It took us a while to get to this point, the actual, for-sure opening of the Northman (4337 N. Lincoln Ave., Ravenswood). Estimated opening dates swirl back as far as spring 2014. But it's here for real this time, and apparently the wait did nothing to kill the buzz–on its first Saturday, the bar was stuffed all night long.

Inside, things are warm and cozy, with a bohemian-leaning crowd content to finally occupy a stool for a spell and chat at reasonable volumes. The ciders themselves are diverse (some come from standard taps, some get poured from ceiling-mounted spouts, still others get decanted and long-poured tableside.) The space seems worn in in a good way. You'd think the place had been there for ages.

Here's what all we saw when we stopped in.