The new Ukrainian Village bar features cheap beers, smart cocktails, and tasty snacks.
Published Jan. 20, 2020, at 5:40 p.m.
Text by Peter Ranvestel
In a hypothetical sitcom about, say, a half-dozen friends navigating adulthood in a big city, Little Victories (1725 W. Division St.) would be its starring bar. The watering hole ticks all the boxes of the quintessential hangout bar without any unnecessary fluff. As the bar’s own description proudly states, “There’s nothing fancy here.”
While that might be a bit too humble, the point is that there’s no profound concept to Little Victories. It’s heavy on the houseplants, but don’t call it a fern bar. The soundtrack is decidedly retro — almost entirely New Wave during our visit — but it’s not a throwback bar (though co-owner Anthony Selna jokes that it was inspired by the Regal Beagle of Three’s Company fame). It’s got quiet corners that you can cozy into for a candlelit date, but you might end up sitting next to a guy in sweatpants. Little Victories is just a neighborhood bar, the kind you might assume has been around for a decade or five.
It’s a solid place to while away a night, sipping on $3 Hamm’s or trying house cocktails like the Divorcée (gin, apertivo, sweet vermouth, prosecco, and a splash of Malört). When hunger strikes, you’ll find a small menu of bar bites plied by the independently owned food pop-up Large Defeats, which operates autonomously out of Little Victories’ kitchen. The locally sourced, scratch-made snacks run the gamut from pickled eggs to a fried fish sandwich.
Whether you belly up to the 60-foot horseshoe bar or spend a few hours throwing darts, Little Victories is meant for easy nights out. It’s the place that becomes your regular haunt, and, as the name implies, where you go to celebrate life’s everyday delights.