Capone's Liquor & Food
Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 21 | Show All Ratings:
5/5 rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
On the outside, Capone's looks like any other neighborhood liquor store. On the inside, however you'll find a selection of the best craft beer available to the Chicago market. This also includes what could be the largest local micro craft beer selection in Chicagoland. Local brewers specifically target Capone's as one of their first accounts because the owner, Freddy, is so passionate about local beer. For exceptional new micro brews he really sticks his neck out, as Freddy has been known to offer money back guarantees! Those bottles are always a sure bet and all of his recommendations have been dead on. This gives young breweries an exceptional way to get their product to consumers and it makes Capone's one of the best liquor stores in Chicago. How many liquor stores do you know who offer money back guarantees on certain micro brews?
Speaking of money, a few reviews mention that Capone's prices can sometimes be slightly higher than the rock bottom prices found at chain stores. Well, if you want rock bottom prices, then you have to go to a warehouse or chain, liquor barn. You'll end up going out of your way to find one, and you won't find the same selection or service. At the end of the day you saved a buck, wasted time, and supported a large corporation that probably isn't even based in Chicago.
Shop Capone's. You're are supporting a local business that has a great craft beer selection and excellent customer service. A buck more on certain bottles is well worth the convenience, extra service, and satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a great small business.
03-08-2014 20:41:34 | More by John_George_Peppers
3.24/5 rDev -26%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75 | $$$
Great selection,friendly staff.Beer is usually a couple dollars more than other places.Ive also seen way old beer on the shelves.Props for the great Pipeworks selections.Usually stay away due to the high prices and old beer.Would shop here more often if the prices were more inline with other craft beer stores in the city.
01-20-2014 01:42:28 | More by ILLEGALSMILEs
4.5/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
You won't be disappointed when stopping at Capones. Freddy, the owner, is a genuinely nice guy who won't try and jam sales down your throat.
Although they don't have a huge selection i.e. Binny's, you'll definitely find some gems in his inventory. He's made lots of friends in the brewing industry and they always bring him the fresh stuff first (2-5 days before anyone else gets it). He has a lot of the standard local Chicago brews in the fridge (Rev's, Half Acre, Pipeworks, Spiteful, 18th St) with the more limited stuff on the shelves.
I go here for brand new, harder to find Pipeworks and Half Acre stuff. He always has the shelves stocked with all of the Pipeworks, Spiteful and 18th Street stuff which are some of the best breweries in Chicagoland.
12-22-2013 15:23:15 | More by Yarni28
4.71/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Was visiting from NJ and heard about this place from a friend. I decided to check it out since I always like to bring home beer while on business trips. I got there late and took a cab over, but realized I didn't need to rush since they're open until midnight. Even though I came in late, I didn't feel awkward because I was greeted upon entering before I started my shopping.
I was suprrised at the selection. There was a large selection of fresh Pipeworks (some bottled the same day). Also found Bourbon County Barleywine on the shelf along with Prairie, Fantome Extra Sour, and Three Floyds. I asked about a couple other beers I was interested in which were hard to find and found out that they had some in the back. HUGE score on that.
The aisles were all clean and very easy to navigate through. I didn't have any problem finding what I wanted. It appears that it was sorted by brewery and I didn't see any dusty bottles either. Definitley a good thing considering I bought a couple IPAs while visiting.
The staff was EXTREMELY helpful and didn't have any problem giving recommendations or helping me find things. Since there wasn't anyone else in the store due to the time, I was able to have a pretty long conversation with one of the owners. He was knowledgeable and I could tell he enjoys what he does. Important to me because I like to shop at places where people know what they're talking about when it comes to beer.
I'll definitely be here again while visiting Chicago. It's great to have another beer store on my list of places to visit while visiting the windy city.
12-11-2013 06:51:14 | More by EJLinneman
5/5 rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
If you are looking for the best selection of craft beer in Chicago, look no further than Capone's. The guys are friendly, knowledgeable, and definitely know how to throw a party..or help you throw a party! Capone's is a definitely a place where you can find the best/freshest selection of Chicago's very own breweries. Capone's is open late too and they have a nice selection of craft beer in the coolers, so it is ready to enjoy right away...at least when you get to where you are going (don't drink & drive). Capone's is a place you do not want to pass up!!! Cheers!
10-22-2013 16:25:56 | More by mrpape
2.68/5 rDev -38.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4.25 | $$$$
Bottom line, I only buy beer from stores I trust, and Capones is not trustworthy.
The bribed shill reviews aren't fooling anyone guys. Real classy...
All you have to do is look past the surface to notice the shady tactics employed here... bribing customers for online reviews, posting bait & switch prices on beermenus, selling old beer, etc. You're wasting your money paying way over MSRP here (triple in some cases) for things available much cheaper elsewhere (not to mention being gullible).
Now that Beer Temple has opened on Elston, I don't have a reason to come here anymore. Fresh beer at fair prices is all I ask... Outdated beer with jacked up prices, no thanks.
After shopping here for about a year now i've noticed a few things, that maybe you wouldn't notice at first glance. Many beers are $2-5 more than what you'd find elsewhere. Zombie Dust purchased here twice ($14.99, not $13 as listed on beermenus) has been faded both times... that should never happen. Caveat emptor.
They update beermenus at least twice a day so they're always at the top of the "recently updated" list, which is frankly annoying (never thought i'd say that about a place on beermenus). More egregiously though, items listed (and updated same day) may or may not be in stock, or are a different price than listed online... shady. Stuff isn't always on the shelf and sometimes you have to ask, or they flat out don't have what they list on beermenus.
They have cleaned it up a bit inside, and added lots more beers in the front of the store. They do have a great selection, and keep up with new releases. Just be sure to ask prices and check dates on hoppy beers. High prices, misinformation, and lack of imports keep me from stopping in more frequently.
Stopped in today to check out the current selection, thanks to Marmora for the tip! Had been in a couple times before, but neglected to add to beerfly.
They boast over 300 beers, and that may be true. From the outside it looks like any other forlorn, run-down neighborhood bodega, but the craft beer posters, and even a hand-painted sign for Half Acre and Argus outside hint at what's inside. This area is fairly underserved beer-wise, so Capone's definitely covers a niche for area residents. The closest store is Golden Leaf at Elston/Irving, and Avondale Armanetti on Milwaukee, south of Belmont. West Lakeview is 1.5 mi. east, and serves a different area.
Inside it's tile floors, florescent lighting, and many cooler doors full of beer. There was a rack of Bells seasonals up by the register, including Cherry Stout, Double Cream, Winter White, and TCOA ($19/sixer). Straight ahead was a full pallet of Schlitz tallboys sitting in the middle of the floor. To the right was about 8 or more beer cooler doors, with many 750s, bombers, and singles. Towards the back were craft sixers, and straight ahead was a bunch of macros and alcopops. Hiding in between the coolers was a cardboard cutout of Snoop Dogg pimping Colt 45 Blast. Towards the back was an overstock area with Half Acre cases on the shelf and a warm island shelf of Bells, FFF, and Founders.
In the coolers: Firestone Walker, Jolly Pumpkin x4, Founders x5-6 including Breakfast Stout and Double Trouble, FFF x6 (APW, BrooDoo, Gorch Fock), Great Lakes x4-5, Uinta, Lagunitas, Southern Tier, Great Divide, Metropolitan, Two Bros, SN Ovila, Moylans, Grand Teton, Goose bombers, Unibroue, Victory, Anchor Brekle's Brown, Hop Slayer cans, Ska cans, Half Acre cans (no seasonal bombers). Imports from Steigl, Hofbrau, Sam Smith, etc. Not especially extensive import-wise. Selection was broad though it seemed limited to full lines of specific breweries. Prices were $2-3 higher than elsewhere, the typical bodega "convenience upcharge".
Counter clerk was a nice guy, when I asked about Founders Harvest Ale, he mentioned they got one case and it had come and gone. Then he mentioned they had Backwoods Bastard singles (behind the counter) for $6 that had just come in. (that's $24 a 4-pack, instead of $15-18 elsewhere).
Overall a decent shop for the area, an oasis in the craft beer desert of Avondale.
10-11-2013 20:48:04 | More by emerge077
4.89/5 rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This is the go to bottle shop in the city of Chicago. I'm not just saying that because its down the street from me, its because the selection and amazing service.
Come in and talk to Freddy the shop owner and you will be blown away by his passion for craft beer and the industry and his dedication to his patrons to connect them to the beer and the brewers who make it. Right by the counter is the newest and freshest local Chicago beer often on sale the day it is bottled from the brewery. Capone's is usually the first stop where the new releases drop and are posted within minuets of arrivals on facebook/twitter.
Not only is the beer vast and customer service excellent, Capone's often hosts free events where local brewers come to pour beer and meet and greet.
All in all there are many good bottle shops in Chicago but Capone's is a cut above the rest and has and will be my one stop for craft beer.
10-11-2013 20:43:58 | More by Rajasbrewing
4.81/5 rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
I stopped by here on my most recent trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza. I met a fellow BA for an IP trade and we hit up a few bottle shops. I had Capones on my list to visit as I was trying to find some of the Citra Ninja that was just released. The owner said he was all sold out buy expected more to come in on the day we were to leave. I called him that morning before heading out and sure enough, he got some in and made sure there was one there for me to pick up before I left town. He was one of the nicest shop owners I have had the pleasure of doing business with. Just like some of the other top bottle shops in town (Beer Temple, WLV & Castle VAV), he knows craft and is more than happy to help you out.
Selection is not as large as a Binnys, but it holds its own with the Beer Temple and id say has more inventory than WLV. All are a must stop, but I wanted to give an idea on size. It seems that there are bottles here that were long gone at some of the larger bottle shops around town. I guess its because it isnt a mega store or isnt central for a location, but for beer geeks, its a pleasant surprise to find something in stock here that youve had a hard time locating. There is a large refrigerated section that takes up a couple walls to the back and right. I noticed that it was full of IPAs kept at proper temps. I give them props for that.
This will be a store I come back to every time I visit Chicago, which seems to be about every two to three months. I look forward to returning!
09-23-2013 07:05:37 | More by HopsMatt
4.61/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Was in Chicago for work yesterday and happened upon this place while grabbing an Italian Beef at Munchies next door (one of the things I miss most about living in Chicago!). I checked out the reviews here on BA and realized I had stumbled upon a gem.
I went inside and within 2 minutes realized I was going to blow well past my beer budget for the month! It's a fairly small shop; it doesn't have quite the wall of beer you find at some of the big stores, but they had nearly everything a BA visiting Chicago could want - Pipeworks, Half Acre, Revolution, FW, Dogfish, etc. And for what you might miss from the slightly smaller selection than a big box liquor store, they make up for and then some in service. As other reviewers have mentioned, Freddy is a great guy and was really friendly and helpful. He even pulled a few goodies out for me since I was from out of town and was picking up quite a haul.
All in all, this a great shop, and more than met my expectations for a great Chicago beer stop! I'll definitely be back next time I'm in town!
09-07-2013 16:37:59 | More by will1256
4.9/5 rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
If you forget to look, you might miss the place, but then again, The 300 Beer signs all over the store front will catch any eye. Walking in, your eyes light up. This isnt your every day run of the mill craft beer store. Freddy has it all, and a lot of it.
The obvious selections or Half Acre, Pipeworks, Goose Island, Revolution, 18th Street, etc. is something that you would expect from a Chicago liquor store, but not the amount or variety Capone's has. They are the first to mu knowledge to get beer from all the local breweries, including bottled one-offs from Half Acre. He also gets the most wanted beers from the breweries first, sometimes even days before other stores.
On top of that, Capone's gets the beer that big craft beer nerds, as myself, are looking for. If there is even a slight chance that the Chicago market received even a few cases of a certain beer from across the US or even overseas, bet your money that you'll see it at Capone's.
The best part about all of it, besides drinking the beer you purchase of course, is Freddy himself. The guy knows his stuff on beer and is not afraid to talk to you about it. Even if you arent a huge craft beer guy or are just getting into beer, he will help you. Very approachable and just an overall nice and genuine guy. You can even come to one of their free tasting events during the year, when they open up some bottles that you cannot even find around the midwest.
Next time you're in the Chicagoland area, make it a point to visit Freddy over at Capone's. You wont regret it one bit. Cheers!
08-13-2013 20:52:45 | More by Pidzik12
Capone's Liquor & Food in Chicago, IL
96 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.