Northdown Cafe and Taproom (CLOSED)

3244 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL, 60657, United States
(773) 697-7578
Latitude: 41.94085, Longitude: -87.66965

website

  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 AM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.50 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 4.50 | Food: 5.00
91.7
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 1 reviews.
Score from Google Reviews:
4.3
out of 5
View Google reviews
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emerge077 (358)
Tuesday 12th of July 2011 03:26:05 PM
link
Northdown is the brainchild of Tom Lee formerly of the Map Room, and the owners of Comet Cafe and Honeypie in Milwaukee.

It's sort of a hybrid place, neither simply a bar or restaurant, more a fusion of various elements. Yes there's a bar that seats about 15, and a few booths and tables in the front room, with a few more intimate tables in the back past the pair of pinball machines. The space itself is fairly open and airy once you walk in (if it's not crowded). The ceiling is high, with modern ceiling fans, and front windows that open onto the street. Grey and steel blue walls, with a row of rust-belt americana photos along the side wall, framed in barnwood that matches the lower paneling along the booths (and the front door). Moose antlers are mounted on either side of a back pillar near the bar. From the outside, there's a FFF neon and a small decal on the window, you have to be looking for it. Above the bar is a partial billboard with the slogan "If Attack Comes" from the civil defense era of the 1960's. Lining the top of the bar are a series of eclectic figurines, a Chinese waving cat, vinyl art toys, and a glowing glass squirrel lamp. Taps are behind the bar, no handles visible. (July '11: They've mounted the tap handles vertically on wood panels behind the bar.)

Once, "Billy the Exterminator" rolled in with his team of reality show cohorts, oddly enough. Walkie talkies, black sedans, the whole bit.

The draft list rotates frequently, and taking a cue from the Map Room, includes a healthy mix of styles both import and US craft. Kölsch, Rauchbier, Helles, DIPA, Saison, Wit, Quad, Porter, and those are just a few from the current lineup. Phase II of the bottle list rolled out recently, with expanded cooler space, now they have roughly 60 when they started out with 20. Highlights from FFF, Jolly Pumpkin, Founders, Girardin, Boulevard, Flossmoor, Bellegems, Mikkeller, Hitachino, Lambrucha, and many more. Again, emphasis is on a broad variety of styles from quality brewers, not necessarily rare/exclusive bullshit. Prices are very affordable on the beer, food prices are reasonable too, considering the high quality, locally sourced ingredients.

Semi-upscale American comfort food seems to be the theme, with plenty of vegetarian/vegan options. The stout-braised short rib sandwich was excellent, also the meatloaf "tower", mac & cheese, and roast beef were all tasty too. Check out the Fiery Alyce hot sauce they put out on the tables, if you like smoky sweet heat. Great casual lunch, dinner, or brunch spot... or just for a couple of beers.

Conveniently located near the Paulina brown line stop and 77 Belmont bus. Also nearby are Fizz, Beckett's, Village Tap, Beat Kitchen, Hungry Brain, Four Moon, Underbar, and Coopers, but Northdown has them beat beer-wise.
Selection: 4.5 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.5
91.7
Overall
Tuesday 12th of July 2011 12:45:21 PM
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This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.

Great selection on 12 taps, reasonable beer prices for Chicago. Both local and regional microbrews as well as quality imports. Good bottle beer list as well, although I mostly stick to the taps. Knowledgable and friendly service. Very modestly priced comfort food with sandwiches and several entree sized dishes, homemade desserts. Bar area features tables and booths with framed color prints of roadside buildings/signs/graffiti lining the walls. Back dining room with tables and great art. Close to public transportation and with city metered parking around the corner. Rapidly becoming an area favorite of mine for a pint and a meal.
Selection: 5 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Service: 5 | Food: 4.75
98.3
Overall

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