Charlie's Ale House

no score

Awaiting More Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

301 E Loop Rd
Wheaton, Illinois, 60189-2193
United States

(630) 510-3141

// CLOSED //

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2005

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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by scruffwhor:
Photo of scruffwhor
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Met up with a friend at Charlie's located in Danada Square in Wheaton. I got there a little early and ordered a Two Brothers IPA on tap. Thery also had a Dogfish Head and Bell's selection on tap along with your run of the mill Sam Adams, Leinies, Blue Moon, MGD, Bud, ect. Their wine beer list took up a whole page on their menu. I was definetly looking forward to trying out some beers that I haven't had before and one that I've never even heard of.

When a table opened up in the bar room I grabbed it right as my firend walked in. Not even five minutes after sitting down, a waiter was ready to take her order and our evening began. I was still enjoying my Two Bros. IPA and we ordered a spinach and artichoke dip to help keep our stomachs full with something solid.
After I finished my IPA, the waiter was prompt with getting me another beer of my choice, which was a Pater Lieven from the bottle (which I had never heard of). According to our waiter they didn't have any speacilty beer glasses, just mug, pint, and wine. So I had to ask for a wine glass for this Belgina Tripel. Which he was more than willing to accomodate. When I finished my Tripel, I asked if I could take the bottle home with me. Which the manager came over and explained the perils of taking home an empty container but was still more than willinf to ablige my wishes. The last two beers I had was Bell's Best Brown from tap, and a Lindemans Framboise to finish the evening from bottle. The waiter was just right in not interuppting converstaions unless we were low or finished with our beer which he was prompt with addressing. They alos got me my palate cleansing water quickly after I asked for a new glass. Overall, I am definetly going back to this place and gonna get some other friends to join me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Redrover
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I was finally able to check this place out. It is located just off Butterfield Road in a semi-high end shopping center. As you would expect, there is plenty of parking.

Charlie's is a new one-story building, but the architect did a nice job off adding visual interest. There are several brick arches, exposed beams and woodwork to make this a fairly attractive spot.

The bar room is to your right as you enter. The bar seats about 15 with room at the tables, for another 40 or so beer drinkers. The rest of the space is for dining.

They have a pretty decent beer list. I would guess about 20 taps and 50 bottle selections. Nice representative of local (Two Brothers & Goose Island) and regional & national brewers. My only complaint about the beer menu will list Two Brothers or Three Floyds, but you have to ask the server what is the present offering from that brewery. I guess its good that they rotate taps & it forces the servers to know the tap list, but I would rather they just update the menu or put out a beer table talker.

The food is decent, but not anything mind blowing. You will get good solid pub fare. They do offer some higher end steaks and stuff. Good fish fry on Fridays.

Service was semi-fast and decent. No real complaints, but could be a touch friendlier.

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Photo of AylwinForbes
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Well it's a chain and it's located in a shopping mall surrounded by other chain restaurants, so if it's anything decent that's a pleasant surprise - and it is. Of course being a mile from home is a big plus and we were happy to find it after our previous local bit the dust unexpectedly.

Beer selection is not Maproom brilliant but much above average, sometimes with really excellent visitors. And, when you consider that most of the patrons are happy with their Amstel Lights or Buds it's a minor miracle they even bother with FFF or DFH or Lagunitas.

It's never crowded; we can always get our table; the staff are friendly and know the beer they sell. Food is decent; it's not expensive. It's reliable.

Sometimes their pricing is crazily in one's favour as they only sell beer by the pint - so when Imperials or other strong beers are there, the value can be ridiculously good: a pint of Hopjuice for $5, or Lagunitas Maximus for $4.50 - even the guy from Two Brothers came there for it.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

no smoking in wheaton so atmosphere suffers for me. damn moral majority. they have about 20 taps, 1/2 of the selection is not worth bothering with, they had a few decent beers on tap including dfh 60 minute and a couple others. food was what you would expect. nothing exceptional about this place, better than most bars for the beer but i am not rating this place against regular bars. beers and food were reasonably priced and the service was fine. bottle selection was not very impressive, they had a few of the major belgians though.

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Photo of qballflynn
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

i live about a mile from charlies and i was excited when it opened. i needed a good beer joint within falling distance so this was perfect. the first impression i had was very good, i mean they had spaten on tap, which i don't often see. after a few visits i became disenchanted with the food and the ambiance. the food is so-so and the clientele is very frat boy heavy.

i should'nt be so hard on the place because the bar staff treat me well and the beer is definitley worth the trip. they just need to get rid of all the tv's, sports and frat boys and i would consider it to be my "joint"

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Photo of scalffd
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I dropped by Charlie's Ale House on a whim as I recently moved to Glen Ellyn and happened to drive by. I mentioned to my girlfriend that they probably had the usual, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I had two Sprecher Black Bavarians from the tap at $4 each. They had about 15-20 beers on tap ranging from Sprecher, Bell's, Founders, Stella Artois, etc, etc. They offered another 25 or so beers in the bottle including things like Flying Dog Barley Style Ale. The bar tender, whose name I did not catch, was great. He knew how to pour as well as what glass to put the beer in. Few suburban restaurants/bars have the various snifters, tulip glasses, etc. for their beers. For being in the middle of a very conservative bible town and way out in the suburbs of Chicago, this place is an absolute gem. I higly recommend stopping by and trying something seasonal. Most beer drinkers should not find it difficult to try something new or have something they would really enjoy.

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Photo of cdfree
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A few of the reviews below smack of unrealistic expectations. The criticisms are largely true but the place is in a strip mall in Wheaton, which is ground zero of the suburban bible belt--in fact there is a Houlihans and a Cozymels next door. Given the circumstances this place is pretty good. They have almost 20 beers on tap (3.75 for a pint) and at least twenty more bottles, many of a very high quality (check out the website for a list). Food is fairly standard but if you live out here, there are few better options.

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Photo of 12vUnion
2.33/5  rDev -36%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Okay, I'll write up a review. I'll make it quick.

I went here once when they first opened. That will probably be the last time. It was alright, but I wouldn't recommend it to a serious craft beer drinker.

The decor doesn't know what it wants to do. It thinks it's about old rock posters. Cool. It thinks it's also a classy old wooden pub. Cool I guess. It's also a little mod. Not so cool. It's not bad, but there doesn't seem to be a single unifying style to hold this place together. But it's not the interior that bothers me.

The food. The food is very average. Typical burger/sandwich/hot plate type place. Not upscale, but not low brow. Okay, I guess that's fine with me. I don't mind that the food is a little overcooked or overpriced for what it essentially is. It's about beer, right? I mean it does say Charlies' ALE HOUSE. It has to be great with the beer, right? They have 12-20 taps (I wasn't counting). That seems like a lot. But 90% are the usual A-M-Cs. Crap after crap with spots of "oh, that's not (too) bad" or "hell yeah, Dogfish Head!". And for what there is, it's something like $3.75 a pint. Not too shabby. But trying to get anything from the waiter was like pulling a pitbull's teeth. Everything craft on the menu is marked with "seasonal" {DFH Seasonal, Bells Seasonal, etc}. So every time I want something from those breweries, I have to ask the waiter which one it is. ...He does know. No one knows. Only the guy working the bar knows. And he doesn't care. The bartender pours beer like he learned at Sparkle Ray's Showboating Bartending Academy. He probably wastes half the keg on overflow. 'He's an expert at pouring beer, so all that head must be a tap problem. So he'll just keep pouring until the beer displaces all of that foam. Plus, pouring like that is what the yuppies want to see, provided that they order anything other than Bud Lite in-the-bottle.' Great work there champ. Needless to say, I was not impressed with the beer at this 'ale' house.

To their credit, they do have a fairly good number of great bottles. But their bottles are twice as much as the taps.

You know what, fuck this place. I don't need it. You may like it, but it's not my scene. It's a yuppie place in a yuppie town that caters to yuppies in the usual yuppie way. Sadly, it's the only place in that entire area that even has a good beer. That's sad. If I'm wrong, please let me know where else to go. Because I won't be going back here unless someone drags me.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.33/5  rDev +19%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Hmm, went to this place after another bar was closed and was quite suprised.

Atmosphere was good, a nice wooden bar with wood on the walls and wood on the tables, standard. Many TV's on the wall playing the bears game, a nice, cozy place I felt at home at.

Quality was great in beer and food, everything was clean and served properly, not a complaint here.

Service was great as well, we were kept attended to when our beers got low and our plates empty. Staff was very friendly and again have no complaints.

Selection was very good for a suburban bar. Bell's, 3F, Great Lakes, multiple Goose Island taps, with plenty of bottles. The kind of place where you have to decide, what to pick rather than what is the least crappy. Very nice selection.

Food was good, I had a cajun chicken that was wonderful. I would have gotten more food if I could have fit more.

This place could easily turn into my neighborhood bar. Great beer and great food at very reasonable prices, there is really nothing bad to say about this place, highly reccomended for those who live in the 'burbs.

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Charlie's Ale House in Wheaton, IL
3.64 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
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