The Chaser

April 2011

3 years
ago

Cheap Belgian Beer and Free Pretzels: My Freelance Afternoon at the Map Room

The question “Where’s your office?” borders on the existential for a freelance worker bee like me. There’s a white desk and a lumbar-friendly chair in my dining room, and that’s where most of my writing gets done. But some days I’m a WiFi nomad, chasing the signal all over the city between interviews, tours, meetings, and, yes, cocktails…

3 years
ago

A Wild Ride Winds Down: The Awesome Story Behind Wrigleyville’s The Wild Hare

Everyone has a story, as we writers relish pointing out. But when I stopped by Wrigleyville’s longtime reggae club The Wild Hare last night to interview the owner, Zeleke Gessesse, about why he’s closing the place on May 15th after 25 years, I found myself in the presence of someone with a Story—capital S, plus italics…

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3 years
ago

Sheffield’s: Still Friendly, Soon with More Beer

I only met Ric Hess, the longtime co-owner of the Lake View bar Sheffield’s, a handful of times, but he was right up there among the most gregarious proprietors I’ve known. Hess died of a heart attack in January, and I still think about him every time I drive past his place…

3 years
ago

 

I’ll Have What He’s Having: Taking Cues from the Hopheads at Hopleaf

If you want to snag a seat in the Andersonville bar Hopleaf, you might want to aim for, say, 3 p.m. As The Creative Director and I stood on Clark Street around quitting time last night, we sweated every agonizing second it took for our parking slip to print, worrying that each passing moment meant one fewer bar stool…

3 years
ago

Where to Drink after ‘Black Watch’—Plus, a Name That Bar Update on Cubs Opening Day

It’s always smart to transition any cultural experience into postculture drinking as seamlessly as possible. Still, I thought The Creative Director was pulling my leg when, after we saw the National Theatre of Scotland’s heart-in-your-throat production of Black Watch at the Broadway Armory on Wednesday night, he said, “Let’s go get a beer at a place called St. Andrew’s…”