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Tapster Makes Drinking More Communal (and Creative)

The pour-your-own-booze bar invites more interaction than you might expect.

Photo: Peter Ranvestel

Don’t assume that Tapster (2027 W. North Ave., Wicker Park), the self-service drinking hole without bartenders, removes the human element from a business. If our recent visit is any indication, the opposite is true.

The bar was bustling this weekend, with some people stepping inside just to figure out how the heck it all worked. Customers pay by the ounce and can choose from 40 different beers, plus some wines, kombucha beers, and a dozen craft cocktails. Some have used this freedom to create their own tasty mixed-beer concoctions. And, the short pours and tasting-room feel gives people more of an excuse to mingle and chat about different brews with fellow patrons or a number of helpful employees on the floor. There’s also a small food counter in the back.

Here’s what we saw when we stopped in.

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