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Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's "Go Time"...

Living in Chicago since 1999 (aside from a 2-year stint in Milwaukee), I have always been fascinated with the number of bars that you can find on a random corner, imbedded deep within one of our many neighborhoods. Many of these watering holes simply have no name, no neon sign, no welcoming mat. Just a square Old Style sign hanging over the doorway. Sometimes lit, sometimes dark, it usually means there is some cheap booze flowing inside, and even though outsiders (and their money) are welcome, these corner bars are what a select few call "home".

How many of these signs are still hanging around the city these days? When Richard M. Daley became mayor in 1989, there were over 3,300 taverns in the city. Today there are less than 1,000. I have no statistics saying whether this has been good or bad for Chicago, but it definitely makes my upcoming project a little easier: drink an Old Style in every bar that has an Old Style sign hanging outside it.

Side note: I know that there are many of these signs at bars outside of the city. I know there are a few in Milwaukee, Racine, La Crosse, and scattered all over Illinois, Wisconsin, and maybe even Michigan. I am hoping that people that read this blog or follow the Facebook/Twitter can help me update the master list as I go along. There is even an Old Style sign at a bar in L.A. Road trip, anyone?

How can this be done, you ask? Well, first of all, my wonderful wife is letting me. I had this idea over 2 years ago, but then she became pregnant, so the idea was shelved. My brother (and sidekick) encouraged me to get it going again, mainly because he was getting free beer, and here we are. As this goes along, we will post our schedule and hope you can join us for a drink.

1 comment:

  1. As a Chicagoan who recently moved to California, not only is your project making me very, very homesick but also I can say that there aren't nearly as many bars in LA. Every time I think I've spotted a bar it turns out that it's a hair salon. What I need is the LA version of you to show me around the 'hoods.