- 1 E. Balbo Avenue
- Chicago, IL 60605
- (312) 427-2787
- No Known Website
After we left US Cellular Field, our plan was to go out for pizza. That was the plan, anyway. The game went pretty quick, so we stayed in the parking lot drinking until a guy in a golf cart came around and kicked us out. We made our way to the pizza joint and found out there was a two hour wait, so we put our name on the list and went looking for a bar.
The first bar we came to was the South Loop Club on the corner of State Street and Balbo Avenue. It doesn’t look like much from the outside and since we’re a bunch of country boys, a bar that doesn’t look like much is exactly what we were looking for.
The South Loop Club is a typical dive bar only it’s in downtown Chicago. We had been drinking quite a bit and half the guys had to find a bathroom. On our way in, we saw a sign that said “No Public Restrooms,” so we turned around and left. One of the guys went back in to see if that meant there were no public restrooms at all or there were no public restrooms for non-patrons. Turned out to be the latter, so we went back in and found a table.
We still had plans to eat pizza, so we were just looking for some beer to tide us over. My beer of choice is Pabst Blue Ribbon and I noticed they had it on tap. I was just going to get a pint, but the other guys said they’d drink it with me so we got a pitcher.
It took a long time for the waitress to come back with the beer. Turns out, they were changing the keg. PBR must be popular in the South Loop. When the pitcher came, we got four glasses (my brother doesn’t drink and the sixth guy doesn’t drink beer, so he got a Red Bull and Vodka).
Since it was Saturday, there was a lot of college football on and there were plenty of TV’s to get caught up on the days action. The hour and a half we had to kill actually went pretty fast. We asked for the bill and headed back to pizza. The pitchers were $14. Yes, $14 for a pitcher of beer and we had two plus a $7 mixed drink….and we heard this was a “cheap” bar in the downtown area. Back home, that pitcher of beer costs around $5, so there was a little sticker shock for the guys I was with.
The South Loop Club also offers a full menu, so we could have taken care of dinner and drinking, but it didn’t really look like a special place. It was just a good, local, neighborhood bar. I know there are better places in the area, but you don’t always feel like getting dressed up and paying a cover. You don’t have to do that at the South Loop Club.