History: In 1899, Louis Glunz I opened the original Glunz Tavern on the corner of Well and Division Just before prohibition, it closed its doors, and all was sad. The adjacent wine and spirits store reopened post-prohibition, and used the tavern space for storage and other boring functions. On Monday, the tavern will see the light of day once again, thanks to Glunz’s granddaughter and great-grandson, while keeping it’s late 19th century feel.
Food: The prices may have changed a little – OK a lot, good luck finding a sandwich for a nickel (an old menu board from the original tavern displays some of their specials and prices) – but the food is derived from the turn of the last century. Bar bites include tarragon-deviled eggs and butter poached frog legs. For sit-down meal, the dinner plates feature classics such as wiener schnitzel and Coq au Riesling.
Drink: Top of our list for best single-use bar toy is put in use for their selections of whiskeys (we found this one that retails for about $1,000). Blocks of ice are placed into this press, which, though the metal’s weight and ability to absorb cold, compresses cubes into spheres. Snowball-sized ice (do not throw them at anyone) evenly and slowly dilutes liquor. In addition to spirits, they will also serve pre-prohibition era cocktails, wine and beer.
Décor: A copper plated ceiling, sprawling wood bar lines with bottles of colorful liquids, antique fixtures and leather seating. This place has cozy down to a science, maybe because it has over a hundred years of history hanging on the walls and hiding in the shelves. The intimate bar is the solution to the problem known as the speakeasy trend. It doesn’t try to replicate history just recreate it.
Details: 1202 N. Wells St.; Old Town (312-642-3001)