Poor Phil's Shell Bar

139 S. Marion St., Oak Park, IL, 60302, United States
(708) 848-0871
Latitude: 41.88573, Longitude: -87.80256


  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • Sunday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.40 | Atmosphere: 4.20 | Service: 4.20 | Food: 4.00
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 5 reviews.
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dpaxson2 (74)
Saturday 7th of July 2012 10:41:59 AM
Went to Poor Phil's last night for something new. Place had a nice outdoor area, but it was super hot so we opted for inside. As expected, the heat sent everyone inside and it was PACKED. But they hang tap handles above the bar and there was Chicago sports pictures everywhere and TVs to watch the games.

The beer list was impressive. A number of bottles and drafts I had not had before. I had a Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout (good, very slight hint of Oyster in the finish, or it was just my imagination) and Humboldt Hemp Brown Ale (just tasted like a brown ale). There was a disclaimer that they serve non-mainstream beers and if you aren't used to craft beers you should ask for a sample before ordering a draft. No refunds. Hahaha.

The food was pretty good. Seafood places aren't the norm in the Midwest so it had a East Coast kind of feel in terms of seafood offerings. Like other reviews, the bartenders were pretty quick given how busy it was. But the table service was pretty slow. Everyone was nice, but I got the impression the service was slow due to disorganization rather than servers not caring about customers. I think if they changed some of their procedures it could improve the service.

But the place was good for a change of pace and I'd go back. The beer selection had great choices and a good selection of both draft and bottle. I had about 3 other beers picked out to try but didn't have time.

In addition, easy parking in the neighborhood. I parked half a block away at 7pm on a Friday night and could see about 8 other spots easily. No need for valet.
Selection: 4.5 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Service: 3.75 | Food: 4.25

emerge077 (360)
Friday 4th of June 2010 09:35:45 PM

Stopped in at Poor Phil's today for a quick beer and appetizer. It was fairly crowded in the smallish bar, but it was chilly enough out that everyone was seated inside. U-shaped bar, several tv's, one a "Cubs tv" the other a "Sox tv" to placate both factions.

The seasonal draft selection was pretty good, including about 8 hoppy beers: Gumballhead, 2 Hearted, Unearthy, Racer 5, Hop 15, and several others. Cane & Ebel was on cask, which I wasn't expecting from other reviews. There were maybe 15 or so seasonal drafts that were all quality. The regular list was ok, but nothing too exciting for BAs. Most quality selections were US crafts with a handful of token Belgians (Chimay, Delirium, Leffe, Atomium) and Germans (Hacker Pschorr). Great Lakes, FFF, Bells, Rogue, Flying Dog, Left Hand.

Service was friendly and timely. There was a board with current drafts and beer/food pairings from the staff. We just had the mozzarella marinara appetizer which was ok. Didn't try any seafood. Overall it felt like more of a locals place than a destination, but there was a good seasonal beer selection that would keep me coming back when I was in the area.
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 3.5 | Service: 4.25 | Food: 3.5

stace (2)
Monday 22nd of December 2008 04:35:48 PM

This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.

Great beer bar. The food's not bad, but I'm not a big shellfish nut. Anything not seafood is bar food, generally done very well.

Lots of taps, rotating selection, including a cask ale. They definitely lean to the craft and import beer side of the world, with lots of great beers from every style. Free Wifi is an excellent bonus.

It can get loud on game nights, but what bar doesn't? Great place to hang out
Selection: 5 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Service: 4 | Food: 4.0

beerinator (131)
Friday 4th of July 2008 11:11:41 AM
Poor Phil's is pretty nice. And it is clear that they are focused on beer.

The beer list has a few domestic macrobrews, but it also has a very respectable craft beer list in both bottles and draft. I think they are claiming 30+ taps and the list could definitely be daunting to someone not familiar with the craft beer scene in the area.

There is a large outdoor patio area that we were seated in (it was such nice weather they didn't even assume that we wanted to go inside). The service was prompt and stopped by just at the right times. The food we had was good, but nothing stood out as stellar. I would definitely go back with the expectation to try other dishes.

Overall, I just think this is a solid location to visit. If you are nearby (probably shopping) then you should schedule some time to visit Poor Phil's.
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.0
Tuesday 3rd of June 2008 08:24:58 PM
The only bar worth visiting in Oak Park - which also happens to be one of the best in the metro area. Lots of taps, with some good local micros to be found at all times (Great Lakes, Three Floyds, Anchor, etc.). Plus, something that's very hard to find generally - CASKS! They've had Two Brother's Cane & Ebel and Bitter End on cask draught here in the past - Bell's Two Hearted when you could still get Bell's around here, too. Definitely nice to have. The servers are all incredibly friendly (although I'm probably biased having been here so many times) - they do tend to get busy though, especially when the patio is open in good weather. Food's good, but not great - decent seafood, good cajun-ish fare, good burgers. Definitely worth taking the train to Oak Park for a visit, and a must if you live in the area.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 5 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.25

wbfarr (43)
Monday 18th of February 2008 09:17:55 PM
I've been meaning to review this for awhile, but cold weather has prevented me from visiting. I've been maybe 6 or so times in the past 2 years. So. If you're in Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park... here's the best beer selection in the area. Good draft selection -- 20 or so, with at least one Three Floyds, one Dogfish Head, and one Great Lakes always on. Anchor brews on tap. Goose Island. I think they had Unibroue on tap. Rumor has it that they'll put anything in pitchers -- sure, perhaps that affects the pour, but who wouldn't want a pitcher of Fin Du Monde or Edmund Fitzgerald Porter? They have many bottled brews as well. There's the bar side and a small restaurant side, outdoor seating in the summer. Lots of families at lunch. The food is inconsistent -- somethings are great, some less than average. I can't judge the shellfish (allergies), and have had mixed results with other fish. A good burger, good gumbo, ok appetizers. I like the bar. A little cramped.

Fun place, good beer. Maybe better pub food in Forest Park, but the beer selection suffers. Try Poor Phil's.
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 3.75 | Service: 4 | Food: 3.5

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