Taps: 5 / Bottles: 120
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 4
Reviews by StoneTSR:
4.3/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Cooper's is one of Chicago's hidden gems. Although they are beginning to draw larger crowds you can still walk in to this small little spot on Belmont and sit at the bar or at a table with plenty of elbo room. And in the summer, you can plop down on the couch on the patio and watch a Cubs game on one of the flatscreens outside. This is one of the least preentious beer bars you will ever go to. The staff genuinely loves beer, the business and teaching people about good beer and how to enjoy it. The atmosphere is fantastic.
The one major drawback to Cooper's, however, is their lack of tap beer. They did just recently (within the past year or so) add four taps to their previously bottle-only line-up, so that helps the cause.
The bottle selection, though, is excellent. The menu is nicely divided into several different styles (which I greatly prefer to a geographic division) and it is extensive.
Sam, Mike and Jimmy are all incredibly friendly and helpful. Mike in particular knows his beer. The food is also solid across the board. Try the BBB pizza, any of the BBQ and the white cheddar grits.
11-07-2010 01:32:41 | More by StoneTSR
More User Reviews:
4.13/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.5 | $$
This place gets mostly favorable reviews. Come for the atmosphere, enjoy the friendly and knowledgeable bartenders and waitresses, marvel at the 6 page beer list, but avoid the food!
Cooper's is easy to reach and they have their own parking lot in the back, which is a huge plus for any city restaurant, and they allow you to use their parking lot if you eat there and have tickets for the theater across the street (Stage 773), which is what brought me there in the first place. If you're taking public transportation, the route #77 Belmont bus lets you off just steps away from the front door and the RED LINE "L" stop at Belmot is just 5 blocks to the east.
Although the place is small, it has both indoor and outdoor seating, and even though I was there in mid November, the outdoor area was enclosed and heated, so that area can apparently handle the overflow year round.
The beer menu is fantastic. Six pages of craft beers all organized by style: 1 page of wheat beers, 1 page of lagers and pilsners, 2 pages of ales and pale ales, 1 page of porters and stouts, and then 1 final page of Belgian beers. I tried 4 different beers and all were served in the proper glass for the style and all the bartenders and waitresses were knowledgeable about every beer on the menu. The only fault I could find with the beer selection is that there were only 5 taps available. All the others were only served in bottles. Craft beer prices ran from $5 a bottle up to $10.75 for one of the Belgian ales. All Belgians are $2 off on Tuesdays, so hold off until Tuesday for the more expensive ones. For the non craft beer crowd they also serve Bud, Bud Light, and Hamms.
And now for the bad news - the food! I hate to judge their entire food menu on just one visit, but everything I tried on that one visit was so awful that I have to comment on it with the hope that the kitchen staff sees this review and makes the necessary corrections. The first disaster was the French onion soup. My cup was loaded with at least 20 croutons which all just clumped together making for a giant soggy ball of saturated bread paste in the center of my cup. Not one crouton was crunchy. My entree was a seared half chicken with Alabama style BBQ sauce. I guess by seared they mean cooked to a crisp. The wing was so charred all that was left of it was black carbon. Not a shred of edible meat on any of it. The leg didn't fare much better. It was so tough and dry that it was hard down to the bone. That left only the thigh and breast as the only edible pieces. They were also way overcooked but not quite the lost cause the other pieces were. As for the Alabama style BBQ sauce that should be a mayo and horseradish mix with other spices added, mine tasted more like ranch dressing. It was awful. The chicken also came with broccoli and mashed potatoes and gravy as the two sides. At least that couldn't go wrong, right? Wrong again! The potatoes wre so soupy I had to eat them with a spoon as they would fall thru the tines in my fork. Then as much as the chicken was overcooked, the vegetables were undercooked. I don't like mushy vegetables, but I also don't like to have to saw them with a knife to eat them. My broccoli was so hard it was more suited to the raw style you use to dip along with uncooked carrots and celery. Dessert was 3 fried doughnuts filled with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar served with a blackberry dipping sauce. If there was any whipped cream inside my doughnuts I sure didn't find any or taste any, so it ended up being basically a dry powdered doughnut. The blackberry dipping sauce however, was delicious! Yay!
Like I said at the beginning, come for the atmosphere, stay for the beers, and enjoy the friendly and attentive service - but avoid the food!
11-27-2011 02:15:34 | More by matjack85
3.48/5 rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
2010: Gave it another try, 4 decent taps now (Ebels, Trumer, Stone IPA, DFH Punkin) and just ok food. The beer list appears to be extensive at first, but there really weren't many beers that would excite the BA crowd (nothing too adventurous, few seasonals). This is a decent neighborhood place, but for my money, Northdown, Fizz, Four Moon, and even Village Tap have it beat as far as neighborhood places go around here.
Stopped in here tonight since we were walking by. Once inside there was a host station on the left, and a small bar to the right. No taps at the bar, bummer. We sat outside on their deck patio and watched the scene on Belmont. Inside the lighting was low and there were a few dark wood tables in addition to the bar seating. The crowd seemed a little older, but not without a few rowdy cubs fans. Overall the vibe was of a clean, friendly neighborhood place.
Our server was really friendly and attentive. They had a separate beer list organized by style, origin, and even by color in the Belgian section. There was a good variety, although it was somewhat limited. For example, DFH 60 min. but no 90 min. 3F Pride & Joy but no Alpha King. A surplus of pale ales. There was certainly more to choose from than your average place, but nothing out of the ordinary.
We tried the artichoke dip which was tasty and well presented. BBQ, pizzas, an paninis were on the menu. Prices were fair, and i'd stop in again if I was in the area. It's near Schubas if you're going to a show there.
Addendum: For the Chicago brewing history buff, the former site of the Best Brewing Co. (1885-1961) is a block south of Coopers, at Lakewood/Fletcher.
09-21-2008 07:30:08 | More by emerge077
4.35/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
I wanted to stay neutral, as the owners are friends of mine. However, people really need to check this place out. It's that good.
Craig and Mandy decided to turn their fine dining restaurant, Menagerie, into a more "everyday" eatery. They have kept their prices reasonable while keeping their quality high. From some tasty pizza with killer crust to the mac n' cheese with duck confit, they nail it everytime.
As for the beer, the selection is great and getting better everytime I visit. They recently started to deal with one of the better distributors in the Chicago area for craft brew. So I am REALLY excited about their selection now and where it will be a year from now.
In terms of atmosphere, the place has a simplistic comfort to it. They really did a nice job considering they didn't dump a lot of money into the transition. One drawback, no taps. That is something they will remedy when the time is right. But between the bottle selection and the food, you can't go wrong. They also have a deck for outdoor seating as well as bands! SUPER COZY PLACE! Check it out.
02-14-2007 00:36:55 | More by TheLoneGunman
Cooper's in Chicago, IL
- out of 100 based on 4 ratings.