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Delilah's

Not Rated.
Delilah'sDelilah's
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

30 Reviews
Reviews: 30
Visits: 59
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: n/a
Taps: 18
Bottles: 150
Cask: N
[ Bar ]

2771 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1320
United States
phone: (773) 472-2771

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Sunday-Friday: 4pm - 2am
Saturday: 4pm - 3am

Sundays in the fall - open at 11am for Buffalo Bills games
*Open 365 days a year
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Visits: 59
Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Oh, hell, yeah! Whoever wrote the Essential Guide for CHI-town (Day 5) was spot on! I’m coming up on the place, wondering to myself, “Will I fit in?” You have to understand, as a young man, I sported a black leather jacket with a Circle Jerks bumper sticker that had been slapped on my back by their lead singer, Keith Morris at a show in Nawlins in 1985. Today, I am a balding schoolteacher with a developing bay window and a nerdy 1950’s look. I just don’t exude anarchy the way that I used to. As I was transiting the doorway, the doorman asked to see both my ID and my beer patch jacket and his really cute cohort (her words) asked me to buy her a snakebite. Effin A! I was home! This was the El ‘N’ Gee Club on Golden Street in New London, Connecticut, circa 1985/86. I started looking around for Annie Newsome and her brood, but to no avail.

Décor? Black. Flat black; black striping (glossy); black, black, black, as far as the eye could see, which wasn’t far, given the Stygian nature of the lighting. A pressed-tin black (what else?) ceiling; illuminated shrunken heads; B & W horror movies being shown on the monitors; an extensive back bar (therealbeerfly will need to vet this one for its selection); a cooler of great beer (that I got to hold open while it was being reloaded); and a corner lounge with black leather seats. I had arrived! What little lighting there was came from Christmas tree lights (mostly blue and white, but with some colored bulbs), strung together at irregular intervals.

To the left of the entrance was a flight of stairs, semi-obscured by a black velvet curtain. Up a flight of stairs, marked in neon as “Stairs”, was a second-floor lounge with its own foreshortened bar, pool table, pinball machine, stools covered in leopard skin and eyeball patterns (take note, BlackJeremiah), leather booths, and one lavatory. You should definitely check out the Frankenstein electronics that lined the stairwell.

The third Wednesday of every month is “Rockabilly Riot” night, plus you should not pass up “Punk Rock Mondays”. Yeah, man, I’ll be back. ‘M tellin’ ya, bro. My seatmate at the bar, Dave, had this to say about me: “You’re a strange guy, Woody.” One of the bartenders reminded me of Iggy Pop with his gaunt features and Midwestern accent.

Mom Test: Unh-uh. She wouldn’t speak to me for a year. Oh, wait. On second thought, I’m bringing her directly here. (2,429 characters)

Photo of malcontent
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

Delilah's is a tough review for me because as a beer bar it's only so so. Not bad by any stretch, but there are a number of bars in Chicago that specifically cater to beer drinkers. Delilah's DOES have good beers available (not to mention the usual presence of Strongbow on tap, which is always nice) but it isn't a bar built for beer hounds.

What it is, & this is almost as exciting, is the bar with Chicago's best selection of bourbon & Scotch that doesn't require a suit & tie. It gets better when you throw in the fact that it's not nestled in an area over-saturated with the frat/sorority crowd. After that everything else is just gravy.

"Tell me about this gravy of which you speak." Well, for starters, the place has a killer selection of music (albeit on themed nights; rockabilly, metal, mod-rock, etc.). It also has a great upstairs room (free for party groups on non-weekend nights provide you supply enough patrons {30, I believe}) with a pool table that doesn't have annoying waits/sharks.

Once again, my score is based solely on the fact that this is a beer website. Both the Hopleaf & the Maproom are better choices if beer is the primary objective. However, if this were just a review for overall quality, Delilah's would have a 5 & then some. My favorite bar in Chicago. (1,297 characters)

Photo of TheLoneGunman
4.4/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A great beer bar made special by its vintage selection. Long bar on your left, tables to your right.

Definitely a punk bar. But its the Bourbon and Single Malt selection that really gets me excited.

The real problem with the place is that it's a smoke fest. Honestly, you can't properly enjoy the wonderful libations that are available. The addition of a top-notch ventilation system would get me in the place a lot more often. This is coming from a former regular smoker. Even in my current "have one or two when drinking" situation, my experience simply gets dominated by the plume.

That said, I stand firmly behind Mike and his wish to run a smokey bar. But he'll see me a lot more often when that Chicago smoking ban kicks in. Ironic. I hate the law but it will give them more of my business. So that is why my atmosphere score is so low. I just can't get past it. Beer selection gets a nice score, but never forget that it would be about a 10 out of 5 if you are a whiskey fan. (993 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Yet another stop on the BA/CTA Pubcrawl. Delilah's is an awesome little punk bar with a sweet beer selection. Upon entering I knew I was gonna like this place. It's basically a long narrow room with a long bar on the left and black leather booths and tables on the right. Odd/creepy artifacts and music posters on the walls. Dim lighting along with black walls and some of the best abstract/freaky art I've ever seen in a bar. I though the emphasis of art on the walls was really cool. Vintage bootleg Iggy Pop concert playing on the TV, including an impromtu strip show by Iggy as well!

The beer selection was wide ranging both on tap and in the bottle. Plenty of vintage bottles made this is place all the more better. We ended up going in on a bottle of Westvleteren 12 and passed it around for everyone to try. I had some nice Pride & Joy on tap as well. The bartender was really laid back, but was always there when we came calling. The combination of punk ambiance and a great beer selection makes me want to get back here ASAP...altough it does get a bit smoky in there.

There was a diverse clientele and everyone seemed to be really chill and relaxed. Not overcrowded and not too loud. This is the kind of neighborhood bar I always seem to take a liking to. I just wish I didn't live so far away and that I could visit here more often. If you're coming to Chicago I'd definetly say that Delilah's should be on your list of beer bars to check out. It'll be an experience to remember in more ways than one! (1,518 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Iggy Pop is stripping and cutting himself with razor blades when I walk in. At any moment I expect Legs McNeil to pop out from behind a booth, and as if this were a PBS documentary on punk rock relay a story about some night in 78 when Iggy did too many queludes and fell through the front window of a bar just like the one I’m standing in right now.

The bartender has that heroin look about him like he might have been in a Calvin Klein ad in 1992. The only other souls in the place are straight up rockabilly. The Jerry Brown version of DK’s “California Uber Alles” is playing quietly over the sound system.

The place isn’t more than 30 ft wide and 200 ft deep. Tall tables and black vinyl booths line one wall. The bar pretty well covers the other. Posters proudly proclaiming specials on PBR and union whiskey dot the walls. I admire their graphic designer.

A nice array of taps confronts me as I approach the bar but I force my self to ask for a bottle list. I’m pleased to say the least. I can finally try the Westies. They don’t let down. Next I move to a wonderfully sour winter saison and notice that the table next to me is drinking grey market New Glarus Belgian Red. Then I’m on to Westmalle. This I follow with a mellow from FFF because by this time the 70’s punk rock and strong Belgians, not to mention Iggy, are all starting to get me riled up. The FFF does the job well and I come back down to earth just in time to move onto Sheffield’s with the rest of the BA pub crawl crew.

Great bar, great selection, great Iggy. (1,559 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is as dark and punk as it looks from the outside. They have two levels with a big bar downstairs and pool tables and a smaller bar upstairs. Don't let the random computer parts and punk art on the staircase worry you. It is usually more quite upstairs.

The bartenders usually know a bit about the beers and whiskey with over 200 of each (that is what they tell me) and they often have 3 Floyds and occasionally 2 brothers on tap. You can find some good Belgian beers and other imports in the cooler at the back of the bar.

The music is punk to dance with a random bizarre movie or DJ depending on the night. It is a diverse mix of people from the overworked yuppies that like good whiskey to the decked out in black group that want PBR. It’s nice to have a good beer and people watch but it can get a little loud and smoky if that bothers you.

They have two amazing fest each year. One in the spring that is all Lambics and wild beers and one in the winter that is all big beers. They are lots of fun and worth getting on their mailing list for. It is a fun place but definitely not your typical beer bar. (1,129 characters)

Photo of slander
4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Oh!
How very not like everywhere else we've been and will be anytime soon again. Not that I can really ever grow played of the good taps and good bottles bars, it's just that they're mostly similar in disposition and the crowd is generally the same. We beer people seem to be cut from the same general cloth, so to speak. Delilah's however, has a different thing going on. A good punk scene and a surprisingly good beer selection...
A small dark room holds a bar seating 15 along one wall, and 5 tables sharing one long bench along the other. 4 stools in the front window and a table beyond the end of the bar in a little nook. Pressed tin ceiling, exposed ductwork, and ceiling fans, all painted black, and the walls, too, with strung green & red Xmas lighting. Baby skull & monster lantern lights strung about as well. A dozen plus paintings of various size and shape all have the same woman as it's common theme. Yep, local artist, they're for sale.
They've got a collection of DVD's, where they'll just show random movies on the TV's in the corners. Excellent juke box filled with the goods (Clash, Ramones, Talking Heads, Jam, Misfits, Bad Brains, Blondie, Pistols, DK, Bowie, Iggy, Cramps, Devo, Elvis, Black Flag, you get the picture). The bathroom mirror is made up of shards of glass glued together. It provides a very distorted image but I'm still terribly handsome.
Holy shit!! Is that Patty Smith circa '75 over there? Um,... no.
The mirrored back bar is lined with strung holiday lighting and has 2 shelves of booze running it's length and a good collection of bottled imports above. I can see Stille Nacht, Duchess, Rochefort, Boon, Westvleteren, Achel, Fantome, Chimay, Cantillion, Westmalle from where I'm standing.
10 taps. Summit Hefe, Goose Island Honkers Ale, 3 Floyds Pride & Joy, something called the Greg Brown Barleywine '99, Maredsous 8, Leffe, St. B 12, Guinness, Bass & Strongbow.
There's also a small room upstairs with 3 tables, a small small bar with a few taps and bottles, and a pool table.
Great fricken tunes and a solid beer selection. I may be out of my element here but it was nice visiting. (2,139 characters)

Photo of RedBaron
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

What a helluva beer joint in the city!

Somewhat out of place in the mostly yuppie stronghold of south Lakeview/West Lincoln Park, this is the kind of beer bar ya want to hit if you're of the slightly punk, rockabilly sensibility musically-speaking, but with a palette for great brews.

The bar consists of two levels: the downstairs contains the main bar with enough Belgian/English/German bottles, American craft draughts and a stellar hard-liquor selection to satisfy the most fickle of drinkers. And they keep a quality selection of wines, too. The physical layout downstairs is one of dank, dark nicotine-riddled walls that support local artists' work on them. The jukebox is chock full of local, national and international punk, rockabilly, hard-core country and 80's Brit rock. The focal point of the downstairs is the long bar, and the awesome staff are ready to serve up some great libations, and usually equal good tales.

The upstairs contains a smaller bar, with just a few draughts but still a nice bottle selection, plus there are pool tables and an 'Adams Family' pinball machine (yes!).

I think that the off-the-beaten path beer tourist would do well to seek out Delilah's. I know that other good beer oasis' get more press, but that's OK. Delilah's is sort of the dark horse great beer joint in the city. Going in with the mindset that you may encounter some slightly seedy, but good-hearted and interesting patrons, you'll have a wonderful time. This place is a spiritual kin to the Toronado in San Francisco in my opinion. (1,553 characters)

Photo of silenius
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Delilah's is an odd bird. Where else have you seen a great big lit up red Duvel sign on the roof of a bar? Where else have you seen 1997 and 1998 Westy's for $10 and $12? Where else can you see the DVD version of the movie "Blacula" while drinking any number of aged Fantome beers? Where else has a lamp on the bar made from a circular saw blade and two Catwoman action figures in bondage? Where else does the decor inclue paintings of naked women pointing guns at you?

The place is a punk rock haven that plays music that sounds like my college radio show from the early 90's. However, even though it has all this going for it, the place is waaaay to smokey on a weekend to truly enjoy any of the many hard to find impressive beers they serve. Also, I have had the experience of asking for beer on the menu only to find out they haven't had that one for awhile, and then have it happen again with my second choice as well. They need to reprint their beer menus more than once a year. Also, each time I have visited there I had to send back my glass at least once because it was covered in schmutz and fingerprints. They need to a better job of washing their glassware.

If they would add another smoke-eater downstairs and wash their glasses a little better, I would be there more often. As it is now, Hopleaf or the Map Room win my beer $$$. Oh, and did I mention I practially live half a block from the bar? (1,416 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Sort of a hole-in-the-wall Chicago local. Place is midnight black inside and in need of some work but it kinds of adds to the ambience and the surprise when the beer list is presented to you. Tap selection is good with 3 Floyds, Bell's, Goose and some Belgians on draught. What is really striking is the cellared list. I mean any place that has Westvleteren 12 and 8, Fantome vintages back to '97 and a host of others has got to be worth a trip for a beer lover.

If you get to Chicago worth finding. (502 characters)

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Delilah's in Chicago, IL
93 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.