Rock Island Public House
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Taps: 16 / Bottles: 20
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 3 | Show All Ratings:
4.36/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The Rock Island Public House (RIPH) is what a good bar should be. Spacious but not overly large, a great selection of beers reasonably priced, knowledgable servers who have a passion and understanding of what they are serving, with an ambiance that is warm but not kitchy. Add in an outstanding jukebox (not satellite) and the vibe becomes tremendous. No food but there are several establishments within a few hundred feet, and they allow you to bring in their food (or delivery). While there are other places with more taps, the selection at the RIPH stays fresh and frequently rotates with various breweries and styles of beer being featured at various points through the year. Sitting on Olde Western avenue, it is truly a destination.
11-26-2013 19:25:01 | More by JackM242
4.24/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Diamond in the rough. Located on Old Western in Blue Island, IL Rock Island Public House offers a very unique selection of local craft beers. The building is a great representation of historic Blue Island with the exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and hardwood floors. If people watching is your thing then there's no disappointment here. From local patrons to city hipsters it seems everyone can find something they like about this place. I came by during a Blackhawks playoff game and liked that unlike most bars, most people there didn't even watch the game (although I intensely did). Some days you will even find brewmasters from local nano-breweries stopping in for a pint. The only reason my score was lower for the atmosphere is the neighborhood. Blue Island is neighbored by a few high crime areas so be alert when driving to/from at night and try to stick to the hwy.
Quality of the beer is great, they actually clean out the beer lines & faucets between kegs. Try finding that attention to detail in a downtown Chicago bar. Don't expect to wait too long for a beer either... unless they're changing the keg of course. Bartenders are ready to serve and discuss their beer with you and the music isn't blasting at an obnoxious volume so conversations can be had.
From Bells to One Trick Pony, this place spans the craft beer marketplace. The tap list changes continuously through the day as each keg runs out they replace it with something different. Could they have more taps? Well more is better right? Yes and no. There are just enough to keep the rotation regular and if more were added then the beer wouldn't be as fresh. On the other hand if it's a marathon tasting event then more is better.
No food available, but there are some restaurants next door. Prices are reasonable $5-$8 pint depending on the style and some days they have discounted cans.
06-05-2013 18:26:21 | More by EvolutionAles
4.78/5 rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This has become my newest "go-to" bar for a good beer. A much needed addition to the Blue Island community, and between the Public House and Maple Tree Inn, Old Western is becoming a must stop for craft beer lovers.
This place has a real classy and mellow atmosphere. It's adorned with pictures of old Blue Island on the walls which really gives some cool insight into the city's beer-centered past. Exposed brick interior, dimmed lighting, flip-style jukebox with a great selection of music, and a sweet giant retro can collection make this place a Southside gem. There are a few TV's with the game on, though they're usually muted so conversations can go on without an eventual yelling battle ensuing. There's a small gated beer garden area that I'm sure will be utilized come summer time.
All beers are served in the proper glassware and the service has been nothing but spectacular in my visits. The owners are almost always on hand, and they're very passionate about the bar and the beer which definitely shows. They are quick to fill you glass, give out a sample, or make a suggestion. Diverse group of people come in and it seems like everyone is mellow. Lots of people just trying craft for the first time, but willing to learn. I recommend going with their flight option upon first visit, in order to try 4 beers at once and get a feel for the tap list.
On that note, the tap lists are constantly changing, so if you see something you like, you better get it while it's flowing. They seem to focus on Midwestern breweries, which is cool because they give the little guys some tap space. You'll find beers from locals that you can't find at other places. There's a growing bottle list, but I've already had Lagunitas Sucks, Mikkeller Spontanframboos, and Bell's Hopslam in bottles here which was pretty awesome.
They don't serve any food, yet. They have space for a small kitchen, and I believe they have plans to do some nice small apps or something in the future. At the moment of this review, patrons are allowed to bring their own food. With a few restaurants nearby, it's nice to grab tacos or pizza and sit down with a good beer.
Prices are pretty much on par with most other craft bars, usually around $5-$8 a drink.
I think the Public House has a bright future in Blue Island. I would definitely recommend it if you're in the neighborhood or nearby on the Southside.
03-17-2013 19:17:43 | More by mkennedy119
Rock Island Public House in Blue Island, IL
- out of 100 based on 4 ratings.