2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Now that craft cocktails have permeated most eating out venues, it is a real treat to return home to one of the first Chicago bars to shake with deliberateness. In addition to the shaken and stirred menu, there is music every single night and it will always be free according to owner, Billy Helmkamp. Full disclosure: Billy also runs a small record label under the same name and put out my husband’s first album and will always be a good friend. But special relationship aside, Billy and his staff are the sort of bar that know (or can help you find) what you want to drink. He summed it up the other night when we stopped in, “Erik: brown, bitter and stirred. Abra: gin, citrusy and not too sweet.” Tell him what you like and he’ll reach into the rolodex of cocktails in his brain and call forth your match.