City Tavern

Civic Duty

Drinking Like Ben Franklin on a Rum Bender

262650712eba54bd7e83b9178443b95782a04a596 PhotosCity Tavern
It’s Monday. Monday insanity is happening all around you. But take a moment. Clear your mind. Visualize something:

Knickerbockers. Powdered wigs. Muskets. Tankards of rum. You.

Obviously, it’s your Fourth of July barbecue. Now, just picture you and the rum.

What you’re picturing: City Tavern, a house of strong ale, American pub food and ye olde good times, opening tomorrow in the South Loop.

This is the kind of bar where our forefathers would have gathered under flickering lanterns to discuss the hot topics of the day. The high cost of pewter. The latest in velvet pantaloons. Available wenches.

And that’s basically what you’ll do here (note: wenches now like to be called “servers”). Because at its heart, this is just an easygoing neighborhood alehouse where you can while away the night in no particular hurry.

The immensely long front bar has 18 tap handles and more than 75 beers. The retro cocktails clock in at about 200 years before Prohibition—so if The Fish House Punch (cognac, rum, peach brandy) was good enough for Ben Franklin, well, just watch what you stick on your kite after one.

But no 18th-century tavern is complete without a steak-and-ale pie, so stick around for... steak-and-ale pie. Also: oysters with ale mignonette, rib eye steaks and pork-belly sliders.

We hear James Madison went nuts for them.

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