The Map Room
Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
4.44/5 rDev 0%
ah yes the map room - my first visit, with my friend Carri who recently moved 2 blocks from here
The map room doesnt have food but we ate at a sweet cuban restaurant right on armitage across the street, so check that out if you're hungry
the place was packed at 8pm on a tuesday and gradually became more comfortable as the night went on. We managed to snag 2 corner seats at the very long bar. The interior of this place has been well described in many reviews - there were a few tv's which was nice since the cubs were playing.
service was strong - bartenders knew their beer and were prompt
the tap list was most certainly inferior to hopleaf. Surly wasnt present, the flossmoor selection was gone, and the three floyds were pretty standard. There wasnt anything too terribly special but there wasnt anything less than good either.
as you flip the tap list you get to the very small print bottle list that is about 4 miles long. I had a bottle of the meantime coffee porter, ename tripel, and a 22oz flossmoor vishnu's vice IPA which was awesome.
my partner in crime stuck to the belgian pales and we had a nice time at the map room indeed.
bottles seemed a little steep but it is Chicago and it is premium beer.
really a toss-up with hopleaf for me
07-25-2008 19:18:44 | More by dirtylou
4.88/5 rDev +9.9%
My wife and I visited around midnight on a crowded April Friday the 13th. Our hotel was closer to downtown and we took the blue line "L" train to the Western stop and walked about 10 minutes. I contacted them via email a couple days prior and they set me up with the public transit info - a plus for service prior to the visit.
We had to wait outside a couple of minutes because they were at capacity. This is good because it's a long, narrow room and not incredibly large considering pool tables occupy one end. Once we were in, we lucked out and got two seats at the bar. As others have posted, they have about as good of a beer selection you'll find anywhere. We went local with a belgium spring beer from Three Floyds, Cane & Abel from Two Brothers and far away with LaChoufe IPA.
While they do have tables, I believe all beers are ordered through the bar (no servers). They had four bartends doing an excellent job keeping the drinks flowing. Our bartended even took the time to ask us how our beers were and if we had any questions.
A couple of items I think would have improved the experience
- I come from a clean air state (Ohio) and it's difficult for me to enjoy good beer and food in a smoke polluted room. I realize this is an Illinois law and I may be in the minority, but it bugs me and I'm on my soapbox about clean air. In the Map Room's favor, they had four very powerful smoke eaters - so powerful they were blowing too much "clean" air on my wife and we had to switch.
- The Cane & Able I ordered was advertised as being on the beer engine. They served it from the normal tap and when I commented, they said the beer engine was out and asked if I still wanted it. A bit picky, but they could have wiped it off the board if it was gone.
- All large inventory beer bars could benefit from listing their beers by style or include a brief description about the beer. I'm working my way into Belgium beers and The Map Room had a ton. Simply listed them out alphabetically by brewery does little to help with beer navigation/exploration.
Yes, these are picky points but I had to find something for my review. As you see by my scores, this is a great establishment in a city with more than it's share of macro domestic drinkers. Keep up the great work!
04-16-2007 01:59:11 | More by Yetiman420
4.5/5 rDev +1.4%
The Map room is a must stop while in Chicago. Easy to find, located at the corner of Hoyne & Armitage, I would recommend public transportation, as parking is tough especially in the evening.
As you enter, you will immediately see the bar along the south wall. Note the impressive collection of tap handles. Keeping with their travelers theme, you will see beers from all over but with a concentration on quality Midwest Micros. You can always count on a couple of selections from 3Fs & 2 Brothers. I have never had an off or old beer & tap lines seem to be in immaculate shape.
I have always had good service here. The bartenders are hardworking professionals that know how to treat their customers and the beer. This is a knowledgeable staff.
The Map room seems to attract a nice crowd with lots of regulars. I think this adds to the atmosphere of the bar. Strike-up a conversation with the person next to you and see where it leads.
Note that they offer some very nice special events that are obviously beer related. They also have some tasty free food on Saturdays.
Every town deserves a beer bar as good as this!
04-09-2007 18:59:55 | More by Redrover
4.88/5 rDev +9.9%
Well worth the two hundred mile trip from Madison. The highest quality selection I have ever seen. The Map Room is simply a brilliant beer bar.
Great atmosphere! I expected this place to be pretentious and sterile because generally, bars that offer such a large selection of high caliber of beers tend to create a high caliber disinfected atmosphere that screams anything but beer. Likewise their staffs usually become snobbish and arrogant. Not so with the Map Room.
The map room has the black painted floors that are so typical to big city clubs. Its walls are pasted with maps and travel themed objects. The back third of the bar has textured walls and painted ceiling that give one the impression of drinking within a globe. The relatively small place utilizes its space well and offers ample opportunity to sit and relax. Free pool and wireless are nice touches also. Overall, the place feels just about how a beer bar ought too.
My notes on the more subtle aspects of the atmosphere include the specials board, which lists the daily happy hour or beer specials. Fridays special states simply, Youre already special or something to that effect, which I found cute. Thursdays special was even better, though. It advertised $4 bottles of miller lite. To me advertising ML at $4 a bottle as a bargain in a place that only charges $6 for a very large glass of St. Bernie 12 is kind of a subtle way of saying, stay the hell out swill sippers. Likewise, the graffiti on the bathroom walls touts quality brews while slamming swill. Its just great.
The staff is of equal quality. I spoke at length to a bartender who really knew her beer and scotch (the map room also has good scotch). I was impressed.
All of these great qualities would be nothing if it werent for the famous selection at the Map Room. I cant elaborate on it beyond my opening statement that it is the best I have ever seen.
I will be returning to the Map Room regularly.
Edit: I returned after I discovered that the Map Room is only a ten minute walk from the Clybourn stop on Metra's North (Kenosha) Line. Not only was service better than the previously mentioned perfect service, but they had free BBQ. I'm talking ribs, chicken, slaw, salad, wonder bread...the whole 9 yards. I was told they put out a spread like that every Sat. I am just so blown away by this place. Going to the Map Room is like going to a beer fest.
Oh...and Miller Light is up to $5 a bottle...when on special. :)
11-21-2005 21:20:56 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.5/5 rDev +1.4%
Last night in Chicago. Mark (the Connecticut kid) wanted to hit some bar at the top of some building that gives you some sick view. I was skeptical of the beer selection so I opted out. Thought it would be a better idea to hit The Map Room and surprisingly, it took very little convincing to turn Mark, Geoff and Mike onto the idea. Hey, stick your arm out, we're gonna need a cab...
(While I remember, here's a little something for you cabbies. When you pass the place I want to go to and I say, "That was it, that was it right back there", what I'm implying is that I want you to stop the cab right there and let me get out. If you think that what I meant was "Loop the block again, please keep me from drink, and further run up the tab", then you are not understanding me correctly. See, now this is probably why I barked "STOP NOW!!!!" at you. I hope this helps you. If there's anything more I can do to help enhance your communication skills, you'll let me know. Yeah, I know, you're welcome).
It's a long narrow room with an "L" shaped bar that seats a dozen and a half and a half dozen tables running adjacent to the rear. Red walls with cut windows and bookshelves overhead lined with white strung Xmas lighting, beer signs, posters and placards. Pressed tin ceiling, spot track lighting and hung flags overhead. Long narrow windows to the very front and to the rear, a half dozen tables behind and a half dozen raised bar tables in front of the "free pool table". That whole back area is done up with "map" wallpaper and giant maps of continents painted on the back walls. Above the bar lie blackboards listing the current tap selections, TV's in the corners and a collection of various bottles displayed overhead. And glasses of pretzel rods on the bar to help my disposition.
26 taps, a cask (3 Floyds Robert the Bruce), and a list of some 200 bottles. The tap list is a nice mix of nearly half micro (Bear Republic Black Bear Stout, Hop Rod Rye & Racer X, North Coast Old Rasputin & Red Seal, Bells 2 Hearted Ale, Capital Dopplebock, Flossmoor Helles Maibock, Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald Porter, 3 Floyds Alpha King, Sierra Nevada Brown Ale) and the other half imports Belgian (Kwak, Delirium Tremons, Corsendonk Brown, DeKoninck, EKU 28, St. B 12, Liefman's Kriek, Piraat, and De Dolle Dulle Teve "Mad Bitch"), German/Austrian (Weihenstephan Hefe, BBK Marzen, Stiegl Pils), and Fullers ESB, Guinness and Unibroue Blanche De Chamblay.
The bottle list is just fantastic. Belgians (multiple offerings from Cantillion, Fantome, De Dolle, De Ranke, Hanssens, Chouffe, Liefmans, Lindemans, Duchesse, Orval, Duvel, Westmalle), German (Schneider, Ayinger, Weihenstephan), English (Youngs, Sam Smith), and micro (at least a pair of each... Bells, Allagash, Goose Island, DogFishHead, Great Lakes, Anderson Valley, Great Divide, Avery, Rogue, Victory, Mendicino, Anchor).
In the corner... I didn't even notice it before, or I did and just thought it was something else, is a computer set to the Map Room website. "Don't get lost in town, map your way" or something. I did something better. I brought up BA, checked my beermail, and mapped my way to our next destination...
02-07-2005 02:41:28 | More by slander
The Map Room in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.