Kuma's deserves it's reputation from both beer geeks and foodies alike. Very creative burgers that aren't your typical pub grub fare at all. There's a burger for every taste, hot & spicy, savory, Greek-style, veggie, you name it. I was impressed with the YOB burger on my most recent visit. A great combination unlike any other i've tried. Roasted red pepper, Smoked Gouda, with smoked garlic mayo...excellent!
There were six taps, which seem to usually remain the same. I had a Cane & Ebel which went very well with the meal. Five GLBC selections, a couple Ska, three Lagunitas options, and a few random west coast bottles. Saison Dupont (750), Delerium Tremens, Prima Pils, and a Barleywine as well. Relatively small, but well rounded selection. Service was timely and friendly at the bar. Early in the evening it was fairly deserted, but 1/3 full by 6pm. Kuma's menu has been written up alot, so expect to wait during primetime for table service.
I'll splurge for a burger here now and then, the menu is slightly pricey. Beers are certainly priced right, it would be hard to stop here for "just a beer" though.
Kuma’s is a gourmet burger, biker bar that has a nice selection of craft beers. Staff is very helpful and knows their beer. Burgers are the best you will find in the city. Taps change more quickly than the menu, so make sure to ask what’s available. Also, it’s very loud inside, so if you’re w/ your parents or children, opt to sit outside. Warning, you WILL have to wait if you get there past 5:00pm. Thanks to Check, Please! and Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins this has become a destination for tourists and suburbanites. (Such a bummer for us in the 'hood who used to be able to walk in at any time and grab a seat.) However, both the beer and food are worth the wait.
We stopped at Kuma's Corner for lunch friday on our journey to the Great Taste. We had hoped to arrive before opening, but traffic delays prevented that. We got there about noon, and the wait was an hour for a table. We put in our name and wandered across the street for a pint before returning to finish our wait.
Kuma's decor is dominated by bears, pin-up girls and metal do-dads. It's tight in there. There just isn't much room.
We came for the burgers, though the mac-n-cheese looked killer too. I chose the Dark Throne, a burger topped with chipotle peppers, goat cheese, and fresh pico de gallo. The cheese balanced the heat brilliantly. The pretzel rolls made the burgers easy to handle. Excellent burger.
The tap list isn't huge, but it's full of quality, and the bottled list fills the voids nicely. I had a pint of Surly Furious with my burger. (Seemed appropriate.)
Service was good. Once we were seated, our server got our drinks and food in short order. No complaints.
This isn't going to be for everyone. Metal music, tight confines and a little bare flesh on the walls might be a bother to some. The drawback for me is the wait. The burgers deserve the praise they've received, but I'm not always willing to wait.
Selection: 4.5 | Service: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Food: 4.75 bobquincyadams's(2) Overall Score: 91.7 this user does not have enough reviews for this score to count
Kuma's is a heavy-metal themed bar but in the proper way. The music's loud, but not so loud as to quell conversation. The wait staff is heavily tattoo'd but friendly and helpful. They'll even recommend a beer to go with your burger.
And what a chopped cow sandwich they serve up. There are more than 12 varieties on the menu, many named after heavy-metal bands. Last week I had the Chicago City Council burger, so named because of the grilled foie gras on top.
And oh, yeah, beer. Craft beers, obscure imports, whites, wheats and ales. No Bud and no Lite.
For all the tattoos, Kuma's comes across as more culinary than thirst-quenching on repeated visits. You can drink here, but you can drink a lot of places. What you can't get elsewhere are the burgers, good humor and atmosphere. Go before it becomes too crowded.
Kuma's Corner is on the path to fame and prosperity. When this neighborhood 'flips' [i.e.: gets discovered by urban dwellers], it will be able to truthfully say it was here when it occurred. And the neighborhood is going to 'flip' within the next year.
I've now been here enough times to give it a cohesive rating. I reside 2½ miles west of here. If you walk out the door of Kuma's, turn left, and turn right (crossing Francisco) on Elston; you'll espy the mechanic's shop which works on the 1987 Chevrolet Sprint. Sometimes, it is easier to wait for the auto at Kuma's.
I'm giving the Beer Selection a '5.00' for its veracity to *not serve* anything from Anheuser-Busch or Miller. You will almost always find Lagunitas, Great Lakes [OH.], LeftHand, Bear Republic, Capital (How many 'Capital Brewing' neons have you espied in Chicago?), and many other craft beers on draft. [Lame pseudo-metal joke: If 'Beer Selection' went to '6', I would give it that.]
But I have to talk about the hamburgers too. They're very good. And Kuma's definitely has to be profitable. I have the perception that the food menu is where Kuma's is making its profit. So, for Beermapping, this is a really, really good venue (because the food is not considered in the overall rating). Are the hamburgers worth $10-$12? *I respectfully contend.* Your mileage may vary.
So go here and have some beers. The #77 Belmont bus runs *all night long* on this section of Belmont. (This can't be truthfully uttered for bars at Irving Park, Damen, & Lincoln.) The Blue Line “L”'s Belmont station is 1 mile west. The north side main line “L” is 2½ miles east.
And if you don't enjoy metal; bring some earplugs. (Don't let me find any Blue Cheer LPs in your collection.)
this place is cool in the way that delilah's is cool... not a big selection, but a quality one... ska, great lakes, two brothers, and a handful of other good taps... they had woodford reserve on tap too if you like that sorta stuff (and I do)...
The atomsphere is really great, and what makes or breaks a place for me is the bathrooms... (???, yes I'm weird) The bathrooms on the guys side had tattoo designs all over the bathroom, where the ladies (the door was open I swear) have pinup girls all over the walls... This place has a great amount of swag from PBR signs that say "Don't just sit there ladies, nag the husband" to more traditional women wearing world war 2 gasmasks and such... the bar is a walnut brown that seats about 15 or so... there's table seating otherwise for maybe another 20. There's outside seating too that I didn't notice till I was ready go... oh well... The music was awesome if you like metal... anthrax, clutch, lamb of god, and other metal played whilst I ate, which makes me feel right at home. Take a good look around this place while you are sitting there... many good curiosities...
The painting of the bear on the wall opposite the bathrooms is good... it's a bear with a speech bubble that says only "meat." Liked it.
Service was okay...
The menu is mostly burgers, with the aforementioned build your own mac n cheeze... I had the Led Zepplin (cheddar, bacon, pulled pork, burger) and enjoyed it very much... The pulled pork'd be nice on it's own as well... nice and tasty pork it was...
Overall it sets off a very nice vibe and feel to the atomsphere and clientel it's trying to draw in...
This is a small place with a lot of charm. The front has a nice bar and a few tables. In back is a good sized patio with full service. We sat at the bar and had really good service from the bartender. There seemed to be quite a few regulars there, though it wasn't crowded. There were people smoking at the bar, but with 2 air purifiers working, we didn't even notice.
The food menu is small, but anyone from vegetarians to meat eaters should find something worth while. I had the Build Your Own Mac&Cheese and it was fantastic. One entire page is dedicated to burgers named after heavy metal bands. You can get any of them with a garden burger, chicken breast, or chicken fingers as well. These burgers are unbelieveable. I recommend the Yob or the Motorhead, though everyone I've tried has been great.
They had approximately 6 taps, with selections like Two Bros. Cane & Ebel, Laguanitas Censored, and Triple Karmeliet. The bottle selection is wider, though a 22oz of Dreadnaught will put you back $18.
It is easily accessible from the Kennedy and about a 6 block walk from the Belmont stop on the Blue Line. We drove and had no problem finding street parking.
Kuma's is a diamond on West Belmont. It is a fairly unassuming place from the outside, but after entering you will find a cozy and fairly cool bar and restaurant.
There are somewhere between 6 and 9 taps, none of them pouring macrobrews. Some staple breweries that are usually found on tap are Lagunitas and Three Floyds. The bottle list is printed on a chalkboard behind the bar and is fairly solid. The prices for for some of the bottled products were a bit steep from my experience.
Kuma's has great food. The Kaijo Burger (I was told that Kaijo means "second" in Japanese) is a wondrous thing to behold. Thick cut bacon, fried onion strings and blue cheese! On a burger! What could be better?
Kuma's has an outdoor patio that they open up in the summer and they have a full menu (not just burgers). If you are allergic to people with tattoos, you might want to be prepared. Check out Kuma's website for pictures of their tattooed employees (note: all the employees that I've been served by have been really friendly and helpful). Don't be afraid! Get a Kaijo Burger and a pint of Lagunitas IPA.