Today's Bar Review is written by guest blogger and author Noriko Nakada.
My mission when I set off for Chicago over Labor Day weekend, aside from attending a wedding, was to pick a bar to write about for This Girl Walks Into a Bar. Really? One bar in all of Chicago? This girl walked into at least twenty and past hundreds more over the holiday weekend.
I toyed with reviewing Sky Box where your ticket not only buys you access to two full open bars, but also a right field view of Wrigley Field. I considered writing about one of the two sports venues I visited: Soldier or Wrigley Fields where the service is tough to match with such a strong ratio of beer guys to fans. For this California girl who is forced to leave her seat and stand in line for a drink at Dodger Stadium, the constant presence of beer guys with their trays of Bud, Bud Light and Old Style could have gotten me in trouble.
But STATE, where I posted up to watch my Oregon Ducks get thumped by LSU on Saturday night, won out. This Lincoln Park bar has computers with huge flat screen monitors set up along the bar during the afternoon and evening hours so if you can't find your team on one of the 100 HD TV screens you can watch them on the web. As the night crowd starts packing the place, the to computers disappear clearing the long U-shaped bar.
I was there with a bunch of guys and our bartender, Crystal, took great care of us. She kept the beer and shots flowing and helped us order half-price food items: an enormous bowl of guacamole, an appetizer sampler, a chicken quesadilla and sliders.
As the night wore on, coeds from nearby college campuses started to pack the place. Crystal explained the STATE plastic cup system. Hosts pay a fee for these color-coded cups so guests can keep reloading their cups with well drinks all night long.
The place was teeming by ten and if I'd been a little younger and if Oregon had won I would have stuck around longer, but I caught a cab back to my hotel. The guys hung out a while longer since Crystal was taking such good care of them. They enjoyed a late night at STATE with minimal tab damage.