Bangers & Lace
Taps: 32 / Bottles: 70
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Back to my old stomping grounds, West Division Street has changed a lot, even in the last ten years. Nelson Algren probably wouldn't recognize it today. Gone are the derelict storefronts and package goods dive bars, enter boutiques and bars like this one. The hanging metal sign out front reads B&L in a cryptic script.
Once inside, it's an open space, fairly modern, with ironic details to evoke a folksy charm, yet some elements come off as somewhat more isolated and sterile than rustic. Taxidermied animals perch atop a wooden cabinet storing a rotating selection of six 1/6th barrels, wall mounted deer head: check, lace curtains, brown glass chandeliers, lots of wood. The back hall to the restroom actually still smelled like the fresh cut wood planks it was paneled with. More inviting elements of the place: the pot belly stove in the back room with idyllic rural scenes painted overhead along the walls, and the comfortable bar.
Beer selection was good, some exclusive drafts like Goose Island Minx, Palo Santo, and Leipziger Gose. Draft and food menu were combined, and the bottle list was separate. Both were well designed, listing prices and tasting notes. The only thing missing was the size of each pour, which varied from 8 oz. to 16 oz. US craft was the main focus, rounded out with German, Belgian, and English imports. Other unique drafts: Meantime Stout, Jacobins Rouge, and Petrus Aged Pale. Certainly not a "typical" selection. The 32 draft lines were set into the brick wall, with uniform wooden handles and numbered plaques, which reminded me of the Publican.
Service was good, Eric the spirits director was our bartender. He offered samples of the drafts and was friendly and helpful. Never had a problem getting samples on several visits.
Food was good, mostly high end bar food... sausage-focused. Think Hot Dougs and Franks N' Dogs. Venison sausage was tasty, as was the pretzel with stout mustard, and the fries with a taleggio sauce were especially good.
A welcome addition to a transitioning, nearly 100% gentrified neighborhood.
Other nearby options: Piece, Jerry's, Smallbar, Handlebar, Rodan, Moonshine.
11-04-2010 03:22:22 | More by emerge077
3.75/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Olga tracked down this place is a great recommendation to hit up after FoBAB. Great location on Division, close to my house and other hot spots. The inside looked new and very modern decor mixed with folksy cabin in the woods art (metal art and stuffed animals. The bathroom is very cool as the wood is so new it smells freshly cut. A decent amount of drafts and bottles, however the selection and quality isn't the greatest. A ton of basic staples beers but I had a difficult time spotting stuff I either hadn't had or wasn't easily available anywhere else. The highlight of this place is the food; high end sausage joint. Deluxe offerings such as a foie gras corn dog, and ham peanuts. All the food was tasty and there several options that I would come back to try. The biggest disappointment about this place was the service. Our server seemed totally disinterested in helping us and didn't know a damn thing about beer. She could not offer basic suggestions as to what was tasting good on tap right now, or even have suggestions. If you want to be a beer place gotta have better service.
This is a must stop for a meal and decent beer, probably wouldn't come just to get a drink though.
11-07-2010 14:45:42 | More by jrallen34
4.03/5 rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Going off a recommendation that pressed that Bangers & Lace is a top notch beer joint, we joined the dinner crowd here as a place for our own pre-dinner drinks. Certainly glad that our gps knew what was going on because the austere modern-clad, art decco inspired storefront seems abstract and hardly denoted the venue inside. We felt somewhat lucky to find a parking spot on the street just in front of the door and close to free-parking time of day. Otherwise, I see parking here to be a real chore.
But once inside, the chic-urban attitude of art gallery openness with modern task lighting design, exposed concrete, brickwork, and duct work plays into the overall minimalism vs. sleek moments in its architecture and interior design. The clean and linear personality seems to work well for the yuppies who were clearly off work but seemed to really, really like wearing their coats and ties.
A pregnant waitress took our order quickly and efficiently and without much more of a welcoming word. The dedicated menu doesn't try to give everyone everything, but offers a few quality choices that's free of swill, wells, or discount-type beverages. Quality and rotation shines here. The beers that we enjoyed here were Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Mikkeller Hop Burn Higho, Local Option American Muscle, and Three Floyds Ham on Rye- all are served in a well-intended glass, properly filled and headed, and with care and art. The bartender obviously cares about how the beers are presented. The draft menu seems to span about 30 beers and seem to rotate as to offer a constant variety. The menu has all the right info: price, ounces, and descriptions.
The menu also boasts a few food options that seems to be as artistic as the bar- hot dogs and pretzels seem to be dressed up to some extend to have them stand out from anyone else. But we passed by the food for pizza to come later.
Overall, the experience here is very clean and sleek. Although the after work crowd seemed a bit cliquish and mildly pretentious, the staff seems to handle the patronage well. For me, I will likely stop by at a less key time and sit at the bar to get a better feel of the place and establish a conversation with the bartenders.
06-15-2012 19:47:43 | More by BEERchitect
3.86/5 rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
We stopped in here after a recent trip to the city to see Social Distortion play at the Vic.
We didn't exactly "dress up" for the concert, but our t-shirts and jeans didn't get the unwelcome glances I expected after seeing the interior and the attire of the other patrons... The inside is sleek and minimal-- concrete, ducts, pipes, very clean.
We all ordered a pint of FFF Snow Weasel and a "Fall Punch" for my wife. The beer was served slightly too cold, but warmed up just fine. Proper glassware was used and proper head was present. My wife's drink was strong. Surprisingly strong.
Anyway-- it was quite crowded being that it was Friday night around midnight so we decided to cut out without getting any food. The menu looked pretty good though.
The beer selection was pretty nice, and the prices were pretty average for the area. It took quite a while before a bartender got around to us... but I suppose that's to be expected in most bars in the city on a friday night (which is why I don't usually go to bars in the city!)
Overall-- I would certainly make this a place to stop by if I could manage a lunch meeting here... The mid-20s hipster-yuppies packed the place on a Friday night.
10-29-2012 04:00:43 | More by AleWatcher
3.25/5 rDev -21.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
This place is OK. The beer list is awesome. Their "Bangers" are kind of disappointing. They claim to be a sausage landmark, but all they really have are some dressed up hot dogs and 2 or 3 sausages. They’re pretty good, but not what I would expect from a sausage place.
Now for the service. Go read yelp. There's a lot of reviews on there about the staff being much more concerned with themselves than the customers. It’s true. These guys didn’t have the time to give a crap, even though the place was empty when we were there. Stop being assholes to your customers, and I’ll gladly come back. In the mean time, there’s a crap load of other bars with really good beer lists. Skip.
08-05-2013 01:01:41 | More by Fluffheady
4.24/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
I stopped in here on a recommendation from a bartender at the Map Room. It sits on a street corner. We walked into a place with exposed brick walls and wooden floors. The bar was to our right and seated around fifteen people. Above the bar was a chalkboard with 32 beers listed for the taps. They also gave us beer/food menus. I had not heard of a lot of the beers on the list. They had beers from Chicago to Founders to Germany to Belgium. I am not saying that I am a beer expert, but when I walk into a bar that has beers that I have not heard of I am usually salivating.
I started out with a Berliner Style Weisse w/potato. It was excellent. I moved on to a local brew called Troublesome from Off Color brewing. It was a gose which I have only had one other in that style. My friend and I each ordered a sandwich to split with each other. We had the veal bratwurst and the goat sausage. Both sandwiches were delicious and reasonably priced. I finished with a Freigeist peated Abraxxxas. My friend had a Cuvée Des Jacobins Rouge which he absolutely loved.
The bartender seemed very knowledgeable of the beers. They also had a couple coolers with bottle selections. He did get a little wrapped up in his phone when we were trying to leave. The bathrooms were unisex and reminded me of a sauna. There was wood everywhere.
I really enjoyed this place. I liked the gourmet treatment of simple sandwiches and the tap list was amazing. The beers are not cheap, but they get some less common beer, so I feel it is worth it. The food we tried was good and reasonably priced. I would recommend it for a try.
08-17-2013 23:05:41 | More by buschbeer
4.2/5 rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75 | $$
Friends brought us there for Sunday brunch prior to our flight back to Minnesota. This restaurant and bar specializes in (surprise!) sausage and beer. They have 32 beers on tap a ton more in bottle to choose from. Looking at the oh-so-subtle sign out front, I would never have even noticed this place much less stopped in. They have an old fashioned long bar and a bunch of old poorly taxidermied animals on the walls, giving it a 1940-50's feel. Tin ceilings and truck-stop stools complete the picture. I tried a couple of great beers here, including two different Gose beers! The brunch food was all amazing: can you say foie gras corn dogs? And bacon sausage! Sausage made out of bacon--the best of both worlds! I would come back for the food alone, but the varied tap list would keep me here a while! I was only sad that we had a flight scheduled and I couldn't hang out here as long as I would have liked.
11-15-2013 18:18:53 | More by Jackofallbrews
Bangers & Lace in Chicago, IL
92 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.