Logan Square embraces its inner old man without falling asleep on its barstool
DJ Pontius Jr. spins at The Burlington.
Neighborhood bars tend to take on the personalities of their owners, which says a lot about the Future Grandpas of America behind a new Logan Square spot, The Burlington (3425 W. Fullerton Ave.). "We like to think of ourselves as tomorrow's old-man bar today," quips Chris Dandino.
Brothers Chris, 30, and Greg, 25, opened the bar in August in an attempt to beat the rush. "Logan Square is where Bucktown was eight or nine years ago," Chris says. With a few exceptions (Weegee's, Whirlaway, and Small Bar among them), it's been a neighborhood relatively slim on nightlife options—but with the arrival of places such as The Burlington and The Orbit Room (see "Now Circling"), that's changing.
Locals have claimed dibs on The Burlington, a new Logan Square watering hole.
Conceived as the proprietors' ode to childhood summers spent in Burlington, Wisconsin, the bar blends "the rural of Wisconsin with the urban of Chicago," Chris says. Antler fixtures hang behind the bar, and church pews provide seating. There are no windows, save for a couple of frosted portholes; a chandelier made by Greg serves as the sole light source. Wood harvested from an old barn, exposed brick walls, and a tin ceiling give the place the warmth of a Wisconsin lodge.
It's not all backwoods. "We want it to feel like a big house party," Chris says of the vibe—which, for the record, is more hipster than hip replacement. Music ranges from downtempo to a genre Chris has coined "pontoon rock" (really, anything the brothers feel like playing, from LCD Soundsystem to Bob Seger). The Burlington's seven-nights-a-week DJ lineup features Female Jesus and Pontius Jr. (Kevin Richard from the local band Mannequin Men) on Thursdays, Misa and Campfire Jay on Fridays, and Prairie Cartel on Saturdays. "The rest of the week, we have a rotating cast of mainly local—meaning Logan Square—DJs," Chris says. As for the drink list, expect $4 Makers Mark, $2 PBR and Old Milwaukee, and—of course—$2 Old Style.
Photography: Chris Guillen