Party Earth Review Tucked away on the southern end of Michigan Avenue, Billy Goat Tavern – known for being not only the subject of several Saturday Night Live sketches but also the epicenter of the infamous Cubs curse – has been drawing... ... read full review
430 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Red Line: Grand; Brown, Green, Pink, Purple Express, Orange Lines: State/Lake
M–F 6am–2am, Sa 10am–3am, Su 10am–2am
Streeterville, Chicago –
Tucked away on the southern end of Michigan Avenue, Billy Goat Tavern – known for being not only the subject of several Saturday Night Live sketches but also the epicenter of the infamous Cubs curse – has been drawing in a diverse crowd for burgers and beer since 1934.
Neon lights point patrons down to the subterranean space, whose simple greasy counter and bright orange tables are usually filled with everyone from gruff but loyal locals to fanny-packed tourist groups, each plowing through plates of artery-clogging fare as the grizzled wait staff calls out orders for “Cheezborgers! Cheezborgers!” – much like former regular John Belushi did in his Billy Goat parodies on SNL.
TV fame aside, the venue has also become a tourist attraction thanks to its starring role in Cubs mythology; namely, back in 1945 the original owner cursed the team when ushers barred his pet goat from Wrigley Field.
Flanked by the Chicago Tribune and the old home of the Chicago Sun-Times – and featuring yellowed articles from former regulars like Mike Royko and Roger Ebert – the bar has long been a regular haunt for reporters drawn to the joint’s fast-paced, no nonsense vibe, and a slew of journalists young and old still show up to pour over copy or yell into their phones over seven-dollar burger and beer specials.
Offering both a glimpse at comedic history and an excuse for the latest Cubs loss, Billy Goat Tavern is an inviting watering hole where, true to its slogan, anyone can feel free to “butt in anytime.”
Tourists ranging from foreign backpackers to suburban families, journalists and media types, young professionals from nearby offices and the convention center, and local politicians, mid-20s to late 40s+.
Four TVs tuned to sports.
Diner fare including egg breakfasts, burgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Egg dishes $3–$6, burgers $3–$7, sandwiches $3–$6. Beer $4–$5, mixed drinks $5–$7.
Anything goes: Hawaiian shirts to business suits.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for the biggest crowd and lots of convention-goers and business travelers, or Sundays for a busy but more relaxed atmosphere.
Wendella Sightseeing (400 North Michigan Avenue) runs boat tours and a water taxi on the Chicago River, and offers architecture and wine tasting tours popular with tourists and residents alike.