1934 W. Irving Park Rd. (4000N, 1900W)
Chicago, IL 60613
I'll have you know that I was inspired to write about The Globe Pub shortly after hearing of its existence, and especially after having a smashing-good steak & ale pie, topped off with numerous offerings from Samuel Smith and Young's Brewery. While the addition of wood paneling and the removal of NTN trivia does give it more of a pub-like atmosphere, The Globe Pub is really more of a classic Chicago bar with Anglo trimmings, highlighted by the food & drinks menu as well as English Premier League football shown live starting at 6:00am on Saturday mornings. The Globe Pub promotes itself as a home away from home for Brits, and indeed serves in that capacity, as well as appealing to those who have traveled to Britain and have had the pleasure to spend some time in pubs there. For those in neither camp, you'll want to check out the Globe Pub to get a sense of English pub culture and to have a proper pint.
Not to be confused with a long-gone Chicago bar of a similar name that was a predecessor to MaxTavern, The Globe Pub can be found in the old Lyons Den space on Irving Park Road, between the Irving Park Brown Line El stop and the six corner intersection of Irving Park, Lincoln and Damen. Katerina's can be found just down the block to the west, next to my favorite Chinese restaurant Orange Garden, and Silvie's lies to the east. The Globe Pub sports a nice wooden sign, which has replaced the temporary banner and hangs above the same old 1950's stone facade as its predecessor, though it's been painted a tasteful off-yellow. A thick wooden door, followed by a bouncer asking for ID (in a necessary, yet un-British-like manner – but hey, no cover), separates you temporarily from the libations and merriment inside. Once in, grab a wooden, high-backed chair at the wooden bar that runs along the west side of the room or at one of the cocktail tables in front of the windows overlooking Irving Park, or along the oak wood paneled wall adorned with beer ads from Guinness, Boddingtons and Strangeways. Just a personal note: I was amused to notice that with all the renovation inside, the Globe Pub still has the excessively worn, faux orange brick tile on the floor... Anyhow, you'll find a chalkboard above the paneling that details the impressive variety of mostly English ales, lager, stout, and porters. As The Globe Pub is not far from the German influence of Lincoln Square, you can find at least a few German brews, as well as others from Belgium, Denmark, Holland, and some also from the New World (Goose Island, PBR, Sam Adams, Corona, etc.). Of the imports, I would recommend Young's Ram Rod Ale (on draft), Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter and the Samuel Smith's Organic Lager was also surprisingly good. Twenty of these, including one rotated on a monthly basis, can be found on tap behind the bar and in front of the wall of mirrors, with some of the draft highlights being Tenant's and Belhaven (Scotland), Boddington's (England), and De Konick (Belgium). The Globe Pub also features a decent selection of wine, and some cleverly named martinis, such as "The Godfather," "Mickey Mantle," and everyone's favorite, the "Naughty Girl Scout."
Beyond the front room and a pair of small bathrooms, is a backroom that features another bar that runs along the west end. Across that is a landing where darters can enjoy two real cork boards and steel-tipped darts. Back in the space's Lyons Den days, bands would play back here. Nowadays, there's a small raised platform with a wooden railing that presumably serves as a stage for individual balladeers. You'll also find a small pool table and more tables, all of which makes the backroom appealing for those looking to host a private party.
The Globe Pub features a menu featuring the standard array of American pub grub, but stands out for its authentic traditional fare from the Ald Country (and not just weak Americanized versions thereof). Such Blighty board includes fish & chips (featured every Friday), meat and chicken pasties, curry chips, shepherd's pie, the ever-satisfyingly named "bangers & mash," a traditional Sunday lunch that includes Yorkshire pudding, and a steak & ale pie that I found to be magnificent (it's even served on a paper doily) – most of which can be had for less than $8! As such, the Globe joins a small group of Chicago bars where you can find traditional British dishes that includes the Duke of Perth, Red Lion Pub and Ole St. Andrew's. Feel like "English cuisine" is an oxymoron? Fear not, the Globe also features the usual array of American appetizers, salads and burgers.
Numerous high definition, flat panel televisions can be found throughout the bar, which specialize in satisfying transatlantic sporting desires:
English Premier League football matches can also be seen live, starting on Saturdays at 6:00am. The Globe Pub even offers breakfast specials for those ambitious enough to come in at that time. All mid-week EPL games are re-aired at 7pm, and numerous flags and banners for English football clubs can be found around the room as part of the pub's decor – Manchester United fans will surely not appreciate the Arsenal banner hanging in the front room, but I'm sure the bartenders can find a way to accommodate you. For those more into American "soccer," one is sure to bump into Chicago Fire fans for each games as a group called the Barn Burners often host watch parties at The Globe for Chicago's least known professional sports team – they even put the Chicago Fire logo on their sign! One can imagine that more quesadillas than meat pasties are consumed on those nights...
Additional entertainment can be had every Monday night with Improv Olympics, every Tuesday night when the bar features "Quiz Night," similar to that found at Chief O'Neill's, the Local Option, and Ginger's Ale House, and every Thursday night featuring karaoke. Friday night features retro 80's music played by a DJ in the backroom. Around the holidays, ex-pats are invited to the Globe for various heartwarming offerings, such as free egg nog on Christmas Eve, and they also host "Burns Night" on January 25 to commemorate poet Robert Burns (of "John Barleycorn" fame) with a meal of haggis, neaps and tatties. The Globe Pub even served $5 bowls of "never-ending" New England Clam Chowder and $2 Sam Adams on election night 2004, and were rumored to have champagne at the ready if a certain senator from Massachusetts won. Sadly, the champagne was kept on ice that night...
While the food, drink and atmosphere certainly harken back to the old sod, the Globe is more of a traditional Chicago-style bar in my opinion. You'll not find carpeted flooring, tiny tables and stools or "snugs" that are popular in the Old Dart, but rather a brown tile floor (worn through in orange at some points by the bar, which I initially thought was remnants of a chunder...), cocktail table-seating and music played fairly loud from the wall mounted digital juke. However, it should be said that this is not criticism of the pub because you wouldn't necessarily expect these things in the U.S. and I also found the atmosphere at the Globe to be very conducive for conversation, as any pub should be, and I was quite impressed by the food even if both Anglo food and drink were clearly a mystery to the waitress when asked for recommendations.
Overall, The Globe Pub has become one of my new favorites, just on the strength of the variety and quality of the British food and drink alone – the "dog's bullocks" as it were. If you're English, I'm sorry... but you can take comfort in the fact that, when in Chicago, there's a Yorkshire pudding with your name on it at The Globe Pub. You'll also be able to fulfill your football fix, while cricket fans need not apply. For more information, check out The Globe Pub website. In the meantime, cheerio old chap.
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