If you aren’t lucky enough to have a ticket for one of the three World Series games at Wrigley Field this weekend (it’s still almost surreal to write “World Series” and “Wrigley Field” in the same sentence!), you might be thinking about heading down to the neighborhood around the ballpark to watch the game at one of the many watering holes nearby.
This is not likely going to be as easy to do at those places as, say, watching a regular-season game against the Brewers in July. There will be just a few more people vying for places at the bar. And it’s going to cost you, in some cases, quite a bit.
BCB’er slcathena was kind enough to do extensive research into the World Series bar scene in Wrigleyville and sent me quite a bit of detail about which bars are charging covers, which aren’t, and what other things you’ll find at the neighborhood spots.
And so I turn over the rest of this post to her.
I cannot wait for the Ricketts Wrigleyville Plaza and Patio to be finished. As a resident of Wrigleyville I always believed this project would be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. This neighborhood needs a family-friendly, reasonable place to enjoy a cool beverage and a baseball game. That need has become even more apparent this week with news that the neighborhood is currently overrun with establishments charging obscene prices to watch the World Series. On TV. Down the block from the field. Frankly, the Cubs plaza can't open soon enough, and I plan to fully support it when it does.
Get it done, Tom.
As I started to hear absurd stories detailing the cover charges that will be coming to Wrigleyville during home games this weekend. I decided to do some investigating of my own, and Al was kind enough to give me a space to publish it. Here is what I found out from tavern owners around the Wrigleyville area. Support the establishments that will support you. We do, in fact, have some amazing bar owners who aren't going to charge you more than face value of a bleacher ticket to watch the game at their bar on TV.
These places rock (but you should be there by 2:30 or 3:00 if you'd like a spot inside - all time estimates are based off Saturday of the NLCS, so I might even get there earlier to be on the safe side). You'll be in the heart of Wrigleyville with all of these, and can save your extra money for some Cubs World Series gear. :)
Murphy's Bleachers: No cover. Standing room only for everyone (no tables will be set up anywhere) and the abbreviated concessions menu are available. Full bar offerings.
Vines on Clark: No cover. Normal seating and food.
Irish Oak: No cover. Normal seating and food. Reported by Timeout Chicago, as were the next three. I haven't confirmed these four in person, although a few have information confirming this on their websites.
Johnny O'Hagan's: No cover.
Roadhouse 66 Gas N' Grill: No cover.
The Bar Celona: No cover.
Sports Corner: No cover. Standard seating and menu. Confirmed! :)
Bernies: No cover. Standard seating and menu. This was as of Tuesday and I need to reconfirm with a manager.
These places also rock: You'll be a bit farther away, but within walking distance of the festivities (possibly outside of the police perimeter, however).
Dark Horse Tap and Grill (3443 N. Sheffield): No cover listed as of Thursday. Smaller establishment, I'd get there early. Full seating and food.
Greystone Tavern (3441 N. Sheffield): No cover (confirmed), first come first serve. Great food, full seating. Smaller establishment. I'd get there early.
Nisei Lounge (3439 N. Sheffield): I've been told no cover, first come first serve. Normal menu/seating. This information is currently secondhand, I'll try to confirm tonight.
The Butcher's Tap (3553 N. Southport): No cover. About half a mile from the park. Try to be there a couple hours early. This is definitely outside the police perimeter.
These places are charging covers that are under $100 and some include things that make them seem almost reasonable (in order of reasonableness):
Myron Mixon's Smoke Show Barbecue: $50 gets you in and all you can eat barbecue. Definitely one of the better deals on Clark Street. Outside of the police perimeter, this new restaurant is at the corner of Clark and Grace.
Rockit Burger Bar: $40 cover for standing room only. $100 for a table. Gets you nothing else. That's on top of whatever you'll pay for food/drinks during the game.
The Cubby Bear: $100 gets you in. Nothing else, no table, nada. I guess we should be thankful that this is also what they were charging during the NLCS?
Yak-Zies: $25 cover gets you in. If you want a table, it is an additional $50 an hour. Yike-Zies. I wouldn't stay here for the whole game. That hourly charge is going to add up fast. This is basically the Spirit Airlines of Clark Street.
These places seem to think they are worth more than the face value of a ticket. Save your money for Cubs gear.
Casey Moran's: I'm so bummed by this -- it's where I watched the NLCS. They are charging $225 to get in the door. It will get you an appetizer, food and a drink, but nothing to put any of those things on. They are charging an additional $500 for a 4-top table (really), and are sold of out them for Friday’s game. So, apparently that's a price some people will pay. Good luck with that, Casey's. I'll watch the game somewhere else.
Moe's Cantina: $200 gets you guaranteed entry for a place to stand while you eat some Mexican food and have a single drink. If you'd like to add on $500 you can have a 4-top. No thanks.
John Barleycorn: Shockingly similar prices to Casey Moran's and Moe's... I'm beginning to notice a trend... surely the Wrigleyville bars on Clark are above collusion, right?
Deuces: The trend continues... Standing room only for mediocre food at $200, add on a table for $500.
Old Crow Smokehouse: Shockingly similar prices again. This one makes me giggle because they are charging 10 times what Myron's is for less food. They think you'll pay that to be two blocks closer to the field. Whatever floats your boat.
The Stretch: This is a real bummer — had been listed in multiple publications as charging no cover. However, they now have a ticket sale on their webpage charging $300 for a meal, appetizer and "premium bar" (whatever that means). In other words, we'll charge $100 more than our neighbors for less. No thanks.
HVAC Pub: These guys really outdid themselves — $250 for entry to a watch party (at least it's all you can eat wings and pizza, I guess?) But for the truly delusional, it's only a $1000 ADD-ON (yes, additional) for a table. They'll throw in a bottle of Grey Goose and a bottle of champagne. This is still Wrigleyville, right? Not bottle service at the Bellagio? I can't even...
Hope this helps you all get to Wrigleyville and find a place to enjoy the first World Series games played in this wonderful neighborhood in 71 years that is cheaper than your rent. If I missed one of your favorites, feel free to add it in the comments, and as always #LetsGo!