Sports Bar Spotlight: The Southern

The Southern

1840 W. North Avenue

Chicago, cialis IL 60622

As an alumni of Indiana University, and a school with a storied college basketball program and a sub-par football team, sovaldi I can say that my college football experience was mediocre. As a Hoosier, when it came to game day Saturdays, it was more about the tailgate than the big event.

Talk to any SEC alum (or B1G school with a winning football program) and that simply isn’t the case. Intrigued by all the SEC game day hype, I agreed to accompany one of my girlfriends, a Georgia alum, out on college football Saturday to see if the SEC fans are as loud and proud in the bar as they are on the field. My friend, who is convinced she is going to marry a southern man and move to Georgia, recommended we spend the day as Bulldog fans for their big game against LSU at the Wicker Park spot and Georgia bar The Southern.

Georgia fans for a day

We got there around 2:00 p.m. for a 2:30 p.m. game, and went straight upstairs to the rooftop because everything is better on a rooftop. The place was swimming in a sea of Bulldog red, but the only red I wear is of the Hoosier kind so my grey top certainly stood out in the crowd.

There wasn’t any seating on the rooftop when we arrived but we found a table we could all stand around and most people did the same. It was interesting because downstairs was full of people eating and having a nice Saturday brunch, and upstairs was a wild college game day party. Definitely two different worlds.

The covered but open-air rooftop is set up well to watch games with TVs all along the main wall with tables lined up with views from just about every angle. There is only one full bar up there with a second cash only bar for the overflow of people… but nobody there seemed to have cash, so the line to get a drink was annoyingly long.

Source: thesouthernchicago.com

There were also servers walking around, but very sporadically, so if you needed your drink before your hands started shaking, waiting in line at the bar was not the best bet. Now that I think about it, the very best bet would have been walking down the stairs and ordering from the downstairs bar, but who is thinking that clearly whilst day drinking? We definitely were not.

Now, I’ve seen my share of fanatical fans, but this Georgia crowd was crazy. They were chanting, yelling at the screens and had choreographed hand gestures that surprisingly others knew as well. While the scene was loud and festive, there was not a lot of chatter during plays as patrons were glued to the game for every down.

There were quite a few cute southern boys there in their game day red plaid, but they had no interest in speaking to us because they were glued to the TV while downing bourbons. There was one couple sitting in front of us and I promise you, they didn’t speak one word to each other the entire game.

With such a passionate crowd and a competitive game, it was really easy to get swept up in the Georgia excitement. By the middle of the game I was worried about how upset I (and the crowd) would be if Georgia lost, but I was also worried that the balcony would give way if they won due to wild celebrating. I was torn.

the rooftop!

The Southern’s beer menu isn’t huge, but it’s pretty solid. It is mostly specialty beers, including my favorite beer from the deep south, Abita Purple Haze, so I was happy. They also have specialty cocktails and a fancy whiskey menu, but since we were day drinking we kept it simple with the Abita.

Things are pretty moderately priced too, for a full day of drinking I only spent $33. This could be due to the fact that they only had one bartender for the ENTIRE upstairs, so he was a little stressed and stretched very thin. I was confused as to why they wouldn’t have more people working at a time, especially since the bartender told me it’s busy every time Georgia plays.

Despite the slow-ish service, the bartender gets a gold star. We ordered crab dip to go, and it took so long that he threw in a free cheeseburger which my friend Sam and I shamelessly ate in the cab on the way to a dinner party. Free food always trumps slow service in my opinion. The burger was delicious, and the rest of the menu is great too.. lots of southern favorites like fried chicken or shrimp and grits. I do have to say that it’s not the best drinking food, so I would probably either go there for a great meal OR to hang out and have some drinks because everything on the menu is so heavy.

Overall, we had an awesome day. I would absolutely recommend coming here for some SEC college football, but if heading to the rooftop, be prepared to wait in line.

Overall grade:  B

When we went:  Saturday for the Georgia/LSU game

School affiliations: Georgia Bulldogs

Guy to girl ratio:  60/40

 

About the author: Lee Cleary was born and raised as a Boston Red Sox fan, but her east coast allegiances changed after she spent her formative years in Indianapolis, Indiana. When she isn’t cheering for her beloved Colts, she is talking trash to Purdue fans as she watches the Indiana University basketball program make their return to the big leagues. With a degree in journalism/marketing at IU, Lee currently works in the PR industry in Chicago and spends a great deal of her out-of-office hours at the local sports bars. The highlight of her life thus far has been meeting Peyton Manning (you guessed it, at a sports bar)… and she is pretty sure that was the highlight of his life as well.

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