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Durty Nellie's

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Durty Nellie'sDurty Nellie's
Very Good
40 Ratings
Durty Nellie'sDurty Nellie's

Type: Bar, Eatery

180 N Smith St
Palatine, Illinois, 60067-2401
United States

(847) 358-9150 | map

None provided.

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Missed our train at the Palatine station. Damn. Well, this place is right down the hill...

Nice insides. I'd heard horrible things about the frat boy crowds, the date rape, the perfectly good live acts getting booed off stage for refusing to play Linkin Park covers. Now (4ish on a Wednesday) it was almost completely empty, the XM radio was playing tolerable music at a nice volume, and the bar tender was nice.

They had a wide menu full of nice looking food, but we were a bit rushed so we didn't try any.

The beer selection was nice--not great, but probably the best in the area. Nothing super rare, but on tap there was a beer for every mood, and that's all you can reasonably expect from a place that's a restaurant first and a beer bar second. No beer menus, though--I had to look at tap handles.

Nice little joint to grab a lunch in. I don't like the young people in this area since they tend to rest on either pole of the "intolerable scenster-drunken daterape fratboy" continuum, so I could see this place getting bad once it starts hopping. When it's empty, it's nice.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of puftdank
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of Jackd175
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Stezz420
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of DraftDaddy
3.94/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Irishmafia
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of ricknelson
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great place for brews and good food; plus it has a great night club in the back. Nearby to Emmett's Brewery. Good location near the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL which is not too far from Palatine.

 200 characters

Photo of twb0392
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Feels like you are at a college/frat bar.

41 characters

Photo of PatrickG
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

I like Durty Nellie's as a place to get dinner and have a beer or two. The food is a bit pricey but it's good. The beer selection is nice. As noted, the draft selection isn't huge but it frequently changes, they do get some limited stuff, and they have a sizable selection of bottles and cans. I haven't really encountered the college bro crowd other people have mentioned, but I'm not really there on a Saturday night, either. Still, I'm not as keen on it as a place to hang out with friends and drink, which I used to do quite frequently at the old Durty Nellie's location back in the day. That place was old and run down, but had an intimacy to it that the current place lacks.

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Photo of mbmiche
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Pretty solid rotating taps. Not huge volume, but they change out beers frequently and often have limited brews on tap. Turns in to college scene on weekend nights, but stop by after work for a few drinks.

 206 characters

Photo of Davit
5/5  rDev +26.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of maxcoinage
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Nellies is a top notch beer bar with a fantastic rotating tap list and huge bottled list. They hold 1/2 big beer fests per year in addition to several beer event/dinners. They feature a craft beer of the month for good value ( eg Founders All Day IPA $3 pints). Food is awesome, they get a good lineup of bands in, from cover to nationally touring bands.

 359 characters

Photo of PickleBucket29
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of MSG0125
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

I have been going here for years and the only gripe I could say is all the young Dbags that congregate around here late on the weekends really keeps this place from being legendary. It's also not really cool to charge a door fee to everyone after 9 PM unless you are going to see the often lame band that they have that night. The place is setup to allow those who want to drink to do so and those that want to see a show see it. They are separate! So to charge everyone that walks in the door is poor practice. Great beer selection, though they have a hard time keeping the best stuff in, keeps me coming back and the food is quite good for pub food. I recommend this place but just watch the day and time of day you come in if you don't want to have to deal with the fratboy nonsense that happens almost every weekend night.

 826 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Durty Nellie's is located right across the street from the Palatine Metra Station. A nice area overall with newer construction built to look like it's been around for decades. This place is connected to a small music venue/theater. A large, open, high ceilinged seating area makes up the restaurant with a smattering of TVs behind the bar playing Sporstcenter. The whiskey, rum, tequila, and other booze seemed to be pretty run of the mill but the taplist was pretty impressive.

25-30 taps make up the beer selection with 7 or 8 being mainstays (Daisy Cutter and some macros). The other 20+ taps are rotating. There was a nice selection of styles and breweries available. Off Color Troublesome, Solemn Oath Grumpess, Anchor Zymaster Saison, and Gumballhead were a few of the taps available. Zombie Dust and Akari Shogun were listed but, unfortunately, sold out The bartender was helpful and talkative apologizing for being out of a couple things although there was plenty to drink anyway. Prices are in-line with Chicago prices. Most pints run in the $6 range while some smaller pours of bigger beers go for around $8.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Durty Nellies is cookie cutter but there's not a whole lot of character. That's the only real knock I have on this place. The taplist is well thought out and the beer seems to be well cared for. The bartender was friendly and there was a good selection of locals. Durty Nellies is certainly worth a stop if in the area.

 1,471 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Impressive draft list, high quality options like Zombie Dust, Off Color Troublesome, Ale Syndicate Municipal IPA, and more. Well organized bottle list, broken out by style. Not many places do this... a really impressive list with options for most every style.

Patio in the shadow of the Metra tracks, well shaded with umbrellas and trees around. Inside, the bar was to the left, and had a looming back bar with impressive styling. Lots of tvs placed high around the bar area, natural light coming in the front windows.

Around 3 in the afternoon we were joined by children in the bar seats next to us... granted they were well behaved, but this isn't Wisconsin (where that's legal). Never expected to see kids sitting at the bar, especially when there were dozens of empty tables in the dining area and around the bar.

Overall this place has a great beer list, the atmosphere left a little to be desired, bit service was good. Walking distance from Emmett's, Bauer's, and Cardinal if you have time to kill in the area.

 1,021 characters

Photo of Kestrel452
2.65/5  rDev -32.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I'm not a fan of Palatine's flagship bar, and for good reason. This isn't really a place you can go to just chill out, you have be a person of relatively high energy in order to enjoy such a busy/bustling place. Getting a drink at the bar is a pain, good luck trying to find an open table as well. It's like the college bar experience, except I've had better while I was actually at college...

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Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Durty Nellies is located close to the train station in downtown Palatine. There are lots of new condos nearby, so they should have a good close in base of business.

There is a small parking lot & patio out front.

It is a really nice space. They have an impressive ceiling height (20 plus feet), nice windows/light, dark wood, well-worn wood floors and strategically placed big screen T.V.s. The bar runs alongside the south end of the main room. They also have a second story with another bar and a band room.

They offer a good tap list. There are 6 regulars and by my count 25 rotating taps. Lots of locals (Revolution, GI, 3F) plus other Midwest favorites. They also have a huge bottle list broke down by style. It is Impressive in scope, size and quality. I think the beer choices are well thought out and decently priced.

The food menu is large with lots of burgers, sandwiches (house made corned beef!), salads, appetizers and entrees. You should find something you like.

It is Beer centric in focus and service. Every town deserves a place like this.

 1,064 characters

Photo of MIA4IPA
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The best spot in the NW burbs for a great craft btl or tap. They have like 20 taps and huge btl selection prices are very fare. They keep a good range of Floyds, Goose and limited release beers on tap.

The service is pretty good the staff is not very knowledgeable on the beer. I once ordered a Victory Hop Devil and it was way out of date but they replaced no questions asked. Food is typical bar food but the mussels are to die for!!

I don't go here as much during the weekends unless they have a great band paying. Cover is usually around $7. My big complaint with Nellys is when I just wanted to stop in for a brew separate from the band area I don't want to pay the cover charge. I think the way they setup the building was poor. The main area where all the craft taps are I can't see or hear the band so why do I have to pay the $7?

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very nice exterior and interior. They have remodeled this place since I was in high school, looks great. Plenty of live music, especially on weekends.

The wait staff were fine, not bad nor good. The 2 times I have visited this place, they had a very low beer IQ.

The beer tap selection is rotating and very nice. The US craft beers were current simple styles to extreme, plus nice import selection to choose from on any given day. I would say Firkin (Libertyville) is better, but this is right below it.

Pretty standard pub food, a few delicious gems. The menu can satisfy anyone of your friends.


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Photo of ghetto90007
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Flew into Chicago from LA and was working the next day in Palatine. Hotel was in Schaumberg. I decided to get a feel for the offerings in the area from BA and Durty Nellie's seemed like the place to go - I was looking for some good brews on tap that I can't get in California.

Durty Nellie's served this purpose well. Aside from various samplings I was able to have throughout the evening, I enjoyed pints of the following with my filet mignon:

Three Floyds Gumballhead (loved it! - wonderful beer)
Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA (very good New England IPA)

To finish the evening out, I was able to enjoy Avery's Mephistopheles in a snifter with a kid's menu scoop of vanilla ice cream. Good God, that is a diabolical, soul-crushing beer. And I mean that as a complement.

Their online menu looks fairly up-to-date. Service behind the bar was great and talked beer with the bartenders.

A young lady tending bar named Bridgett showed herself to be quite the beer lover. I had just finished my Gumballhead (that someone else poured) and asked for a pour of the Smuttynose IPA. She remarked that it was her second favorite beer. I asked what her first was, to which she replied "Gumballhead" unaware that I had just finished one.

Whether I was supposed to or not, I also walked out of there with a couple bottles of KBS for my fridge back in California. They were cellared well at good aging temperature. They did set me back $12 each, but I can't get my hands on this normally.

I will definitely come back next time I'm in town. It may not be the best offering if you're a local (though a solid one), but if you're from out of town and want to try some great brews that you don't happen to be in a distribution area for, this is a great spot.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

huge place, most of the times i've been here they've had bands playing in a cavernous area on saturday nights and usually jampacked. nothing special about the decor. this place caters to all kinds, mostly i think to youngish people looking for a night out and random entertainment. i was shocked, therefore, to see that they had a decent tap selection, mostly american crafts and some usual bmc suspects. gumballhead has usually been on when i've been here, which is a big plus for me. nice bottle selection. glassware was nothing special, just your standard shaker pints, although they do have some other glassware for belgians, etc. i haven't eaten here but it looks like your standard bar food. if you are coming here for the beer i suggest not going on a saturday night. hard to judge service since the times i've been here it was crazy busy.

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Photo of TallPaul07
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I went to Durty Nellie's specifically because the had Hopslam on tap and I was in town for business and wanted some good beer. I figured that typically a place that has Hopslam on tap would typically have other good beer.

This place blew me away! At this particulalr time it was great for hopheads who love IPA's and DIPA's. They had: Hopslam (draught), Dreadnaught (Draught), Arctic Panzer Wolf (Draught), Great Lakes Blackout Stout (Draught), Green Flash IPA (Draught), and Double Trouble (Bottle), Founders Nemesis (Draught), etc.

In order to soak up I ordered a pulled pork sandwich and fries which were awesome too. Was expecting the generic pulled pork scooped from a container and slapped on to a bun. Instead, I got was seemed to be a slow roasted, hand shredded, sandwich on a premium bun, topped with some BBQ and onion straws, and some really good fries.

Will definitely make it a point to go back to this place! Loved it.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Finally made it out here this afternoon with my boi VDubb86 after hearing many a good thing (and upon learning that FBS and Older Viz were on-tap simultaneously). It's a fairly quiet place, though, admittedly, we visited around 2:30pm on a day when no live music was scheduled anyway, so take that however you will. The taps were pretty nice, as was the bottle selection. I've seen better on both counts in the area, but this selection is rather sweet regardless. Everything was served, generally-speaking, in its proper glass. My only knock was against the bartender: She was kinda absent-minded when it came to keeping our glasses filled, but she made up for it with a pleasant demeanor and an interest in our note-taking. Overall, this place seems like a good backup destination for the days that The Firkin is either not an option or we feel like a change of scenery. (I'll add that the food sounds pretty tasty, but I've yet to have any. One day...)

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Durty Nellie's in Palatine, IL
Place rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 40 ratings