If you’ve ever been to Wabash Tap in the South Loop at 1233 S. Wabash, it probably has a special meaning for you. Dive bar? A good old-fashioned neighborhood tavern? Loud bar? Lively bar? A place to play pool? Eat popcorn? Have a shot and a beer? Even a craft beer? Maybe all it means to you is that it’s another one of those O’Malley-owned places that is reportedly in foreclosure; but is actually doing very well and isn’t in foreclosure at all.
For me, it’s a place where–a year ago today late at night–my wonderful boyfriend Bruce and I, after months of pussyfooting around, set the ground rules for what is now our commitment to spend the rest of our lives together. After talking things out–a little tipsy–at Wabash Tap that night, he went home and sent me a song he said had been on his mind for a while. It was “Falling in Love Again,” sung by Marlene Dietrich. We’ve been in love and nary a day apart since.
Our relationship with our beloved Wabash Tap, where we celebrated our anniversary almost every Sunday night for weeks and weeks was strong for a while. But cooled when the bartender said to us one night as we celebrated: “Gee, I never thought you two’d be shutting the place down.” He was referring to our advanced age.
In any case, Wabash Tap is also the place that has love and meaning for a strong, famous and wonderful Chicago institution: Misericordia. It raises money in a novel way each year for that haven of beautiful homes and other wonderful recreational, therapeutic and work related programs for 600 developmentally disabled children and adults. Wabash Tap will once again let supporters of Misericordia play the part of wait staff –and all their tips that night will be given to Misericordia, as will raffle tickets proceeds. It happens this Wednesday, August 21, from 6 PM to 9 PM.
My South Loop neighbors, John and Kathryn Moery, whose son Steven has lived at Misericordia for several years, will be on hand to serve Wabash Tap customers everything from burgers to specials like Guinness on tap, Black and Tans, Cilantro chicken wraps and tater tots. I’ve gone to this fundraiser every time they’ve done it. And I’ve had fun pushing my neighbors around a bit. (“Hey, where’s my beer? My burger? My next beer? My tots? The ketchup? My next beer? Hustle, hustle, hustle.”)
But what the heck, I tip them very well.