Onion Pub Restaurant, The

22221 North Pepper Road, Lake Barrington, IL, 60010, United States
(847) 381-7308
Latitude: 42.18535, Longitude: -88.18395


Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 2.81 | Atmosphere: 3.69 | Service: 3.56 | Food: 4.00
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 4 reviews.
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emerge077 (360)
Tuesday 25th of February 2014 03:12:10 PM

Back when Illinois brewpubs were few and far between, new breweries weren't popping up every other week, and The Onion was among the last handful I haven't been to. This was mainly due to it's obscure location in an industrial park (a la FFF) in a suburb I never had a reason to go to. Recently had time to grab lunch here over the weekend, after drinking their beers for a few years now.

Oddly we were the first patrons at 11:40am on a saturday. The expansive parking lot was deserted, leading us to do a drive by on the front door to doublecheck the hours before parking.

The building is nice, definitely has lots of rustic, homey ski-lodge decor, with a fireplace in the bar area and a pair of little corner snugs flanking it on either side. The bar area is to the left past the host station once inside the heavy double doors. There were a dozen staff working, many sitting at one table doing prep work for Easter brunch. The bartender came over and served drinks and got us menus when we asked for them. They had some spring specials, I had the footlong jalapeño cheddar brat, and it was good.

Beer selection was decent, seemed like less than a dozen house taps, I had a Beggar's Brown and Drago Imperial Stout. Most of the standard lineup i'd had before. Kainz Brau is a surprisingly solid Pils, Hop Slayer is also good. Doesn't seem to be much variation seasonally, and more of a focus on the commercial canning operation of their regular lineup. The bartender mentioned they do a sign-up brewery tour on the first Saturday of every month. Village Tap and Owen & Engine will still be my go-to's for Wild Onion beers, where they tend to send their rarer one-offs and cask treatments.

Overall good, but probably not a place i'd return to soon. Locals don't seem to have many options though. Solidly just above average sums it up well.

Selection: 4 | Atmosphere: 4 | Service: 4 | Food: 3.75

Redrover (157)
Monday 4th of March 2013 01:53:06 PM
We chose the Wild Onion as it was kind of half way between the two groups I was going out with. It was still a 40 minute drive….

As we pulled into the parking lot, I was impressed by the building and really liked the large mural on the outside. Inside, even more impressed. There is lots of large wood beams, a huge stone fireplace, cozy bar area to your left and lots of dining straight on and to your right.

Service was friendly and knew the beer menu, but they really try and quickly turn the tables over. My advice is to order an appetizer or two and don’t place your food orders until after you are done with the appetizers. I realize they are e busy and may have folks waiting, but our check arrived almost at the same time as entrees. Our waitress did say not to rush, but I still felt rushed.

Between our group, we had full pints of 7 of their offerings. The consensus was good not great beers. The best of the bunch was their hefe.

The appetizers were pretty good, the food was adequate. We liked the fried pickles and calamari. Burgers seemed to be premade patties. The fish and chips were good and the tartar sauce was very good. Nice salads as well. The prime rib, wraps and fish special didn’t not receive as high of marks.

I would be willing to go back for another visit. Maybe pick a week night to see if it is a little less rushed.
Selection: 3.75 | Atmosphere: 4 | Service: 3.25 | Food: 3.5

dzouras (49)
Sunday 2nd of May 2010 08:41:55 AM
I thought I had been to every brewpub in the burbs, but then I heard about The Onion Pub.

It is a bit of a drive to the middle of nowhere to find this place. Once you get there you find a nice looking building and a huge parking lot in between a bunch of industrial type businesses.

As usual I chose to sit at the bar. It was a Saturday afternoon and there was hardly anyone in the place. An hour later and it was only my wife and I. This is not completely unusual as many people are not day drinkers like me, but the better places always have at least a small crowd.

We came for the beer, so we asked for a sample of everything they had a tap. (They charge $1.25 per sample when you order in bulk. Not sure if they would charge if you just asked for a little taste.)

I tried them in this order...

Louie Light: perfectly captures the essence of a macro brew. Not sure why they would brew this.

Golden Lager: not bad for yellow beer

Kainz Brau: a tangy smooth flavor with a hint of maltiness. Not great, but the first one that I might actually drink if someone offered it to me.

Amber Ale: a very tame amber ale. I just couldn't recommend this one.

Wheat Stacker: I thought this was watery, but my wife liked it and she described it as bright and delicious with floral hints.

Paddy Pale Ale: finally some bitterness! I knew they had to use hops eventually. Once again, not a great example of the style, but drinkable.

Jack Stout: a hint of sweetness, not as "dark" tasting as I would expect from a stout. Another of their beers with that watered down character. It might be OK if I hadn't had so many other good stouts before.

Hefeweizen (seasonal): this was a good example of the style. This one gave me hope that they know how to brew beer.

King Paddy Imperial IPA: nice smell, the hoppiest beer of the day, but not as much as I would expect from an "imperial". This is definitely the best Onion beer. It is the only one that I ordered as a full size after the sampling.

In addition to the Onion brews, they also offer a selection of interesting bottled beer such as Chimay and Dogfish Head. And for those that find the Louie Light to be too flavorful, they also have Bud Light and MGD 64.

It is a shame that the beer is a bit underwhelming because the atmosphere in this place is nice. There is lots of wood. The bar chairs are comfy with backs. The bar itself is beautiful with a copper surface. There was a nice mix of music playing at a reasonable volume. There were a couple of TV's as usual, but not whole walls covered in them.

We ordered food too. The lamb stew was tasty, with tender meat and a rich stout sauce. It was even better when I asked for some rolls to sop up the sauce with. The Ratatouille lasagna was a fun mix of ingredients. It was filling and delicious. They definitely seem to be better at making food, than they are at brewing beer.

The bartender, Mike, took good care of us. It may have been because there was practically no one else in the place. He seemed to have a true appreciation for beer and he answered all of our questions, except for "who is Paddy?". As an employee, he did a good job of backing the beer, but I have a feeling that he knows there is better out there.

I wanted to like this place, but overall I am not sure if I would return to the Onion. It is a beautiful bar and the food that I tried was tasty. They offer a variety of beer styles, but they just are not very good compared to other Chicagoland offerings.
Selection: 2.5 | Atmosphere: 4.25 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.75
Friday 21st of December 2007 12:35:55 PM

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

Cannot agree more with the other reviewer. Used to love this place because it had a great feel and a nice beer selection including a very tasty stout and unique seasonals. But now it is just a joint in the middle of nowhere. A decent beer selection on tap including the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, but compared to what it was, it just depresses the heck out of us.

The wait staff are friendly and the food is good (including the ahi tuna appetizer...yummy).
Selection: 1 | Atmosphere: 4 | Service: 4 | Food: 3.5
Monday 17th of September 2007 10:43:41 PM

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

The Onion Pub was one of my favorite locations, mainly because of their amazing seasonal beers -- their Pumpkin Ale, Winter Warmer, and Saison to name a few. Bringing home a growler of Winter Warmer for $12 was something unique to the location.

Over a year prior to this review, management decided it was in their best interest to add on a party-room extension in the back of the restaurant. The money came pouring in! Weddings, graduation parties, you name it! Soon, their cask ale suddenly stopped being offered. As the months went by, seasonals began to disappear. Eventually, the house beers crept down to four: one of which is "made to resemble the 'Big Boys'(Bud, Miller & Coors)."

They fired their long-time brewmaster, because they wouldn't need any innovation in beer brewing. They also added a small selection of commercial beers, such as Blue Moon. Management claims, "We are going in a new and better direction!! We are VERY excited about our ever changing guest beer line up!"

Plant a new beer. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a brewery. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.
Selection: 1 | Atmosphere: 2.5 | Service: 2.5 | Food: 3.0
Onion Pub beer list
Onion Pub beer list
Image credit: dzouras
Uploaded: May 2, 2010 08:54 AM
Onion Pub taps... a little creepy looking.
Onion Pub taps... a little creepy looking.
Image credit: dzouras
Uploaded: May 2, 2010 08:53 AM
Onion Pub front entrance
Onion Pub front entrance
Image credit: dzouras
Uploaded: May 2, 2010 08:53 AM
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