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Small Bar

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Small BarSmall Bar
32 Ratings
Small BarSmall Bar

Type: Bar, Eatery

2956 N Albany Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-7607
United States

(773) 509-9888 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by beerinator on 04-05-2005

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by 4thoseabout2bock:
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

We visited this original location for the first time last night (Friday night).
It is indeed a small bar. One room with 4 or 5 tables and a large beautiful old wooden bar along one wall with about a dozen bar stools. There is a dart board at the back and Golden Tee "complete" with Bowling near the front door. Also a juke box by the ladies room.

The tap selection was impressive especially for a small neighborhood bar. Last night they had: Anchor Steam, Point, Stella, Steigl Pils, Allagash White, Franzikaner, Summit Hefe, London Pride, Boddingtons, Sprecher Black Bavarian, Youngs Oatmeal Stout, Santa's Butt Porter, and Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout. Beers were $5 each (hefes in 20 oz glasses, most drafts in pints, Northwind and Santa's Butt in 12 oz goblets (whatever shape stella glasses are).

Service was friendly and informative even though the place was packed.

Our bartender took the time to describe beer styles to novices. Also, at first he charged me $10 for Santa's Butt. (rising prices at Goose and 8sih for Samichlaus in the past week have habituated me to high price tag beers, but this seemed a bit steep -- turned out he charged for two and politely returned the extra 5 with good humor -- I had already tipped him well, but he seemed like a fine bartender in any case).

We kicked Santa's Butt while we were there, and they put on a Winter Warmer by the same brewery (not sure which one, maybe Warm Welcome?)

The atmosphere is smoky but relaxed. Its a Logan Square crowd. And due to the 50 degree weather in Dec, some folks rode their bikes to the bar. I like the down-to-earth vibe at this location somewhat better than its newer, not-so-small sibling on Division which is more hip and trendy (although the Division location does also tend to have a slightly better tap list).

Small Bar is an authentic Chicago neighborhood gem with a great beer list. That and the fact that they offer food make it somewhat different drummer than most classic neighborhood corner bars in this general area like the Charleston. We didn't try the food but noted humorously that the vent from the men's bathroom empties into the kitchen.

 2,170 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Eman17
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of TheMarkE
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This corner hole-in-the-wall neighborhood bar has one of the best beer selections I've seen. A knowledgeable staff help guide you through the many brews on hand, including an impressive pick of local beer on tap.

If I lived anywhere nearby, I would be a regular.

 263 characters

Photo of Davit
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of HOPSareKey
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

definitely a small bar ;) was here during abraxas release and had 13, 14, and vanilla abraxas on tap so you cant argue with that. barkeep was most accommodating to our group. will return.

 188 characters

Photo of misternebbie
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of Thirsty_In_Chicago
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Barnoloid
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Fantastic local beer bar. Small Bar has excellent, knowledgable servers along with an ever rotating, extensive draft and bottle selection. Expect to see the taps change during the course of a night, with regular tappings of great local breweries such as FFF, Solemn Oath and Revolution along with the best of the US and further afield. Bar food is great - good burgers, cheese curds and mac and cheese on offer to offset the beers you will enjoy. A local favorite.

 464 characters

Photo of Studs1991
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of waitwhatamidrinking
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Nuggetz
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of la_gitana
5/5  rDev +16%

I love this place!

18 characters

Photo of Holland
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Keelin
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of little_star
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of cadaugherty
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Jordy777
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Buttermilk
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of PopnLoads
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of evileye
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of teledeluxe
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Great little neighborhood bar. While their tap offering and menu are both smaller than the Division location, I prefer this one. Less bros. Plus they have a small beer garden. Negative points for actually being so small it's not always easy getting a place to sit or even stand on the weekends.

 294 characters

Photo of Chris_Coughlin
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of KVota
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is my favorite bar in all of Chicago. Food is good for bar food and they've got food specials most nights of the week. Staff is super friendly and they remember the neighbors and regulars. But the Beer!! If you love beer, you should come here.

Parker, who runs the place, is a serious beer snob, and the selection shows it. Probably the best and most diverse beer selection I've had at a bar so far in this city. At any point in time, there's a little of everything on tap, taking account of seasonal preferences. There's 10-15 beers on tap at a time and a bottle selection that's killer. All craft brews all the time (though they might have a few cans of PBR for people who don't care what they're drinking). My favorite part is that everything is changing all the time. From week to week (or even day to day if it's popular), the draft list is completely different, though there's usually at least one beer from each of the major local breweries, and the bottle selection tends to change aprox. month to month with a few standards staying constant. The prices range from reasonable to expensive, but then that's the range of beers they've got. I think the most I've paid for a beer on draft was $14 for the anniversary bourbon barrel aged Old Rasputin. Probably the most delicious stout I've ever tasted, with an ABV of 12% before bourbon aging.

It gets pretty noisy in the evening, so if you like to go to a bar that's a bit quieter and enjoy your tasty beer, go before 730.

 1,486 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place was the last stop on my latest Chi-Town excursion. It's a small little place a few blocks north of the Logan Square train station. It comes off as a strange combination of dive bar/cozy neighborhood joint (if that makes sense). Up at the bar, I watched a bit of one of the football games in progress and perused the chalkboard. They were out of the two I had ventured there to try (they'd kicked the day before, apparently...dammit), but the bartender, who seemed pretty knowledgeable about her offerings, was accommodating, and patient with me as I made my decision for a replacement. The drafts were pretty nice, with the standout keg at the time being Meantime's Naval College Porter, which is what I settled on and got served in a nicely appropriate snifter (and at what seemed like a nice temperature for it, too...). The rest of the taps weren't really anything hullabaloo-worthy, but everything was solid and worthy of m time (were I not such a damned ticker...). The prices seemed pretty much in line with any other Chicago bar I've been to. Overall, this a great little place in the LS area, one I'm likely to be returning to in the future.

 1,160 characters

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Small Bar in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 32 ratings
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