Small Bar - Division
Taps: 21 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by sfreshnock:
4.65/5 rDev +17.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
I have been going to Small Bar regularly since the Division location opened. It was my gateway to really knowing beer. I eventually moved to another neighborhood but keep coming back to my favorite Chicago beer bar. This is due to the quality staff and top notch selection. I would consider this a notable stop for any beer fan residing or visiting.
ATMOSPHERE: Soccer memorabilia mostly. I like the old Drum N Bass club night fliers on the way to the restrooms, brings back memories of younger days. Good place to hang out with your friends, enjoy good beers and talk. More a fault of the neighborhood, the bar gets crowded on weekends but seems to empty out around 12:30 am. Lately Small Bar has become my Sunday night/week day place due to the douchie weekend crowd.
QUALITY: All glasses are jet rinsed the moment the serve you and the correct glassware is used.
SERVICE: Well educated from the Bartenders to the Wait Staff. They will gladly let you taste any of the taps if your unsure from description. If you come often the Bartenders will recommend from your tastes. Most of My favorites were first sampled off tips from the Staff.
SELECTION: Constantly rotating taps of all styles. Large selection of bottles broken down by region. Not larger than Map Room but more than enough choices.
FOOD: Standard bar food. Exception made for the thin crust Pizzas.. they are tasty.
VALUE: Selection, Service and Knowledgeable staff keep me coming back. Drafts are usually in the $5 to $7 range. Bottles seem to vary. Expect to pay more for a bomber but you get the whole bottle.
08-22-2007 00:25:33 | More by sfreshnock
More User Reviews:
3.92/5 rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I usually don’t come down to this part of the city very often because the Division is a douche fest. SmallBar, however, is a nice little gem. The bartenders and servers were nice and knowledgeable. They had a cool beer event when we were there. I’m not really into metal bands, but apparently they are. I’ll definitely be back.
11-24-2013 23:54:32 | More by Fluffheady
4/5 rDev +1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3 | $$
These guys usually have a pretty decent tap selection. The food isn't anything to write home about, but as bar fare goes it's pretty good. The main detrement is really the trendy neighborhood. Because of where this is it can get a little bro sports heavy on the weekends.
11-21-2013 19:03:54 | More by teledeluxe
3.95/5 rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
SmallBar Division Street has been on my radar for many years now, and I finally made the trek off the blue line to check it out, glad I did.
It's a small thin restaurant/bar with wooden floors and bar stool style tables. It was around 1:00 in the afternoon when we arrived and there was one other gentlemen in the bar. The bartender was very attentive and knew his stuff. We got to chat quite a bit and he definitely knew his beer. After a bit of a conversation, we realized we had me at the Northdown Tavern about earlier this year...
The tap selection is about a 3.8 or so compared to some of the other beer bars in Chicago. A nice, diverse list with a bit for everyone. The bottle list is probably about the same. Some nice stuff in a bottle, but nothing that really stood out to me, and not much that wasn't available at a few other stops along my journey.
We shared the cheese plate which had 3 components that when together very well. It was a nice, small app, but again, not the best cheese plate I sampled last week. The lunch menu is small and concise, but the cheese plate is all we sampled.
Definitely worth the stop, and they definitely have a great grip on their business (beer). They also featured quite a few craft cocktails, which one member of our group sampled and they were very original and tasty.
11-06-2012 20:02:58 | More by MarcatGSB
4.08/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I was on a bit of a bar crawl one day in the City, so I decided to stop in here to check the place out. It's a slightly smaller version of what once was their Fullerton location (now Beer Bistro North), in that semi-modern, semi-Continental style that seems to be all the rage in the "fashionable" areas nowadays. Still not my thing, but also not offensive. I bellied right up to the bar and ordered a pint. The bartender was extremely amiable and seemed to know his stuff. We had a few small conversations, including an analysis of the Olympic soccer mathes that were going on (despite the fact I know nothing about and don't really care about the sport). The selection was pretty nice and included a good range of the usual crafts, some local specialties (Solemn Oath comes to mind), and some one-offs (though the New Belgium/Lost Abbey Brett Beer had kicked while he was pouring mine (which he then made on-the-house), some Sixpoint Spice of Life (can't remember which one) was still going). I didn't try any food, though I got the feeling (just like I did back when I frequented Fullerton) that it was a bit hoity-toity for my tastes. Smelled good, though... The pricing is in line with other reputable City bars in the area.
Overall, a good place to grab a beer and, apparently, to catch a soccer match.
10-03-2012 18:56:46 | More by TMoney2591
3.9/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
My buddy has become a huge soccer fan and he dragged me to this place during one of our crawls. I surprisingly had a great time watching the game. I am sure the 20 or so taps they had helped. No rarities or hard to finds, but a nice selection. Had a few Belgiums, which I was very happy about, to go along with the American dominated selection.
Had the fish and chips and they were very good. The bar itself is a little divey but in a good way. Nothing to exciting but didn't distract or take away from the experience.
I liked this place, but there are much better options in close proximity. While it is a nice bar with a nice selection, it lacks that certain something.
10-14-2010 05:00:56 | More by Czap
3.6/5 rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
AgentZero raves about this place so finally got around to checking it out on a lovely Saturday evening... Got to sit outside which was great on a perfect nighe. Inside a soccer bar so that is awesoem, cool memorobilla....The service is tab bit lacking, the servers are not beer people, don't know a ton. The bar tenders know more but didn't really discuss with them...The quality of the beer was only decent. They did have a huge selection 20ish taps, over a 100 bottles, lots of American and Belgians. However, wasn't blown away by anything. Mostly easy to find crafts, nothing special or rare. Mostly the craft staples.
Overall, solid place nothing over the top great. Local Option and Map Room are both within 10 minutes of Small bar so I'd recommend them.
06-21-2010 00:45:36 | More by jrallen34
4.72/5 rDev +19.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Stumbled upon this place by sheer luck while visiting a couple years ago and is probably my favorite bar in Chicago now that I'm a resident.
The staff are courteous and knowledgeable. They have a great array of more or less traditional pub fare. Atmosphere is great, especially for the soccer games. Also has a sidewalk patio for the warmer months.
One of only a few places that will open up for the early English Premier League games. One of the best places to watch any game involving or taking place in the US. A true haven for the soccer fan.
And finally, the beer. They have 20+ taps all with quality brews (they don't waste taps on the traditional boring stuff you see at every bar in the US). They offer a wide variety of beers from local, domestic, and international brewers. Also have a great selection of bottles in the cooler.
11-30-2009 03:57:20 | More by 110toyourleft
3.93/5 rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped here a few times lately while visiting friends in town. Very easy to find on a main drag, a happening atmosphere without being annoyingly packed. The place is fairly dim, with a nice wood finish to the inside. Not huge, but we've always been able to score a table with little effort. That tap line up is pretty impressive. About 20 taps, and always something worth drinking, often a Surly head too. We had some Bare Tree and Surly 3 on our last visit. The Surly 16 Grit listed online apparently never materialized. 3F's, Bells, Dark Horse seem common here. A decent selection of Germans for those who enjoy them, and a few lambics and a flanders red (monks) on tap as well. All around a solid selection to suit everyone, not just hardcore beergeeks (read: You can talk your other friends into going there, there's something for everyone, while you enjoy super craft).
The food: The food here is excellent. I can tell you, after having the shrimp and grits here, I will come back again and again, if only for that. Unfortunately last time I was there, they were out. :( My friends from in town even remarked how damn good they were from a visit months ago. Evidently its competitive for the cheese curds as well. Not an end-all menu, but again, something for everyone, and at least some interesting nourishment to soak up the beer.
My latest visit the service was moderate. It was a friday night, so I will cut them some slack, but I get a little aggravated when there are bartenders standing and talking instead of refilling my $8 snifters.
I will certainly be back.
04-29-2009 16:11:44 | More by ShareANevada
Small Bar - Division in Chicago, IL
89 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.