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Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

Not Rated.
Maria's Packaged Goods & Community BarMaria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

18 Reviews
Reviews: 18
Visits: 67
Avg: 4.33
pDev: n/a
Taps: 18
Bottles: 450
Cask: N
[ Bar, Store ]

960 W 31st St
Chicago, Illinois, 60608-5828
United States
phone: (773) 890-0588

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @marias_bar

Place added by: emerge077 on 09-01-2010

Store hours: 11am-2am Sunday - Friday, 11am -3am Saturday

Bar hours: 4pm-2am Sunday - Friday, 4pm -3am Saturday
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 18 | Visits: 67
Photo of Novels
5/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Sticky tables, projections of old movies, and a world class beer selection. Incredible bottle list, ever changing fresh taps, and sometimes they tap really special exclusives. My favorite bar in my city.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

LOVE Maria's, especially earlier in the eve when the crowd median age is a bit higher. Great beers but sometimes list is too centric on one style. Would be nice to have more descriptions posted as bartenders can be a bit surly when asked to describe. Even with that, it is the real deal, no faux anything and particularly love it when the weather is warm and besides for the Pleasant House's yummy pies and awesome fries, they bring out a taco cart.

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Photo of Circles413
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I love this place for 2 reasons.

1, Mike...he has his own corner where he sells his personal stash.
2, Maria...she's so friendly & personable.

The family is inviting & loving. The selection isn't the best but at times you can find a rare bottle or 4 but that's because of Michael. The location is awkward & the parking is very limited. But when I'm looking for a rare batch or hard to find beer, this is a must visit! But don't ask for opinions because some of the staff doesn't drink at all. So use your own judgement & research when buying.

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Photo of xXTheDudeXx
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Maria's is the bar that I credit with jump starting my craft beer addition and hobby. It was a cool night several years ago when I went to Maria's for the first of many times and discovered Three Floyds Zombie Dust on draft for the first time. That was all I needed to become hooked.

I've been back several times since then and each time they have a complete different set of beers on draft displayed on their epic chalkboard as well as a giant bottle list. The front area is a liquor store and always has great craft beer choices. I highly recommend Maria's during the week but be prepared for madness on the weekend with crowds, etc. Cheers to Maria's and everything that they do!

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Photo of Skater_Rich
4.01/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

Maria's is a great place, and the owner (owners son?) is a great guy. Very friendly and a total beer nut. I used to like this place a lot more when it wasn't so crowded. I guess that's a good thing, but I'm older and don't want to deal with all the hipsters that are just now finding out how great the south side is...

The beer selections are great, very up to date and if its not on tap, most likely they have a bottle of it laying around in the front or their mysterious back room.

The atmosphere is crowded, as Maria's is not a large place. The solution (especially if you smoke) is the outdoor patio. It is enclosed in the winter and they also provide heat lamps for further comfort. This patio is the best spot in the city for having a great beer and a cigarette as well. If you don't like smoke, stay inside!

The music is very different, hip hop, punk, digital....no theme whatsoever. I don't mind because I go for the beer and I can listen to anything. If you only like a certain type of music, check the web site and see whats happening the night you want to go.

Your best bet is to go knowing your going to have a great beer or cocktail, a smoke on the patio and hear some music you most likely never heard before.

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Photo of joe1510
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Maria's is a tiny little liquor store with a good selection at decent prices. After 4 when the bar opens there's a little speakeasy style door heading back to the bar that you don't even notice until it's open. It's a dark, cozy little bar that gets tight on the weekends. There's a cool little patio out back that's perfect for the summer evenings.

The taps are fresh and always well thought out. There seems to be a lot of tap only beer pouring, stuff I don't see many other places. The service is good, quick, a lot of beer being poured in short amounts of time, Don't expect a long conversation with a bartender if they're busy. My only complaint, and it's a small one at that, is that the beer prices tend to run even with northside prices, which is actually to be expected now a days, about $6 a pint for your standard selection.

Maria's is worth a trip whether you're a tourist, driving in from the burbs or living outside Bridgeport. If you live in Bridgeport you already know how good Maria's is so none of this is new.

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Photo of gtk1989
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

A great local bar. Not to pricy. Selection was great, is a bit dark inside but it adds to the atmosphere. There is minimal seating and on a busy night will have trouble. It would be great to have food though there is a local food bakery next door that will deliver right to your seat.

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Photo of Etan
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Went here on a recent Friday night. The place has some character. First you enter a small bottle shop area, followed by the bar, then a dining room, and finally a heated patio. Nicely decorated. A movie from the 70s about a tribe of Amazonian women was being projected on two walls. The only thing I could have done without was the "DJ" playing inordinately loud trance music.

The tap list is moderately-sized but quite nice, with quite a few draft-only offerings from both local and non-local breweries. Not too pricey, either. I did not try any food.

It was a bit crowded, but that's to be expected at a somewhat trendy place on a weekend. I will try to revisit during the week at some point. Overall a good experience.

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Photo of JosephThompson
3.29/5  rDev -24%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

It's a unique place for sure and one in which you should check out if you have the time. Door opens to a smallish bottle shop in which a lady will ask forcefully for your ID. The quality is so-so. Being from Jersey, I've seen many of these labels but they did seem to have more Three Floyd's variety then other places I went to in Chicago.

When you move past the half wall into the bar in back this is where the atmosphere picks up a little bit. Very good tap selection for 10-12 handles. Bottle choices are lengthy, decor and crowd is hipster or hipster wannabe, and there is a patio out back for warm weather.

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Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

A little gem, off downtown some ways. The bar opens only at 3 pm but has 450 bottle and 16 taps at a long bar. Long list of events was inetresting. Some of these bottles may not move, that is a risk, but are names I cannot find anywhere else in stores from 3 Floyds, Half Acre and Nogne. Do not know how safe I would feel around here late night Reasonable prices.Great neighbourhood bar, but you cannot get a taxi. bartenders are cool, storefront cannot speak Engish or tell you anything reliable about beer.

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Photo of davidpietruszka
5/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Hands down one of the best beer bars in Chicago! Frequently rotating taps with lots of goodies from Three Floyds and other Midwestern breweries. Over 400+ bottles available. Excellent cocktails and whiskey selections too.

Get food from Pleasant House right next door (or elsewhere.)

The patio is a perfect place to spend a summer night and free Korean Polish BBQ on Mondays!

Eclectic DJ's spin world music, soul, and electronic music on a nightly basis.

On your way out, grab a 6er of Zombie Dust or Cantillon to go!

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Photo of aefbjo
4.59/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

For those beer enthusiasts who like the chance to access a great beer (and spirits) selection without some of the annoying factors of certain north-side haunts, this is the place. Friendly atmosphere where a lot of people know each other, kinda like how your "neighborhood bar" used to be, but with better beer. The proprietors' choice of name for the bar isn't PR fluff: there is a real community here. But there's also a consistently solid choice of draft beers, usually with a Three Floyds oddball that you might not have seen before, or a limited Founders, or a Half Acre one-off, etc., just for example. The prices are also quite nice; some places take the liberty of tacking an extra couple bucks onto taps just because they can, but not here. Every night (I believe) there is a DJ, band, video show, art show, or something -- this is where the community is based. Also, it has been mentioned, but come with an empty stomach (unless you're coming late at night). The Pleasant House Bakery next door makes the most delicious savory pies (meat and/or vegetable) I have ever had. Great for drinking with beer on Maria's back patio. They also have rotating daily specials like burgers or whatever. Add to all of this the fact that Maria's Packaged Goods (as is the terminology in Chicago) has a huge (OK, tiny, but huge selection) craft beer bottle shop in front, and you're looking at an establishment in a class of its own.

(I took a point off on service only because cocktails have been hit-or-miss at times; this may have improved. Service is uniformly friendly and prompt.)

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
5/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The best beer list in chicago this week (especially stellar on midwest gems)

surly darkness has re-entered the market and is fabulous
dark, great body with sweetness and complexity
everything I want in an imperial stout

also currently 3 high-octane FFF also on tap -- Blonde Behemoth, which has picked up the CITRA tinge of Arctic Panzer Wolf, also Dreadnaught on tap (also CITRAlicious) and Apocolypse Cow.

Meat Pies available from next door. And the gravy fries.... gurgle yum. (Poutine style with steak chunks, gravy and cheese). They will deliver to you in the bar.

Friendly and knowledgable servers. Great ambiance -- taxidermy and old beer cans. A great "local" with the best selection of local top-tier beers. You can't miss this place. No question Chicago is one of the greatest beer bar/brewpub towns -- and this place still stands out.

Oh wait... and I even forgot to mention the Half Acre Chairman... even more reason to head to the Southside!

Updated June 2012:
still a reliably great list (available on beermenus) and still great pies and scotch eggs next store -- but now also grilled food on the patio on summer mondays and food trucks on saturdays. great community place thats great for both bridgeport and the chicago beer community

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Photo of Tilley4
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

One of the most enjoyable experiences at a bar in a while...

What a super bar this is... An anomaly with bottles for sale in the front room... Passed thru to a bar that was loaded with quality brews... FW Union Jack, Double Jack, Nectar Ales Black Xantus, FFF Region Riot and Robert the Bruce were there along with loads of others...

My wife would hate me if I had a bar like this locally... I'd stop here every day and I mean every day...

A terrific little local laid back bar... I wish I had a place like this back home...

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Photo of StlHopHead77
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I went to Maria's the weekend of the 23rd while I was in Chicago for the Man U/Chicago Fire game.It was our first stop once in town and we were,unfortunately,too early to visit the bar so I will grade solely on the merit of the retail section.Modest unassuming storefront gave way to one small cooler of macro's and one larger cooler of craft offerings.I was focusing on Three Floyds products(since I can't get them downstate)and I picked up a bomber of Dreadnaught.Arctic Panzer Wolf,Apocalypse Cow,Pride and Joy and Alpha King were also available.Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast and Green Gold,Duvel Tripel Hop,Port Brewing Older Viscosity,Allagash Curieux,Stone RIS and Old Guardian,Saison Du Pont,Brewdog 5AM Saint,Girardin Geuze,Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga,Lost Abbey The Angel's Share,Uerige Doppelsticke and Two Brothers Cane and Ebel were also available between the shelves and cooler.Maria was very nice and overall it was an extremely worthwhile stop.I'll try to hit the bar next time I'm in town.

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Photo of wschmit
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My first experience at Maria's left me more impressed than I expected to be. At the forefront of hipsterizing Chicago, I expected to vom when I got here, despite the pretty good beer selection. Needless to say, I did not vom, and actually had fun.

Front of the store is beer/wine/liquor to go, as indicated by the Packaged Goods in the name. The bar's in back, and there was vinyl spinning when we got there. The setting was pretty modern and clean, which worked well with the music--neither too "scene" nor too boring.

As for beers--started off with Owd Engwish, Olde School, and Topless Wych, each at 5 bucks for snifters, I believe. Followed that up with some pale ales that I barely remember--Arctic Panzer Wolf, Finch's, and one more lost to beery haze. Good prices by Chicago standards, and the bartenders were friendly enough. Altogether about 20 beers on tap.

All in all, I had fun--good beer at good prices in a nice place and not as trendy as expected.

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Photo of phishisphunk
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Feel compelled to review Maria's. My brother in law, who lives in the area, introduced me to Maria's a couple of months back. Located in the Bridgeport area on the southside of town, Maria's looks quite unassuming. As you walk in you find a small package liquor store with a cooler of Macro and several coolers of craft. Decent selection in the coolers. Mostly sixers and a few bombers. For the small amount of shelf space they have a great selection of bombers stocked. I found GI three sisters, Stone, Allagash, Great Divide, Three Floyds, and several others that I cannot recall. Located behind the package store is the bar. Pass through the speak easy and you find a small, warm, wood panelledd, and inviting bar with a great selection. About a dozen rotating taps, including three floyds, GI, Founders. During my visits I was privy to FFF Behemoth and Zombie Dust; GI BCBS, and Pepe Nero. They also boast a 300 bottle list which recently included KBS. Posters in the bar advertise for "Metal Mondays" and there are always DJ's spinning the unusual. I highly recommend Maria's if in the area.

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Photo of emerge077
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Maria's is so unlike any other bar in town. Located in the sleepy residential locale of Bridgeport, alleged "Community of the Future", home to one crazy asian Jay23.

What looks like a small corner liquor store at first glance becomes a back room speakeasy once you swing the hefty wooden door set into the back wall.

The bar itself is a modest size, 6-8 tables for four in the back, with a tiny dj alcove, and ten seats at the bar. The barroom is presided over by a large mounted deer head and bearskin, lots of natural wood tones, with a vintage back bar housing the liquor selection. In the restrooms (of questionable quality) there are vintage beer cans mounted on the walls. Low light emanated from brown bomber bottle chandeliers above the bar, reflecting off the brown tin ceiling tiles.

Service was good, Ed let us know right away what taps had been replaced, and directed us to the chalkboard above the bar for the most current selections. 10 rotating taps, all US craft in various styles (excluding $1.50 Schlitz). Beer list was extensive, and available online at beermenus. Rotating taps included Founders Porter, Backwoods Bastard, Red's Rye, DFH 90 Min., FFF Pride & Joy, Allagash White, Scrimshaw Pilsner, and others. They were one of ten bars in town to get a keg of Nemesis, which was $5 for 8 oz (gone now). Beer list was organized by style, and for drafts there were descriptions and ABV listed. The menu stated that they update their printed list twice a week.

The store was small but held some quality stuff, FFF bombers, Hop Rocket, Wild Onion Pumpkin sixers, Hitachino, Duvel Tripel Hop. At the counter, Maria the owner offered us some homemade fried green tomatoes that were delicious (no food served here, though there's an occasional "Korean Polish Bar B Q"). Also of note was the "Bars Across America" bike tour book for sale on top of the cooler.

This is truly a unique family-owned establishment, quirky and in a class all it's own. I award Maria's the following honorable distinction: "Best South Side Beer Bar" hands down. Highly recommended...

Nov. 2010: Expanded beer menu (+100) and "beer style glossary" included. High end single malts, sake list, plus some really creative cocktails too.

2012: Hit on a random thursday night with friends from out of town, and there was a "brewbus" parked outside, and it was completely packed inside for a solid hour. Hope this isn't a frequent occurrence, random crowds are what you go to Maria's to avoid...

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Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar in Chicago, IL
94 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.