Jaks Tap

Jaks TapJaks Tap
Jaks TapJaks Tap
Bar, Eatery

901 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, Illinois, 60607-3023
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 22 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by nlmartin:
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nlmartin from Ohio

2.69/5  rDev -26.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

My wife and I wandered about Chicago alot. Amongst our wanderings we found Jaks. At first glance Jaks looked like a windfall. I noted 40 taps upon entry. The taps included Bells 2-Hearted Ale, Avery IPA, Nefarious 10 Pin porter, Fullers ESB, ect. The taps seem to be a fairly solid collection of beers. I think with 40 taps a few more styles of beer should be represented. The bar / restaraunt is a place you could comfortably take the family. The place is well lite due to large windows letting in the street scenery. I seem to be in the minority with quality. I had a Nefarious 10 Pin porter that tasted like a thin dish water. Yuck! I overheard the bar manager remark after he tasted Avery IPA that it tasted like the line had 2 hearted ale. My wife had another beer that was simply was off on the taste. People clean your dam lines! If you cannot maintain 40 lines perhaps a slight downsizing would be in order. We didnt finish the beers and left quickly. We didnt eat but the food looked tasty with nice portions.

Oct 31, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of cryptichead
cryptichead from Illinois

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Apr 29, 2016
Photo of kwesib
kwesib from North Carolina

2.6/5  rDev -29.2%

Sep 28, 2014
Photo of BKotch
BKotch from Texas

4/5  rDev +9%

Sep 17, 2014
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Alpar from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Aug 08, 2014
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty from Illinois

4/5  rDev +9%

Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Jordy777
Jordy777 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Apr 07, 2014
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PopnLoads from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Feb 27, 2014
Photo of larbush
larbush from Illinois

4/5  rDev +9%

Feb 26, 2014
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ChainChompsky from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Jan 15, 2014
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I stopped in here following a visit to Haymarket up the street, mostly due to the listings I found on BeerMenus. It's mostl a restaurant/sports bar, with most of the space given over to tabls and booths for consumption of both food and games. In the back is a small-ish bar area, which is where I made camp. The selection wasn't anything rave-able, but it certainly stood out from your usual list at such a place. Based on what I'd seen online, I went for a Solemn Oath Oktoberface (the first place outside of the brewery that I found it) and a Big Sky Five Valleys Wheatwine. Not too shabby, right? The rest of the taps were split between the normal stuff (macros, Heineken, Amstel, Guinness, and the like) and the not-so-normal, with some nice micros and unexpected imports (a dark Czech lager comes to mind, but I can't remember what it was exactly). The bartender seemed amiable enough, though we never really struck up a conversation (lunch rush was just about to begin) and I didn't reall press him for any information. He was fairly prompt, though, which is always good to see. Glassware isn't a big focus here, but I barely take points off for that. I didn't try any of the food, but some of the smells and sights at nearby tables started to entice me as time wore on. Maybe next time...

And, frankly, I can easily see a next time for this place. It's fairly close to the train, the taps seem to have some interesting items in rotation, and I generally felt comfortable there. Not bad.

Oct 03, 2012
Photo of gonuts31
gonuts31 from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Price is comparable to any other sports bar in the city really. Nothing special on the pizza, but that makes it great. No surprises. Only thing I generally pass on is the hamburger. The rest of the food is really good.

The place is huge, so you can achieve all types of sports bar. Sit up front if you want packed bar atmosphere, or take a booth if you want family time. Golden tee, pool table? Yup. Reserve a beer tasting room if you want privacy.

Service is above average, not great, but they have an uncanny way to make everyone feel comfortable.

I wish the beer rotated a little quicker, but they always have a good seasonal or choice of IPA.

Dec 07, 2011
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NeutroMan from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Back when I was still in college I would go here with friends all the time, as it was a short walk from our department's building at UIC.

It's your typical American gastropub, with tables, booths, and a decently-sized bar. There is one private dining room on the eastern side of the place and one semi-private area in the back with pool tables.

The beer selection is among the best in the area, with a selection of mostly American craft brews. I would say it leans more toward hoppy IPAs, American wheat ales, and other easier-drinking fare. Other types of ales tend to be underrepresented, but the beer selection does change consistently.

Food is typical pub fare. Burgers and sandwiches are generally good to great; everything else is hit-or-miss (particularly side dishes, oddly enough). Service is generally good. Mike the bartender is a great guy and knows his stuff, but some of the servers can have some attitude at times.

Other miscellaneous items: three large flat-screens at the bar, more in the back room with the pool tables. Free Wi-Fi.

There's not much else in the immediate area as far as decent beer bars with decent pub fare go. It's a shame I can't get out there as often as I used to - I kinda miss the place.

Sep 09, 2011
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JohnnyChicago from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited last Thursday to check out the beer presence. Nice little place. The owner was very friendly and chatted with us. The waitress was also very prompt and friendly.

The place is primarily a restaurant with a bar back and center. It's decorated with tap handles and brewery posters, so bonus points for that. Its very clean and a bit generic, but very homey.

The crowd was of the yuppie demographic, so don't expect any late night rowdiness. The food was just above your average restaurant and seemed appropriately priced.

The beer list was updated weekly and had a great little lineup. About 45 drafts total, each about $4.75-$7 and no bottles that I could see...fine by me. They had your obligatory Midwest crafts: 2bros, FFF, GI, etc. as well as other craft beers from across the country from DFH, New Holland, Left Hand and others. About 10 Belgians including Duvel Green and Piraat and some Germans heffes and pilsners too.

Overall, this is a very nice little place and a great destination for good beer. They also host events and have beer tastings available on demand. The owner knew his stuff well and even the waitress was knowledgeable on every offering...very impressive. Hit this place up if you're in the neighborhood, but it is honestly worth a trip out for the good lineup and awesome customer service.

Apr 15, 2011
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stoops from Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited on a Monday evening, probably not the busiest part of the week. I had easy access to the bartender and tried a few of the draft beers, which they had plenty, 40 as advertised, domestic and import.

Tried a burger and was not disappointed. The burger was ample in size and with the fries was quite filling. I normally don't eat and finish a burger and fries of that size so it must have been tasty.

I sat at the bar and was alone there, the tables were mostly empty. The actual bar area wasn't that large, I could see it being hard to get a beverage from the barkeeps on a busy weekend night with the limited amount of space.

Pricing was reasonable, different beers were in different ranges, I couldn't figure out what caused some to be more expensive $6-7 range, while others were $4.75-6 range. The only thing I could think of that might effect price was perceived rarity of the beer.

Anyway, it was worth the visit and I plan on visiting again.

Apr 02, 2010
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illinijer from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Been here a few times lately, and have enjoyed it every time. Pretty good selection of drafts (40 or so), broken down between American(~25), Belgian(~8), and German(~7) brews. The beer prices aren't cheap, but in certain cases (the Belgians specifically), its a pretty good deal. Especially considering the location.

It's the only place I've seen that has my favorite brew, St. Bernardus, on draft, so I plan to be back often.

Food is above average, with large portions. The ribs are fantastic, as is every other food item I've tried. There's always enough to bring home leftovers. The food is fairly inexpensive, as well.

The atmosphereis nice. I've only been on weeknights, and there are always plenty of tables with prompt service. It doesn't have that college bar feel that so many in the area have...which is a plus! It's very comfortable and relaxing, and a nice place to catch a game while having a brew.

My wife and I have recently dubbed it "our place", due to the beer selection for me, and the good food and atmosphere for her.

My one complaint is that the waitors/waitresses aren't very versed in the beers that they have on tap. When asking for a recommendation, they struggle to pick out beers that fit a certain preference.

Overall, its the best beer bar in the area I live in, and will definitely be back.

Aug 06, 2009
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botham from New York

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Jaks Tap is a decent stop for beer in GreekTown in Chicago. There are between thirty to fourty taps available, some common, others not. A wide variety of styles is also available.

the atmosphere is a cross between a Bennigans and a brewpub. overall a decent character.

quality is good. the brews are served in the proper glasses and at the correct temperature.

service is friendly and prompt. no complaints.

selection is great. plenty of variety.

food is good. expect glorified bar food of good quality.

Sep 25, 2008
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surfnebr from Nebraska

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This is an oasis of sorts in a downtown of expensive tastes and high end attitude. The tap selection is small but it is varied and offers one a good variety of choice. The staff was great in that they were outgoing, pleasant and knowledgable.

I got there too late for food, but enjoyed the chance to enjoy some Bell's on tap as well as some Delerium. The prices were very reasonable, the atmospehere is laid back, non-pretencious and offers a great place to watch a ballgame. There bottle selection was good as well.

Sep 23, 2008
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Jaks is a standard West Loop pub, with an emphasis on draft micros. When I visited, they were out of 6-7 of the 40 taps available. The server was quick to mention this first thing, as to avoid any disappointment.

Many large after-work parties seemed to congregate here, making the atmosphere a bit loud when combined with the half-dozen tv's and music in the place. Service was prompt and informative, not rushed, but attentive. Maybe 200 tap handles line the walls of the booths in the dining area. It was sort of a let down seeing them, and knowing those beers weren't available from the bar. Draft seasonals from GI and Bells, including the Sparkling Ale/Tripel, combined with a well-rounded group of mainstream imports (Paulaner, Urquell, Warsteiner, Spaten, Young's) make up the selection.

The food was great, i've eaten here a few times, and it's pretty consistent. They specialize in baby back ribs, burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. Chili here is also tasty. Recommended if you are in the area...

2008: Last visit here they had Lagunitas Hop Stoopid and Caracole Ambree in it's own glassware. A slightly better selection, but overall score stays the same.

2011: Plenty of beer places in the area, namely Haymarket, Publican, Three Aces, Bottom Lounge, Beer Bistro. Food: IN addition to Jak's, there are endless places on Randolph, also Wishbone and Perez, if you're not into $40-50 a person for dinner. Jak's is not a bad neighborhood spot, definitely worth a look if at Haymarket or elsewhere in the area.

Sep 09, 2006
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Redrover from Wisconsin

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I revisited Jaks last week. I was going to a Bulls game and wanted to go to a place with more than a few beer choices. Jaks is located in the gentrifying area west of Greek Town.

Jaks is a fairly large and airy tavern. It has nice large windows to let in light and the interesting views of the street scenes on Jackson. It has a decent sized nonsmoking area, which is a plus. This is a good place to go with a large group as you can reserve tables. They have a very impressive display of tap handles scattered throughout the bar. It is kind of fun to look at them and figure out how many of the beers you have had. Nice large clean bathrooms.

The bar also has a nice atmosphere. Lots of conversation and a friendly, diverse crowd. They seem to attract a high percentage of older students (medical and grad school) plus local residents and area workers.

The service was just ok. The sign said to wait to be seated. After a five-minute wait, I flagged down a busboy and he told us to sit anywhere we wanted. Once we were at our table, out waiter was quick to get our first beers, but then he kind of disappeared at times. I know we would have had at least one more beer each if the service was a little quicker.

The food was good basic Chicago Pub food. The portions are decent and the food is flavorful. I like their take on the standard hot wings.

Now, on to beer. 40 taps and I think only three were macros. Lots of good choices for Midwest Micros. You get multiple offerings from Goose Island (Christmas, Honkers and Demolition Ale), Three Floyds (Robert the Bruce and Alpaha King), Bells, Summit, etc. They also have offerings from both coasts. Prices range from $3.00 for macros to $4.50 for most Micros. Some of the higher ABV beers cost more, but the prices are decent. 6 Holiday beers were offered.

I would have no problem going back to Jaks. If they could improve their service, this place would be a real keeper.

Dec 06, 2004
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BobLuvBeer from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Visited Jaks often for lunch and after work drinks. There are just a few bars in the city which can match the selection of beers offered at Jaks. They have a beer menu at each table, which makes choosing your selection an enjoyable task in itself. When sitting at a table, service is quick and often accurate. When sitting in the small bar area, service can be difficult at busy times. In addition to the wonderful beer selection, they offer reasonably priced, well prepaired food. If you find yourself in the west loop with time to spare, try Jaks out for sure.

Mar 23, 2004
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jackndan from Illinois

3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Jaks Tap, located just west of Greek Town on Jackson: Run by the same owners as the Village Tap, this place has a decidedly edgier vibe to it than does its sister to the North. The space is downscale, with booths and tables running off to your right as you enter, with a small bar space with several high tables. This is more of a restaurant than a bar, and the waitresses were keeping the bartenders very busy. The selection is very good, with as comprehensive a selection Midwestern micro’s on tap as I’ve seen in town. There were at least 30-40 beers on tap, including several I’ve never had the pleasure of trying before. On the other hand, the service was so-so, with the bartenders definitely giving priority to the waitresses. After a good several minutes cooling my heels, I finally caught the bartender’s attention, and ordered a local seasonal. He gave me the local’s year round standard, ooops. Next, I ordered a Midwestern Tripel, which was served in a pint glass, while I liked the extra beer, I was more than a little surprised that they were serving 16 oz of 9% plus abv beer. While they had a decent selection, the staff could use a little bit more training. I almost forgot, they pour a mean Black and Tan, using the top to a martini mixer: perfect pour every time.

Dec 16, 2003
Jaks Tap in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 22 ratings