Though we’ll do our best to relay the mood of Chicago’s newest River North watering hole, Blackfinn Ameripub, the neologism “Ameripub” does a lot of the work for us.
With 100 beers on tap and a roomful of flat-screen TVs (dedicated, this weekend, to football), the 11,000-square-foot place seems a perfect fit for the neighborhood's busy bar scene. This spot, a new location in a chain that includes Austin, Texas, is big, flashy, and fun.
Architecturally, Blackfinn accommodates a variety of crowds and bartime activities. Its expansive front room houses a wrap-around bar, high tops, and space for intergroup mingling (plus the occasional top-40s dance party). Meanwhile, the back room operates like a traditional restaurant—booths, food, and the aforementioned bounty of TVs.
The kitchen, open until 1:30 a.m., sticks mostly to classic American ingredients with a twist (see: bacon wrapped meatloaf, Hong Kong–style Chilean sea bass). For lighter fare, the spot offers 12 equally inventive dinner salads and a variety of healthful entrees (we opted for shrimp spring rolls and a delicious flatbread).
Blackfinn’s blend of quality and variety, along with plenty of space and a ton of TVs, should make it an obvious destination for Chicago’s happy-houring young professionals.
65 W. Kinzie St., Chicago. 312-836-0290.