1535 N. Wells St.
Chicago, there IL 60610
MAN this winter was a rough one. It kept me (and the entire city of Chicago) trapped indoors like a spider under a cup. While I’m all for watching sports on the couch with a nice cold Blue Moon, online the second it was nice enough to watch the Hawks at a bar with the windows open, decease I basically sprinted to Woodie’s Flat in Old Town to check it out. I’ve been wanting to go there for awhile, so this was just perfect.
Woody’s opened in late December 2013 and is part of the Big Onion Tavern Group. As a self-proclaimed Bar Aficionado I’m disappointed in myself for never having been there. A couple of my friends have been lucky enough to go and they raved about it – not just the food, but the crowd. One friend called it “way less douchey than every other bar on Wells Street,” while another said that it was filled with “the kind of people you just want to get drunk with every day.” To me, those are RAVE reviews, and I was really excited to find that they rang true during my recent visit for Game 5 of Hawks vs. the Blues.
We arrived around 4:30 (ok my friend arrived at 4:30 and I was late because I fell asleep) and she was waiting for me at the bar. It was pretty crowded, but not unmanageable and we were able to snag a table right by the window and the TVs. The first thing I noticed were that there were quite a few boys there – and not boys staring at every girl that walked by; boys in Hawks jerseys, there with other boys, watching the game. It was refreshing.
We sat down and instantly ordered “not your grandfathers root beer,” which is what it sounds like: spiked root beer. First thing to know: this tastes exactly like root beer – not a HINT of alcohol can be detected. Second thing to know: this is 10% alcohol. Third thing to know: this is incredibly dangerous. I had two root beers and was well on my way to a fantastic night. From there I switched to Green Line to tone things down, but the damage was already done, and it was awesome. We decided to eat something before things got too out of hand, and I was thrilled that we did.
We ordered the Lettuce Wraps to split because, duh we’re healthy, and for dessert we ordered the “Duck L’Orange” burger and fries. Everything was amazing, but I can honestly say that the duck burger was one of my favorite things that’s ever been in my mouth. Sorry if that offends anyone out there, but it’s true. It was amazing – sweet & savory with just the right amount of crispiness to soak up the alcohol and lay a foundation for the rest of the evening.
My friend whom I was with was feeling feisty, so she quickly got up and took a poll among the bar patrons regarding what the animals on the walls were… because yes, there are a LOT of animal heads mounted on the walls. It was later determined that there was definitely an antelope, a plain old deer, and a jackelope (which is an awesome animal that looks like a cat/rabbit/deer hybrid). In short, the decor was pretty awesome. It’s log cabin-esque, but the big open windows made it breezy and bright.
As you can imagine, wandering around a bar demanding to know what people think the furry cat rabbit on the wall is can attract a crowd, and our group of three quickly became seven. Everyone at the bar was really friendly – it was an after work crowd of laid back people who just wanted a good beer and a Hawks win. No pretentious guys who “didn’t make it home to change out of their suit,” which I loved. Side note: Gentlemen, there is always time to change out of your suit – or at least lose the jacket and tie. You’re not fooling anyone, ESPECIALLY on casual Friday. We know you think you look good and want to show off.
It was a fun, loud, beer-drinking, Blues hating crowd. Another bonus is that there is a different drink special every night. The one that caught my eye was “WTF Wednesday,” which offers a burger, can of Tecate, and a Fireball shot for $15. However, Woodie’s doesn’t open until 5pm Monday-Thursday, so don’t get any big ideas about making WTF Wednesday a “fun lunch.”
All in all, I give Woodie’s an A, and will definitely be there when the Hawks win the Stanley cup this year.
Overall grade: A
When we went: Friday for the Hawks game
School affiliations: Ohio State University
Guy to girl ratio: 70/30