One of the many things I took for granted before the pandemic was being able to just go to a bar and chat over a few drinks. One cool thing about Chicago is that we have a lot of great Irish pubs sprinkled around the city, and they’re always a pretty relaxed place to grab a pint of beer and bar food. Except on St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is the definition of mayhem.
This likely goes for every other city in America. There’s something about a great Irish pub. Food Network Magazine listed its favorite 11 Irish pubs in different categories. Chicago is represented by Emmit’s, described as the “Most Silver Screen Worthy.” It’s true, a lot of movies have filmed scenes in that place. It used to get packed, a thought that now, after a year of social isolation, makes me shudder. You can see it in Only the Lonely, the classic Uncle Buck, Backdraft, Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve.
Other notable bars on the list include Silky O’Sullivan’s in Memphis, Tennessee, which serves barbecue and has... goats. Two goats hang out with guests in the outdoor seating area. My guess is you do not want to get into a fight with them. The bar with the most storied history goes to The Plough and Stars in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Philip Roth and Seamus Heaney used to hang out.
And then there’s this fun one that I’ve seen on travel shows: McGuire’s Irish Pub, with locations in Pensacola and Destin, Florida. This one’s under “Most Valuable Ceiling,” because both locations have $1 autographed bills stapled to the walls and dangling off the ceiling. That’s more than $3 million in cash, and the owners know, because the number of bills are counted every year at tax time, a task I’d have absolutely no interest in helping with.
Got a favorite that’s on this list?