Rumor has it that Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood is becoming the new gay friendly place to live and hang out. Although it's still a work in progress and there are only a small handful of bars worth going to, Rogers Park is slowly becoming a gay hotbed and so is one of its newer bars. Conveniently located next to the Morse Red Line L stop, Glenwood Bar is attracting gays and straights from all over the city.
I first heard of The Glenwood when a few of my friends who live in Lakeview mentioned they were going to check the bar out. I was intrigued since they were making the hike north just to go to a bar and because owner Colm Treacy's other bars, T's and Sofo are two of my favorite spots. Treacy is a trained chef and former culinary arts instructor who only opened his first restaurant eight years ago. He is originally from Ireland which explains his love of bold colors and love of beer. Glenwood follows the same theme as his other bars, brightly colored walls and a laid-back atmosphere. The bar was recently remodeled making it almost twice the size it was before, which is perfect for busy weekend nights or for when the bar is hosting events or parties. Clearly a favorite of the owner, double pint specials are offered just as they are at his other bars, as well as other daily drink specials.
Sunday Bloody Sunday speaks for itself; bloody marys are on special all day. Monday and Wednesdays double pints are $6, Tuesday's are thank you Tuesdays and the bar changes up its special according to what the latest bar favorite is switching between mixed drinks and beer. If you're a draft beer connoisseur you will be disappointed with the selection at Glenwood. There's only a handful of draft choices but a plethora of bottled beer choices. The bar does not serve food but interestingly enough they have a collection of menus from businesses in the area that will deliver food. As odd as it is, I was thrilled to be able to order pizza on one of my late nights at the bar and it beats leaving and having to go somewhere else to get food. The bar is open from 3pm-2am Monday-Friday, 3pm-3am on Saturdays and noon-2am on Sundays.
The downside of the bar is late at night that area is poorly lit, eerily quiet and a bit creepy. Call me paranoid but I definitely wouldn't leave the bar alone. The upside is that clean and friendly bars in East Rogers Park can be hard to find or they close just when you find one that you like. Glenwood definitely looks like it will be around for a while because every time I go there it gets busier and busier. If you are really looking for some new bar buddies or to meet people in the LGBT community, Glenwood's the place.
An online LGBTQ Roger Park Meetup Group meets there at least once a month and has become the unofficial mascots of the bar. With close to 400 members, the group has brought a fair amount attention and obviously brings in a lot of LGBT business. When it first opened in 2008, Glenwood Bar was known as a friendly neighborhood bar and although the occasional gay couple or group could be seen having a few drinks, it was not exclusively gay. Fast forward a few years and Glenwood is still a friendly neighborhood bar and though now predominately gay is very straight-friendly. It's the only gay bar that I've been to in the city (so far) that has a mix of gay and straight men. There may be the occasional drunken confusion about who wants to go home with whom and who is gay and who is straight but it's bound to happen right? Basically, it's a simple bar with no attitude; what else can you expect from the bar was recently voted Best Bar for Mixed Company by the Chicago Reader? If you like Glenwood, you might also want to check out Wild Pug or Sofo in Uptown and Little Jim's in Boystown. For more information, check out the The Glenwood website.
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