Lemming's

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BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
1 Rating
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar

1850 N Damen Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60647-5550
United States

(773) 862-1688 | map
lemmingstavern.com

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Added by Jayespy on 06-13-2015

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Ratings: 1 |  Reviews: 1
Photo of emerge077
4.06/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

It literally feels like nothing has changed here in decades, and that in itself is a testament to it's longevity. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Since 1896 it's been a bar, according to the bartender. It was a general store during prohibition, and was a greaser bar in the 50's-60's. Lemming's fully encapsulates the 1990's Wicker Park vibe, but feels much older than that.

Once inside, it's a laid-back and unassuming retro timewarp, which doubles as effective yuppie repellent. Local art on the walls, dim lamp lighting, assorted Schlitz breweriana, an original tin ceiling and antique Brunswick back bar, wood pillars, mirrors, and all. Near the door sits a long church pew, and further back there's an L-shaped banquette booth with several tables. Pool room in the back. Very classic and effortlessly cool.

You can always count on a full pint here, which is sadly not so common anymore. Typically the selection has a couple FFF and Bells options, a couple locals like Rev and Hopewell, currently they even had a "sour IPA" from Epic. Talk about cutting edge! ;) Around 8 taps in total. Bottles and cans included Off Color, PseudoSue, Hopewell First Lager, Steigl Grapefruit Radler, Lone Star, and a few others. Respectable whiskey selection included a few dozen options.

Service was great. Cameron was the bartender, and he was a very gregarious guy. He offered samples and chatted about beer and the bar's history at length, which was nice. There's a crowd of regulars, and an annual rib competition out back.

Overall, Lemming's is a great low-key neighborhood place. Map Room nearby may eclipse the beer selection, but the vibe here is more relaxing in the early evening. Here's to one of the last few neighborhood holdouts, along with Gallery Cabaret, Danny's, and Charleston. RIP to the ones that didn't make it, Artful Dodger, Rich's First One Today, Double Door, and many more.

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Lemming's in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 1 ratings