Attention all sports fans—all gay sports fans, that is... As one of the few gay sports bars in the country, Chicago's Crew Bar + Grill is the place to check out any sport whether you're gay, straight or not a sports fan at all.
Don't you hate it when you're at a bar and the game you want to see isn't being shown or is playing on a TV on the other side of the bar? Well, that will never be a problem at Crew. There are more TVs then you can shake a stick at and any football, baseball, basketball, or hockey game, either college or professional, that is being played that day in the known universe will be on. You name it, Crew plays it—especially Bears, Blackhawks and Texas and Ohio State football. For the unenthusiastic sports fan dragged to the bar (by crazed Bears fan friends, for example), there is a pool table and dart board in the back and plenty of food and drink to keep you fed and occupied. The bottled beer list alone has more then 40 options and the half-naked bartenders are always waiting to pour you a beer or mix up one of their specialty cocktails.
Next to sports, the beer selection is the other reason why Crew is so popular. With so many choices, the game might be over by the time you figure out what you want to drink. If you're a little overwhelmed by the beer choices, check out the cocktail menu. It's a little less intimidating and has a nice mix of sweet and sour selections. If you're strictly a beer lover, complete the 60-something beer passport and you will become a Crew "Beer God" and receive a larger glass every time you go to the bar. The beauty of being a Beer God is that you get the luxury of drinking beer for a year while paying the same price as the smaller beers that everyone else gets, plus your picture goes on the wall of the bar and on their website. Getting a beer is never a problem at Crew because the service is impeccable. Even on busy game days, there are enough servers on staff to start a football team. At one of my visits, my friends and I had three different servers waiting on us at one point. Your beer will be half full and there will always be someone asking if you need another one. Just make sure you take a cab home afterwards...
Crew is a fairly large space and offers a lot of seating up at the full-size bar and at high top tables scattered throughout the place. In summer, Crew has a small sidewalk café that is just the right size so you can see the TVs inside from any table. The ambiance at Crew is very laid back. There's no judgment, anyone is welcome, and no one pays attention to anything but the food and sport. Even the bathroom at Crew is cool; it's covered with tile that makes it fell like you are at the bottom of a swimming pool. Because of its large size, Crew is very accommodating to large groups. Even when the place is packed, the staff will help you pull together tables and chairs so everyone in your group can sit down. Crew may be a gay bar but the only sign of this are the occasional rainbow decoration and racy flyers posted as you walk in. The half-naked bartenders on certain nights might also tip you off. There's a good mix of gay and straight people in the bar, even on big game days. I've also noticed that numerous lesbian women can be seen at the bar when the Bears are playing.
The food at Crew is filling and very tasty for a sports bar menu. The bar offers typical fried foods, monster sized burgers and sandwiches, mac & cheese specialties, and daily specials that make it worth the trip even if your favorite sports team loses the game. Half-priced wings are reason enough to drag yourself to the bar on a Monday. They are a house favorite that comes seasoned any way you like it, BBQ, Asian, spicy, you name it. Some other Crew specials are $1 taco Tuesdays along with $2.75 bud light pints, Wednesdays offer $7.25 for chili mac and $3.75 for blue moon pints, Thursdays miller lite pints are $3, Fridays PBR cans are only $2, and Sundays feature double Bloody Marys for $6. Crew also has daily lunch specials, which you can find on the Crew website.
If you're looking for a place to watch the Bears game or just want a few beers and catch up with friends, Crew is where it's at. Personally, I've never been a sports bar fan until I went to Crew. it's the first time I went to a sports bar and didn't feel like I had to be one of those crazy people screaming at the TV. Crew really is one-of-a-kind and a great place where gay people can feel comfortable watching sports instead of feeling like they are surrounded by frat boys and rowdy sports fans that you'll find at the more raucous Wrigleyville bars. If sports really isn't your thing and you find the multiple TVs distracting, you can always check out Crew's sister bar, Wild Pug. It's just a few doors down from Crew at 4810 N. Broadway. Their specialty is music and dancing and their gigantic dance floor is always filled; they even have themed dancing nights. Both bars can be accessed through the same website www.worldsgreatestbar.com.
~ Have a good story relating to this bar? Email us. ~
[back to the Chicago Bar Project]