Taps: 18 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
05-21-2005 13:46:48 | More by slander
4.44/5 rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Somehow i've passed over reviewing this quirky Chicago original.
What you can't see in the photo above is the roof, which has cottage style wood slats, and a *giant* red Duvel sign: the beer geek bat-signal. Also missing is the hanging sign, which features a two-sided portrait of the evil queen from Snow White. Inside, check out the work of local artists, and an impressive display of bottles above the bar. When you first walk in, there is an awesome lit-up Oerbier sign (3-D doughboy from the De Dolle label) next to the second-floor door (pinball upstairs). The atmosphere is decidedly noir, they were screening Halloween & Friday the 13th on my last visit. Usually i'll end up here for the music, like the monthly Smiths night.
Ask for the bottle list to see the scope of their selection. Taps are good too, recently they added Chimay White for example. They don't rotate much, save for a seasonal or two. New Jolly Pumpkin bottes: Luciernaga and Bam on my last visit. I finished the night with a vintage Drie Fontienen Oude Gueuze. The vintage stuff has dwindled some in the last year, but it's still a rarity in this town...expect to pay accordingly. They also host seasonal vintage tastings several times a year.
Do yourself a favor and get a carryout pizza from Gino's down the street to bring over. Also worth a mention is the Home Tavern up the street. They have German taps if Delilah's is too crowded (most every fri/sat night), and you don't mind a real dive (not a beer bar).
2012: Bottle list is no longer pages long, but still contains gems. Gets way crowded on weekends, and some of the crowd is a bit questionable. Good service despite that, escape to the 2nd floor after 11pm.
11-12-2007 21:06:17 | More by emerge077
4.26/5 rDev -0.7%
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! Im 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 1950s look. I just dont 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 wasnt 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, Ill be back. M tellin ya, bro. My seatmate at the bar, Dave, had this to say about me: Youre 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 wouldnt speak to me for a year. Oh, wait. On second thought, Im bringing her directly here.
10-01-2006 20:27:46 | More by woodychandler
4.36/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped here on a Tuesday night, hardly anybody in the place. The atmosphere is right down my alley, it's darkly lit, punk music playing, odd trippy paintings on the walls, and I saw 3 HDTV's showing Star Wars Episode 2. There were ~15 taps, including Maudite, Matilda, and a reasonable split between other NA microbrews and German beers. No food is served, but they allow you to bring food with you, or even order in! Overall a very friendly spot, about 6 blocks from the brown/purple line, easy to recommend.
06-11-2008 13:33:16 | More by TurdFurgison
4.36/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Iggy Pop is stripping and cutting himself with razor blades when I walk in. At any moment I expect Legs McNeil to pop out from behind a booth, and as if this were a PBS documentary on punk rock relay a story about some night in 78 when Iggy did too many queludes and fell through the front window of a bar just like the one Im standing in right now.
The bartender has that heroin look about him like he might have been in a Calvin Klein ad in 1992. The only other souls in the place are straight up rockabilly. The Jerry Brown version of DKs California Uber Alles is playing quietly over the sound system.
The place isnt more than 30 ft wide and 200 ft deep. Tall tables and black vinyl booths line one wall. The bar pretty well covers the other. Posters proudly proclaiming specials on PBR and union whiskey dot the walls. I admire their graphic designer.
A nice array of taps confronts me as I approach the bar but I force my self to ask for a bottle list. Im pleased to say the least. I can finally try the Westies. They dont let down. Next I move to a wonderfully sour winter saison and notice that the table next to me is drinking grey market New Glarus Belgian Red. Then Im on to Westmalle. This I follow with a mellow from FFF because by this time the 70s punk rock and strong Belgians, not to mention Iggy, are all starting to get me riled up. The FFF does the job well and I come back down to earth just in time to move onto Sheffields with the rest of the BA pub crawl crew.
Great bar, great selection, great Iggy.
01-30-2006 19:47:37 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.14/5 rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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. Its 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.
08-27-2005 23:29:36 | More by rhoadsrage
3.73/5 rDev -13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Finally made my way into Delilah's this past weekend following a bachelor party the night before. Someone before me described the place as gritty, and I doubt there's a better word out there. It's kinda small, decidedly dark, and has a definite punk-ish edge to it. Interestingly enough, I got in there just after opening on a Sunday, and "The Empire Strikes Back" was playing on the TVs, already about 15-20 minutes in. Right on. The bartender seemed somewhat terse, not in a negative way, really, just a slightly distant one. I have no real problem with this. At all. Good on ya, mate. The bathroom's mirror is composed of shards arranged close to each other, approximating a real mirror. Adverts sitting around told me to stop in for some psychobilly DJing. Nice. The beer selection was solid, if on the smaller side, but, then again, I doubt they're really catering to the true beer geek crowd: they just like to serve tasty brews is all. There looked to be some nice bottles in the small fridge at the end of the bar (hell, I wanna say I spotted a Cantillon 375ml, but I'm still not sure), but I never got a good look or asked about it. Overall, I really wanna go back. I feel I would really enjoy myself here on a decently regular basis. If only I knew what they had on-tap before heading in...
07-24-2012 01:18:36 | More by TMoney2591
4.02/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Have read about Delilah's for years now. Mostly based around their whiskey selection, and I know this isn't Whiskey Advocate, but I'm giving them style points because Whiskey and beer go hand and hand.
Had lunch at the Northdown, and was walking over to Goose Clybourn, and bam, there was Delilah's and it was erupting with sound! As it turns out (and is noted above), that during the Fall, Delilah's will open early to show the Buffalo Bill's games. Mike the owner is from Buffalo, and sure as shit, you walk in and there is a bunch of Buffalo Bill's fans. As pathetic of a team as they are (zing), there is a good contingency of Bill's fans in Chicago. They were passionate, and drinking LaBatt's. I thought that was funny.
Anyways, they had a great little tap selection of beer. We ended up getting a Noel de Calabaza from JP...and that beer is no slouch, so I was very excited to see that on the list. He's got some great vintage bottles, and does a Christmas themed party ever year where he busts out some really gnarly verticals of shit like Anchor Christmas, SN Celebration and so on.
Mike is my favorite kind of bar owner. He stocks things because he wants to carry them and believes they are good products. Not because the beer community is drooling over them, or they are the newest and greatest, or anything like that. It's a great way to show people you give a f*ck, and that you are passionate about what you do. Right on Mike, keep it up dude.
Now his whiskey. World class selection. Shit you will not see anywhere else, ANYWHERE! Many hand picked casks by Mike himself, and some blends that he has done with distilleries. I love this.
This place is everything a great beer/whiskey bar should be. Dark, rough around the edges, and well stocked. A MUST stop in the Chicago area, I will absolutely be back.
12-12-2013 15:27:50 | More by MarcatGSB
4.1/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Delilah's could pass for a goth child's bedroom in regards to aesthetics, but comfortable surroundings, friendly staff and a solid tap and bottle list more than make up for that (if you think of that as a bad thing)
atmosphere is pseudo halloween-esque with a bit of hard rock flaire; quite dark with orangish amber lighting throughout. the bar is to one side, with lounge seating in back. and a rail up front looking out to the sidewalk.
quality and service are great. clean glassware, fresh taps and barkeeps that don't mind talking about beer.
selection is great as well. around 20 taps, along with an extensive bottle list which contains an excellent selection of hard to find Lambics (pricey).
overall, this is a worthy stop for those in the area, as well as to seek out when something good is on tap or one is in the mood for lambics.
09-28-2009 22:57:03 | More by botham
Delilah's in Chicago, IL
94 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.