A cozy cash-only hang showcasing classically inspired, spirit-forward cocktails that change daily within a polished taxidermy theme. The neighborhood tavern also offers craft beer and wine with a carry-out liquor program.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
John Maynard Keynes once pronounced, “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas, but escaping the old ones.” The modern-day Sportsman’s Club made a decision to keep the name and location of the longtime polish dive bar that existed within the location long before. Change is hard to swallow when it comes to bars that have a deep-rooted identity in the history of great cities like Chicago.
Stepping up to the plate to design the reincarnation of the tavern in 2013 was the heavy hitting Heisler Hospitality, who entered the frontline to fashion a modern concept, while simultaneously paying respect to the history of the structure. So yes, John Maynard is indeed correct about new ideas, but in this case rather than escaping the elder notion, The Sportsman’s Club tipped it’s contemporary hat and maintained a line of history to the bar, and while doing so, created one of The Windy Cities most opulent settings to knock back a drink and feel alive.
the custom selection is a small rotating list that changes day-to-day blending classic mixtures to sporadic new ideas—creativity is king for Sportsman.
The illumination behind the bar resembles a vintage ticket booth, while chandeliers strike light over a setting that feels like a train car decorated for French hunters circa 1920. Taxidermy in various forms from fins to antlers greets you from any seat, and you might find chess pieces on a table for a concentrated game. This club is built on the cheeky idea of a daily cocktail, and the custom selection is a small rotating list that changes day-to-day blending classic mixtures to sporadic new ideas—creativity is king for Sportsman. Not in a crafty mood? Knock back a shot and a High Life for 5 bucks and reminisce on the Blackhawks antics the night before. And then, there is the Amaro Machine—hell yes. If you haven’t tasted an Amaro on its own, you’ve undoubtedly come across them on cocktail menus. What’s most exciting about the world of Amaro are its endless rules of ancient tastes that have spanned over centuries, it’s much more than an after-dinner digestif. Sportsman Club welcomes this perception and with an array of Amaro liqueurs. Try the bars blends served as a shot or with soda as a high-ball, the perfect nip to warm the soul.
Like a real club, The Sportsman has its perks. The neighborhood tavern offers a carry-out program to grab a bottle of vino for home and includes a curated bar goods shop for some buzzed buys. One too many before an evening meal? With an ancient license, you’re welcome to order in food to satisfy an appetite from local staples like Bite Café or Leghorn Chicken—the choice is yours.
In conclusion, yes, ideas can coexist with prior ones by respectfully offering simple omages, we see this on movie screens and within art quite often, a dedication of sorts. But once again, John Keynes statement is dead on in our book, because the idea of hospitality that Sportsman’s Club offers to the Ukrainian Village/Humboldt Park neighborhood is most definitely one we find very difficult escaping.
Retro sporting vibe complimented with strong drinks, cold beers, taxidermy, antlers, and tunes that roll deep into the night
Every night there will be three to four rotating cocktails, the list is dialed in and straight to the point, just how it should be
You’ll find carry-out booze program and all on-menu wine and beer are available to-go from the store
Cash only in this cozy haunt — cash is key
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