The Old Town Ale House in Chicago. Many storied. One of my favorite places too. Ebert blogs "I returned to the North Avenue drinking scene on New Year's Eve 1966, opening night of the legendary O'Rourke's, two blocks directly west. Its last call was 2 a.m. The Ale House had a 4 a.m. license, so many of us walked down the street to continue. O'Rourke's was the newspaper bar. The Ale House was the bohemian bar. Customers flowed freely between them."

10 Responses to “Roger Ebert on one of the best bars”

  1. Halloween_Jack says:

    I’ve been there; it’s quite nice, probably the best place left in the now thoroughly-gentrified Old Town (at least that I’ve found). I’m out of the drinking game now (as Ebert has been for a while), but I’ve still got one of their T-shirts, showing a baby with a martini, captioned “When Men Were Men.”

  2. Interesting that my favorite bar in NYC is also called Old Town.

  3. Awesomer says:

    O’Rourke’s was his main bar, of course. He did a great piece on it for Granta. I spent a fair amount of my early childhood at O’Rourke’s, where my parents used to be regulars.

  4. King Mob says:

    If you like Boing Boing and you’re in Chicago, go to Empty Bottle / the Blue Line scene in general… Don’t waste your time with the crap in Old Town.

  5. chgoliz says:

    Haven’t been there since I was a teenager.  I can remember one time, drinking at the bar with a couple of police a few stools down.  I was 13.  Rules didn’t mean much there.

  6. The Ale House is still a classic and worth the trip to an otherwise mostly useless neighborhood, though I’ll never forgive them for jettisoning the jukebox of original jazz 45s.

  7. Living in Chicago in 1962 in Old Town (in a decrepit carriage house), my husband and I made the Old Town Ale House our home away from home (it was few blocks away), where he played chess for beers, and we made a whole bunch of friends. New Year’s Eve (1962/63) was beyond memorable — riotous good fun. I am glad it’s still there. 

  8. Michael Leddy says:

    I don’t know if it’s already obvious to most readers: Ebert has written about his relationship with alcohol here: My name is Roger, and I’m an alcoholic.

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