The first thing you'll notice when you get to Bangers & Lace in Wicker Park is the great patio facing Division Street, which makes for some engaging people watching. The patio is fur friendly and I think my adorable neighbors were plotting to get my beer. Don't you agree?
Once you get inside, you may feel as though you've entered a hunting lodge, because the bucolic setting is complete with mounted animals. The venue is aesthetically pleasing and unpretentious with friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. In fact, the bartender who took care of me, Ryan, made me feel like we were old pals. The bathroom decor is a must-see, and while I took a photo, will let you find out for yourself.
The draft list is colossal and impressive (30+ choices), making it difficult to decide what to order. Fortunately, I was able to order 3 oz sizes to try as many beers as possible. I settled on the following: Nitro Merlin by Firestone Walker, Interrobang by Solemn Oath, S'more Money S'more Problems by Pipeworks (so good had to get it twice), Go Lightly by Whiner, and Zwet.Be by Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen.
I was disappointed to learn the kitchen didn't open until 4:30 because I really wanted to nosh on a vegan dog. Since I had early dinner plans I decided to go with a side order of tasty Belgian fries. Don't you just love the old-school tin cone and tray?!
Fun facts: Bangers & Lace have won some accolades including America's 100 Best Beer Bars by Draft Magazine and 33 Best Beer Bar in the Country by Thrillist. In addition, "Lace" stands for Brussels Lace, which is the detailed veil of beer foam that adheres to the side of the glass, suggesting a well-crafted beer and clean glass.
So, who else is going to start checking out the lace on their glassware?