Yes, your soap box derbies were legendary. So you’ll be happy that someone else has picked up the torch.
Get ready for Derby, a new DePaul-area pub with a yen for the sporting life and Southern-fried hospitality, slated to debut Friday in what was once Charlie’s on Webster.
The whole horse-racing thing is mostly just a motif. You’ll see some tasteful lawn jockeys scattered about—but for the most part, your horse-race viewing will be confined to watching the Kentucky Derby come spring. The real action: the occasional pinewood derby race they’ll be hosting down the line.
The other important things you’ll find: a giant turn-of-the-century, hand-carved Brunswick bar turning out icy mint juleps (of course), but also something for the hometown crowd: the Arlington—bourbon, maple syrup and grapefruit juice.
Charlie’s onetime beer garden is now an enclosed, year-round room with high ceilings, diamond-tufted banquettes and plenty of televisions. It’s a good neighborhood gathering spot for a menu that’s loaded with bourbon-infused, bacon-wrapped jalapeño hush puppies, bourbon-braised brisket sandwiches, and the centerpiece, their take on the Kentucky Hot Brown—a skillet of open-faced turkey, ham and bacon smothered in gouda.
For dessert, you’ll be tempted by a deep-fried Twinkie, which you’ll want to have before any important pinewood derby races.
It’s how the pros stay in top form.