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Friday, January 13, 2012

Bar #44: J&L Bar

3402 N. Cicero Ave.
8:00pm, Wednesday, January 11
Price of Old Style: $1.50 mugs

J&L, the bar with an identity problem...  On the outside awning, it says G&L, but inside above the bar it says J&L.  So which is it?  A quick scan of the billiards trophies tells us it's J&L, but what gives?  I ask the bartender and she says, "The owner is right there, you can ask him..."  I look down the bar and this 80 year-old man starts talking to me in Polish.  I smile and look back to the bartender and she says, "I think he changed his mind on the bar's name after the sign was already made.  It's named after family members, so maybe he didn't want to leave anyone out."  A likely story, but I think either the awning company screwed it up or the owner accidentally put a "G" instead of a "J" when he filled out the order.

Anyway, about the's a good size place, and advertises "FREE POOL EVERYDAY".  This area is a mecca for pool players (more about this later), and J&L had taken home a few trophies over the years.  The decoration is "Wisconsin Basement" meets "90's living room", with wood paneling on the walls, except for one wall which is all pink.  The bar top also had this weird mauve color going on...not very manly and very dated (like most Old Style bars).  Overall, not a bad little place on a real sketchy stretch of North Cicero.