If, in your youth, you partied hard at Halligan and the rest of the Lincoln Park bar crawl scene, Hook and Ladder (2270 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-857-0546) is for you. The spot opened last weekend, and it's from the same owner as Halligan (and is even connected to it by a hidden doorway), but it's meant for those who've aged out of the rowdy bar scene a bit but aren't ready to completely let go of Saturday nights in the nabe.
The booze comes cheap, but here it's better stuff ($2 Bud Lights, yes, but also $2 Three Floyds Alpha Kings). The jukebox is a little more eclectic, the place is a little more cleaned up, the seats come a little comfier. It's a bar you can actually hang out in without losing your hearing or getting squished within an inch of your life.
Here's what we saw when we stopped in Saturday night.