Owen & Engine
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 47
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
4.3/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75 | $$
Owen & Engine is a really great spot. It’s a little small, so sometimes wait times for a table or a bar spot can be a chore. We first went on a Tuesday, and they had a cool deal where, if you bought the burger, you get a short beer and a shot for an extra dollar. They also had Ichabod on cask, which is awesome. Their beer prices are great ($6 for most imperial pints). The food prices are a bit high, but I forgive it because of the cheaper beer and the high quality of the food. The bartenders are all-pros and have fascinating rhythm.
They have one of the best cask programs in the city (four). I’m very happy to have the opportunity to drink some of the best-attended fresh cask beer around. I gave them such a high "selection" rating because having 4 casks takes almost as much effort as the rest of the list.
One last word of advice: be sitting at the bar at 10:23 (or thereabouts). The huge clock behind the bar broke 3 days after opening and was stuck on 10:23. If you’re sitting at the bar at that time, be prepared to participate in a communal round of shots!
11-24-2013 23:05:07 | More by Fluffheady
3.94/5 rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
i've never been to england, but i'd say this place is a good approximation of an authentic english pub. lots of wood and decorative moulding, brass trimmings on the bar, wall sconces etc. overall, it has a bit of an upscale feel to it.
the staff at the door were not exactly helpful. it took the two of them about 15 minutes to explain that tables are (usually) for reservations only or there would be a 45-60 min wait, or we could just sit at the bar upstairs for drinks without waiting. the bartenders upstairs, however, were quite knowledgeable and friendly. in the hour or so that we were there, i heard them accurately explain countless beers to other patrons and make recommendations that everyone seemed to be quite pleased with. all beer upstairs is served in proper glassware per style and each glass is rinsed before filling.
selection is good with 4 beers on cask, something like 12 or 14 taps and many bottles. i ordered a fw double jack since i can't get that in michigan and my gf had the wild onion jack stout. we didn't order food so i can't comment there, though many of the menu items sounded tasty.
drink prices were reasonable, about what i expect from a bar.
overall a nice visit. i'd like to come back and sample their casks and food next time i'm in chicago.
11-07-2012 00:32:20 | More by divineaudio
3.9/5 rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
O&E can best be described as an upscale modernized British Pub. The food is updated British fare, but the beer is mostly American craft.
There are roughly 20 taps and 4 available beer engines, though on my recent visit only 2 of those engines were actually in use. And while the beers on tap are good beers, their selection typically does not include any one-offs or rarities. Unfortunately the selection of beers they offer could easily be located in a dozen other bars through out the city.
The real draw for O&E is the food. Rooted largely in British pub cuisine, with some modern updates and local ingredients, this is the real reason to visit O&E. Scotch Eggs, bangers and mash, cornish pasties, burgers, all well prepared and well worth the visit.
Atmosphere is of a British pub, albeit a higher end pub. There is a bar with high backed chairs and a couple of tellies, wooden tables and chairs, and a seperate dining room upstairs. However, the fine china and table settings give this place an air of sophistication not found in the average pub.
Service is friendly, helpful, and attentive and I believe that all of the servers have some level of Cicerone certification.
Overall, I'd return for the food and enjoy the available taps, but couldn't ever see making this a destination beer stop.
10-23-2012 17:34:11 | More by Florida9
4.34/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I got off the plane at O'Hare and decided to hit up this place for my introduction to the Chicago beer scene before heading for my downtown hotel. Hard to detect at night when you're driving through a busy area with no navigator and no lighted signs. In fact I was convinced I wasn't really in the right place and was about to give up when I decided to circle the block to make sure. This is a fairly small place with a nice rustic pub feel. Probably 20 or so taps, including many on my Chicago must-try list, plus four cask engines. Bartenders loved talking beer with those of us seated at the bar and were quick with samples if we showed any interest. Nice lively (but not beligerent crowd) on hand and they were quite friendly. This place was a nice welcome to Chicago.
02-15-2012 05:41:43 | More by coldriver
4.55/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
First, let me say that I've only been to brunch at this pub (about 8 times), but that's because my wife and kids think the crumpets are to die for. Me, it's all about the beer, the the beer is good. I love the fact that they have real beer engines, with a mix of craft brews. The menu is interesting, local, natural and organic mixed together. I've had something different each time, so I've now had most of the brunch menu. My daughter is convinced they're burger is the best in the city. Anyway, if you have a chance, I don't think you'll be dissapointed.
01-10-2012 21:17:42 | More by bschinelli
4.3/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
small place. dark and quiet with lots of dark wood and an english pub style decor. looks authentic, but what do i know, having never been to an english pub. still, it doesn't look as kitschy, pre-fab, and cookie cutter as other english or irish-style pubs. older, quieter, more artsy-fartsy type crowd. 20 taps and 4 cask taps/engines or whatever the fuck you call 'em, however only 2 cask choices available when i went. went looking for zombie dust on cask but the bartender said he blew through 2 10.5 gallon firkins in 2 days. had an arctic panzer wolf instead. all of the selections are quality, no crap beers noted. selections run the gamut with a slight focus on english styles and american crafts. a bit pricey. the bartender gave me a free shot of some rye whisky unprompted, which would have been very nice had i wanted whisky before my drive home. noticed a cicerone certificate on the wall. place also focuses on whiskies and cocktails. it seems the staff is interested in and cares about the beers and other drinks they serve.
10-26-2011 20:55:26 | More by MrMcGibblets
4.75/5 rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
This place was designed in the style of a nicer English pub, and is quite pleasant. The second floor has some leather couches and chairs around a fireplace, as well as a bar and dining seating, with the first floor a bar and dining area. They have also added a small outdoor area on the second floor. Really love the look of the place, and one of the few places with a quality tap selection that is a legit date night spot.
Beers: Given the name of the place, the most obvious aspect is the four engines (does anyone else in the city have more than two?), which are mainly midwestern craft brew casks but you do see others rotate through. Some are slightly different than the normal versions of the beers, dry-hopped or in some cases something more different (like an Arcadia Whitsun that had hibiscus flowers -- the beer came out pink). 20-ish taps with a nice range of options, solid bottle selection, and usually pretty reasonable pricing on the drafts. Not Map Room or Bad Apple cheap, but not Bangers & Lace expensive either.
But the best reason to come here is the food. I would actively choose this place to eat regularly even if the beer selection was garbage, and there are precious few places I can say that about. Best burger in Chicago. If you like your burger with a whole bunch of stuff that isn't the burger on it (the Kumas style) then this may not be for you. If you care about the meat above all, try this one. It's the meat (blend as noted in emerge's review), a worcestershire-tinged sauce/spice blend, sauteed onions, on a potato bap. Delicious. The fish & chips are among the best I've had anywhere, and the other food I have tried thus far has also been excellent. The menu changes often based on what's available and in season, with the burger, fish & chips and a couple other items always on the menu. Just a great combo of food quality and beer selection.
Why $$$ then? Well, that burger and chips is $14, the fish and chips is $17, so the food is on the pricier side, but honestly, everything I've eaten has been well worth it. The beer prices, as noted above, are not bad at all.
07-18-2011 21:07:04 | More by ClubberLang
4.63/5 rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
I've been to this pub a couple times, and have been greatly impressed by both experiences. Slam dunk on the english pub feel, very comfy but lively, with a nice atmosphere at dinner time if you want to have a couples meal. The selection of beer is great, all the drafts being fine examples of styles across the board (English, Belgian, German, and predominantly American craft), and the cask ales are quite tasty. I went there on a Thursday by myself and then brought my wife on Saturday, and they had changed a few drafts and one cask since then, so I think they have a nice rotation going. The bartenders and servers are incredibly friendly and suitably knowledgeable. They will be happy to give you multiple samples to try so you can make sure you get something you like. Also, I never in my life thought I would put a place with 17 dollar fish and chips as "reasonable," but the food is of such outstanding quality I have no problem paying for it. You will be greatly satisfied with your experience at Owen and Engine. Also, there's 2 dollar parking across the street from it, so there's no problem finding a place for your car that won't break the bank. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
01-09-2011 16:56:53 | More by MowryJC
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The beer selection at Owen and Engine is off to a great start. I hope they plan to change up the cask selection as the two times I have been Two Brothers were the primary cask beers. While a big fan, have had Two Brothers in casks from Chicago to New York. The food is great. Try the oysters as well as the fish and chips. We went with some of our foodie friends the second time, and all loved the pairing of the food with the beer. Selection ranged all over the spectrum with some good Belgians as well. If you go say high to the wonderful owners, Bo and Arden. They will be happy to see you.
11-20-2010 14:11:19 | More by dandigsbeer
3.48/5 rDev -18.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
A perfect place for date night being right across from the movie theatre...Inside is pretty cool, total English pub feel, however out the front window is busy Western Avenue, so its kind of distracting. Upon seating we waited a good 5 minutes before anyone came to us, way too long as I was getting antsy to get one of their tastey cask beers. I was disappointed again as the 2 selections on cask were 2 Hearted and Robert the Bruce. If I'm at an English pub, give me some damn Enligsh beers on cask. There were 4 English drafts and about 10 other Belgians and American staples. About 20 bottles, but pretty over priced, especially the English bottles. All the English beers on tap were light, after dinner I really wanted something roasty but I was left with American options. The food was pretty good, mussels and fish chips both worth trying again. Really good crunchy fries are worth getting as your side. Our server was really slow with everything, especially our bill when we were trying to hustle to the movie.
A decent place to grab dinner and drinks. Just don't go expecting to have an awesome selection of cask or English beers.
10-21-2010 21:51:35 | More by jrallen34
Owen & Engine in Chicago, IL
93 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.