearby hotel, church-goers file into the decorated church kitty corner from Nevin's and the Purple Line rumbles by on rickety tracks behind the bar. Food costs a lot more here than it would at an authentic, working-class pub in Ireland, but this place is owned by Irish Pubs LLC, not your next-door neighbor with an Irish brogue.
The low-lit bar and restaurant areas are filled with handsome, dark wood tables and gold-studded green leather chairs. Irish comfort foods like the shepherd's pie (stuffed with ground beef, tomatoes, onions and peas), the corned beef and cabbage (tender beef brisket with carrots and red potatoes) and the classic fish and chips (good ol' fried cod served with fries and tartar sauce) all cost $10.95. Those looking for something less Irish (or less expensive) should take a gander at the meat-and-chicken-filled sandwiches list. Now make like an Irish man or woman and wash this all down with 20 ounces of dark Guinness beer; happiness comes for only $5.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler
lunch: 11 a.m.-4:30 daily
dinner: 4:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Monday; 4:30-11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 4:30-midnight Friday-Saturday
bar: 11 a.m.- 1 a.m. Monday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.- midnight Sunday
Late-night menu: 10 p.m.–1 a.m. Monday–Thursday; 11 p.m.–2 a.m. Friday-Saturday
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