9:00pm, Wednesday, August 17
Price of Old Style: $2.00 cans
So...is the Sovereign sovereign? In the realm of serving cheap beer, very strong drinks, and having the best jukebox we have seen so far on this journey? Hell yes. The Sovereign rules.
We walked in and had the pleasure of meeting Matt the bartender, who has worked at the Sovereign for the last six years. As the last of the regulars shuffled out, we were the only ones in the bar. After pouring us each a shot of Jameson, Matt explained that there usually was a lull after the happy hour folk leave and the younger people show up at night. It seems like they do a good job avoiding each other. He informed us that the bar is popular with musicians, artists, and writers, and many of them live in housing walking distance from the Sovereign. Based on how freely the booze flows here, it doesn't take long for one to find inspiration.
Before the Sovereign was the bar it is today, it was a deli/butcher shop. Currently, the back of the bar has a jukebox (more on that later), a cooler with interesting board games, and pool table, but in the deli-days, that area used to be a large walk-in cooler. It's boarded up now, but there was a secret door that was in the back of the cooler that led to the frame shop/art gallery next door. Hmmm...why would someone need to sneak through a cooler to the store next door? I think we might have to talk to the owner to get some more details on that.
So about this jukebox...it's one of those small jukeboxes that doesn't take much space on a wall, but it was stocked with some great music. It was about 25% 70's rock, and the rest were mix CDs made by the Sovereign staff and regulars! My brother spent about 20 minutes going through the options, yelling "WHO is 'Packer'? I have to meet this Packer guy...he has the best mix CD's!"
Around 10pm the bar got quite crowded, with hipster-types, and some Loyola students, and some younger regulars, including Justin, who also bartended at the Sovereign but was just grabbing a couple drinks. Justin was a great guy who filled the Packer void and chatted with my brother about music and Old Style. We kept on Matt assured us that Packer would probably be in later in the evening, but we didn't see him before we left. Packer - who ever you are, we will meet soon!