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Days of Wine and Roses


A great bar is a magical thing. But aside from a few Replacements songs, no one’s really captured the rare mix of folklore and social gamesmanship you’ll find there. So we thought we’d dig up this fantastic Roger Ebert piece on O’Rourke’s in Chicago, which captures it as well as anyone has. If you were wondering what to look for in a watering hole, here’s what you should be aiming for.

The essay’s a few years old, but the nostalgia has aged beautifully. In its heyday, O’Rourke’s regulars included John Belushi, Studs Terkel and a 300-pound antiquities professor named “Al the Greek”—so it makes for a lively read. Wistful too: Ebert stopped drinking in ’79 and O’Rourke’s changed locations in the early 90s, losing much of its scene in the process. Raise a glass, gentlemen.