It all began In January of 2000, when I had the itch to head out to the bars. This was not far from unusual, as it was common for me to go out four to five nights a week, back in the day. What was uncommon was that I had trouble choosing where to go. I consulted with the usual nightlife guides on the web to select a destination for the night's activities as well as a pocket guide a had acquired along the way. Even with these valuable resources, I still couldn't make up my mind. I realized that no bar guide out there could help me decide where to go based on my mood, whether I wanted to scope, whether I wanted to impress a date, or whether I needed to know the proximity of good late-night food joints.
I also noticed that most 150-word bar review blurbs seemed to be written by people that were paid to write reviews for a living and who may have only gone to the place once and possibly being a-typical of the crowd, rather than by actual regulars who know the place. I decided to write about bars to give a local perspective on what Chicago's bars are really like, written by someone who knows them (only too well).
The "reviews" here are all written by locals who love bars, Chicago and the history of this great city, incorporating all of the above into each submission. If you read closely, you might also encounter a few of the crazy stories that we've heard or have been a part of. Before the Chicago Bar Project, we often had difficulty remembering what we did on the weekend come Monday morning, but now these pages also served us as a way to reflect upon what Chicago's nightlife is like at this point in our lives. While we do not believe in bar-bashing, as every bar owner is trying to earn a living and deserves to do so, we believe in writing as honestly and objectively about a bar as possible. Some comments may be perceived as negative, but it is our hope that these issues will be addressed, improved and all will be happy in the end.
If you want to know what a bar is really like, are interested in a bar's history, or would like to read some amusing stories involving drinking (and often stupidity it's hard to disassociate the two), then please explore these Chicago Bar Project pages and enjoy. If you have a story to share, a correction to make or would like to try your hand at writing a review in the spirit described above, e-mail us. Cheers.
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