Party Earth Review Popular with an amiable bunch of grad students and young professionals bent on conversation, the modest Hopleaf Bar harbors an intense dedication to beer, and lots of it. Every night, the worn wooden tables and booths... ... read full review
5148 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
Red Line: Berwyn
Bar: M–F, Su 3pm–2am, Sa 3pm–3am
Restaurant: M–Th 5–11pm, F–Sa 5pm–midnight, Su 4–10pm
Andersonville / Edgewater, Chicago –
Popular with an amiable bunch of grad students and young professionals bent on conversation, the modest Hopleaf Bar harbors an intense dedication to beer, and lots of it.
Every night, the worn wooden tables and booths on the first floor quickly fill up with easygoing patrons pouring over the selection of more than two hundred beers, each meticulously described in the venue’s weighty drinks menu.
A bar adorned with hopleaf vines and beer signs features a wall of ninety different types of glasses, each designed for a particular kind of beer. In the back, trendy couples and groups of friends chat beneath the vaulted ceilings of the brick dining area, ordering from a selection of authentic Belgian cuisine like the signature mussels steamed in Wittekerke White Ale.
Those looking for a bit of air can step through the glass door to the patio, where the venue also grows its own herbs and spices for use in the kitchen.
Upstairs, a second dining area overlooking the first offers a prime vantage point for viewing the venue’s collection of art and retro ads – not to mention scoping out the action below – while another room with group tables and a half bar sees an influx of intellectual types when the bar hosts its monthly literary events and occasional (and very popular) beer tastings.
A utopia for beer and food lovers, Hopleaf Bar impresses with its obsessive focus on specialty and rare beers and on delivering an authentic experience for its sophisticated and jovial patrons.
Don’t ever order a light beer here unless you want the bartender to ignore you for the rest of the night. To paraphrase one: ‘Light beer is just a watery, crappier version of an already crappy beer.’ Just tell the bartender the flavors and styles you like – one of the few hundred options is bound to please your palate.
Down to earth and amiable social groups, after-work conversationalists, and sophisticated graduate students, mid-20s to late 30s.
Playlist ranging from contemporary jazz to 50s rock and roll. Reading and storytelling events on the first and second Tuesdays of the month. Occasional beer/wine tasting and brewing events. Check website for details.
Extensive menu of authentic Belgian cuisine served during dinner hours, including steamed mussels.
Mussels $12/person or $22/two people, appetizers $5–$12, entrées $10–$24. Beer $5–$75, wine $8/glass or $18–$30/bottle.
Vintage hipster and stylish casual: loose button-downs, and graphic t-shirts for men, long skirts, scarves, blouses, and cardigans for women. Stylishly ripped jeans and sandals acceptable.
Any time when there’s a literary event or tasting, Sundays through Wednesdays for no wait and a conversational atmosphere, or Thursdays through Saturdays for large crowds and lots of mingling, though there will be a wait.
Just down the street is Simon’s Tavern (5210 North Clark Street), a Swedish pub known for their authentic drinks.