Jake Melnick's Corner Tap
Taps: 31 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 15 | Show All Ratings:
4.18/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | $$$$
After conducting extensive research on BA, I realized that Jake Melnick's appeared to be the closest craft beer bar to my hotel that was a mere couple of blocks away. We stopped in during an unsuspecting Wednesday afternoon for an initial visit after a casual stroll around Michigan Avenue.
Surprisingly, the temps outside were hitting 80+, so a minor sweat developed on my brow and we decided to have a couple of beers to take off that post-flight discombobulation
There is a lengthy bar straight ahead as you walk in with ample seating to the left for dining. Additional dining (and a dartboard) as well as bathrooms are located to the right.
Service was really good during my visit. The bartenders were friendly, engaging, helpful and responsive. The theme here appears to strike a balance between BBQ and craft beer bar, which really resonates with me. It's nice to get that occasional whiff of BBQ in the air while sipping on a freshy. Prices are on the higher end of the spectrum, but it's not everyday that you can order a Liefmans on draft.
As far as the beer selection, expect about 35 drafts or so. The beer menu divides the options into selections like 'Holy Hoppy' and others. Drafts while I was there included Lagunitas Sucks, Waldo, IPA, Evil Twin Yin Yang, Liefmans Goudeband & Oud Bruin, Local Option Gose, Ommegang Rustica, Mikkeller (many options), Duvel Single, etc. I had a locally made Kolsch and the Yin Yang and they were tasty.
I definitely got a good vibe here and plan on returning in a couple of hours for Game 6 of the Celtics vs. Knicks playoff series. Certainly worth checking out if in the area.
05-03-2013 21:52:54 | More by Hibernator
4.14/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
This was an excellent find (thanks to the "Places" section on BA). We were in town on business and this is only a few blocks from the Dowtown Mariott which makes it even better, I didn't expect the beer list to be this good without traveling some sort of distance.
Tap prices range primarily from $6.50 - $8.50. I'm a fan of IPA's and they had a few to satisfy my craving: Port, Two Brothers, and a local offering which was pretty impressive. Other taps available: Nogne, Duvel, Great Divide, Mikkeller, Struise, and 5 Rabbit. I think the overall rating on price is subjective so you at least know the $ range of the taps on this particular day. 20+ taps with NO macro (only in bottles).
I sat at the bar and the Bartenders were very attentive and they both really knew their beers which in my book is always an absolute plus, nothing I hate more than an establishment where they have no clue what they pour.
The interior is more rustic and honkey tonk/blues bar inspired with a long bar, hardwood oak floors, and stained pine behind the bar. There are large flat screens around the perimeter with sports on, orange/red Christmas lights strung all around the ceiling and exposed clear bulbs with orange/red filaments hanging over the bar. overall, pretty cool.
11-09-2012 22:38:42 | More by jzeilinger
3.98/5 rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
It's rare that I am ever in this part of town, but having found myself here I also found myself in need of some good beer. And Jake's has it. Unfortunately, they also have incredibly high beer prices that are high even by city standards.
JM's is set up to look sort of like a honky-tonk. Lots of wood and earthy tones. Wood floors. Wooden tables. Some neon here and there. I half expected there to be peanut shells on the floor. On my recent visit, they were half empty and it just had a bit of a lackluster feeling to it.
Food is mostly bar food and BBQ. Supposedly they have the best wings in the entire city, and while I found them (the wings) to be pretty damn good, I feel there are other places that do a better job. Wife had a mixed salad that was pretty good. Fresh cut fries were a pleasant surprise, but I wish they had been left in the fryer for another minute. And while I personally didn't get the chance to try their BBQ, the place has a strong smokey smell which isn't always the case for these city BBQ places.
Beer list was strong with a heavy bend towards American craft beers and only a limited amount of Germans, British, and Belgian brews. Overall, the selection was pretty good.
Food prices are bit high for what you get, but they were far more reasonable than the beer prices. Draft bears were mostly in the $7+ dollar range for the average beer with "reserve" beers being even pricier. I get that this place is only a couple of streets off of Michigan Avenue, but with prices like that I see little reason to make any special effort to come here.
Service was fairly standard and nothing special. Our server didn't have a great deal of beer knowledge, but she was an effective server and did try to be helpful.
JM's is child friendly. Kid menu available.
03-06-2012 02:47:36 | More by Florida9
4.13/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
We were looking for a place to grab lunch and turns out Jake's was two blocks from our hotel. We didn't know anything about it before we went, so we were hoping for the best.
As we walked in the aroma of BBQ filled the foyer. Mmmm, beer and BBQ? I'm in! The atmosphere is that of a sports bar with tall bar tables, regular tables, a long, straight bar, and plenty of seating all around. The hostess was nice and sat us promptly.
The menu was our place mat and it was front to back with food. They advertised having Chicago's Best Wings (two years running), so we placed an order for an appetizer. Two things...1) they are not the best wings I've ever had (breaded and hardly sauced) 2) they were $9 for nine, small wings. Well not a good start to the food. I ordered the House burger and there were two orders of pulled pork at the table. The House burger (BBQ bacon wrapped, 9 oz. patty, piled with pulled pork, topped with onion straws and BBQ sauce) was delicious!!!
The beer selection was pretty good. They had a beer of the month offering (Victory Summer Lover). They also had a burger of the month promotion that allowed you to add a pint of Lagunitas IPA for only $1. To sum up the other tap selections: 3 Victory, 3 Lagunitas, 4 Left Hand, 3 Two Brothers, Jolly Pumpkin, Allagash, and Duvel. I'm sure I'm missing some, but anyways it was an awesome list. They also had a decent bottle/can list.
Our waitress was very attentive and our food came out pretty quickly.
Jake's is a great place to go for BBQ in Chicago (I have limited experience to the Chicago area). In my experience though, NOT the best wings. I'm happy their pulled pork made up for that. They offer a big food menu with a great beer list to compliment.
07-01-2011 19:11:22 | More by thain709
4.08/5 rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Had a great time on my couple of visits to Jake Melnicks.
The beer selection was good for downtown, They had a couple of taps of Maredsous on,as well as another 10-12 taps of interesting craft brews.Nice bottle selection as well. Prices were decent for Chicago.
The food was really good barfood, the wings were exceptional.The burgers were also above average.
Service was ok,not bad but not great.The servers did seem to know their beers. Reasonably proper glassware was used.
A nice stop in downtown Chicago.
12-10-2010 16:13:36 | More by wingedeel
4/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Typical sports bar atmosphere with lots of TVs, but no sound, so it was tolerable. We sat in a group of 9 at a long, high table. Our server came somewhat rarely but was always real prompt about getting things we had ordered out to us. The appetizers for the table were mussels, BBQ nachos, fried pickles, and hot wings. All were good except for a few mussels which weren't open (indicating it was dead when they started cooking ... they shouldn't serve them). I was shocked at the beer selection and ordered a Brooklyn Chocolate Stout but they were out of it. I settled for a Bigfoot which was really good. Overall I liked the place quite a bit, and around Michigan Ave with relatives from out of town, it's a fine place to go.
12-05-2010 18:00:36 | More by EricCioe
4.13/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Every Sunday when I picked my wife up form work, we would head straight over to Jake's for a couple of beers and some of their delicious wings. I almost tried their super duper hot wings, but got smart when they handed me a disclaimer to sign. I like hot stuff, but not enough to wear gloves and hurt for days.
Anyway, they have good food and great selection of beer. Lagunitas, Duvel, Ommegang, Goose Island, Rogue, Two Brothers, you name it they pretty much have. Lots of craft brews on tap or in bottle and the staff is knowledgeable enough to advise proper food & beer pairings. I really like the atmosphere. It goes great with the BBQ style food which is served in baskets and metal trays. I thought that was kind of cool.
I have always been impressed with this place, I even tried having my wedding rehearsal dinner here. I highly recommend it to friends and people from out-of-town looking for a good BBQ place in the city.
11-20-2010 06:34:42 | More by ferrari29
4.1/5 rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
I enjoyed my time here this past Friday. The prices were fine for a good beer place in Chicago--six to eight dollars for a Belgian or bigger American beer is normal, and given the prime location almost surprising.
I had some decent potato skins and flatbread there, too--and I'm a prick about food. It's definitely a good price point for the comparatively expensive neighborhood it's in--a block from the Mag Mile. Perhaps a bit more than two dollar signs for many, but spot-on here.
Selection is enough to keep most BAs at least interested. They were out of a couple taps I asked for, but comped me for a round because of that. A fine institution with good location.
A bit of a sports-bar/after-work crowd might detract some.
09-13-2010 00:58:36 | More by wschmit
4.44/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I had to take a break while my wife and girls were spending money at the American Girl Store nearby on Michigan Avenue. Great location, I had planned a trip to Chicago and wanted to get away for a few pints. I thought this was the place within walking distance that had the best selection -- and I wasn't disappointed. They had a great selection of local beers (several from Metropolitan Brewery that I would've like to have tried, Goose Island) as well as beers not available where in Ohio (Surly, Port Brewing, several Allagash and Stone). The bartenders were very knowledgeable -- took time to answer any questions and made some excellent recommendations based on my taste. My only regret is that I so excited about the beers, I forgot to ask for a menu and ran out of time to order any food, but the menu looked OK -- sandwiches, appetizers and finger food. Definitely worth a return visit next trip to the Windy City.
04-28-2010 03:11:47 | More by chaz01
4.03/5 rDev -4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
2011: Tap selection rivals Clark St. now, the best in River North: http://www.beermenus.com/cities/chicago/bars/jake-melnick-s-corner-tap
$6.50 for Krankshaft and Daisy Cutter? Oh yeah, Michigan Ave. is right over there...
First time at Melnick's, sort of a TGI Fridays meets Northwoods lodge interior. Long bar right when you walk in, can't miss it. We mistakenly opted for a table, after 10 minutes with no server or drink list, we walked over to the bar to get drinks. It was a bit loud, there was a table of at least 30 seated alongside one half of the bar. Seemed like after-work groups and tourists mostly.
Service at the bar was better, proper glassware, and attentive. The one negative was seeing a beer in the service area with a receipt dunked in it for a few minutes (after it was already laying on the bar, so the server could tell who's tab it was on). Kinda gross. So there's pros and cons. Sit at the bar if you can...
Good local craft representation, even if at downtown prices. In bottles there was some Bruery stuff, 5-6 Two Bros., Sofie, Lost Abbey, Victory Storm King & Hop Wallop, and a few other Goose beers. A handful of Belgians and Germans. Craft list was broken down by state, oddly for MI there were 2 ciders, only one Bells (Kzoo) and one Founders (Cerise)...
Food-wise, the appetizer was ok but nothing special, served in a bucket. Overall it's not bad if you're marooned on Michigan Ave, but there are finer beery options nearby like Clark St. Ale House and Rock Bottom.
03-30-2010 03:02:51 | More by emerge077
Jake Melnick's Corner Tap in Chicago, IL
93 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.