"Located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, the focus of this great Chicago bar is simple: drink and socialize!"
Vaughan's Pub is a small, but enormously popular Irish pub. Formerly the original location of Redmond's, before moving further north on Sheffield in 1996, Vaughan's kept much of the inherited feel but has begun to straddle becoming a meat market, though the Vaughan family removed a number of tables along the long black vinyl banquette in the front, as well as the pool table in the back, detracting somewhat from the pub's original atmosphere by placing the focus on being seen. Thankfully, they kept the fireplace. The result is a prevalence of large, boisterous crowds. Regardless, Vaughan's still serves up a stellar pint of the black stuff. In fact, the Pint Police rate Vaughan's Guinness pouring ability highly: the right temperature, a good head, and having the proper Guinness spoon for pouring black-and-tans.
Pass through the wooden door and beyond the bouncer, you'll encounter your standard one-room Lakeview saloon. The smallish but yet impressive wooden bar runs halfway along the south wall, sporting two bodhráns and an impressive variety of hard alcohol. A tin ceiling with track lighting, 1/4" tiled floor, old-fashioned gas lights, and wood paneling that stretches three-quarters of the way up maroon-painted walls with "My Goodness, My Guinness" signs round out the décor. Across from the bar are three large, pane glass windows that open out in summertime. Vaughan's Pub doesn't have a kitchen but does serve food from Panes Bread Café across the street and, if you're lucky, you'll find full-size pretzel sticks on the bar.
In addition to Guinness, Vaughan's has over 30 beers available, including Carlsberg and Stella Artois on tap. The only problem with Carlsberg is that too many can result in irrationally kicking traffic cones in a manner which can really hurt. My advice: enjoy Carlsberg and leave all traffic signals alone. When your "iron" bladder gives in, you'll find the restrooms in a wedge-shaped area just beyond the bar. The backroom features low-slung wooden tables, Irish whisky ads and old sepia photos. For entertainment, Tuesday nights at 9:30 bring an open mic acoustic jam, just like in the old country.
As you would guess, the crowd at Vaughan's Pub consists of the usual 20s Lakeview crowd most of the time, including a spillover from Mad River next door, though you might find some older regulars earlier in the evening. If you like Vaughan's Pub, you will probably also like Vaughan Hospitality Group's Northwest side location on Elston, and their other holdings, which includes Mystic Celt on Southport, Corcoran's on Wells, and Emerald in the Loop. For more information, check out Vaughan's Pub website. Erin go bragh!