Party Earth Review A sports bar, a politician’s hangout, a place for home-cooked grub, and a friendly neighborhood dive all coexist at Schaller’s Pump, and have for longer than at any other watering hole in town. Established in 1881, the... ... read full review
3714 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60609
Red Line: Sox-35th
M–F 11am–2am, Sa 4pm–3am, Su 3pm–2am
Venue may close at midnight on slow nights
Kitchen closes at 10pm on Fridays, 9pm all other days
Bridgeport, Chicago –
A sports bar, a politician’s hangout, a place for home-cooked grub, and a friendly neighborhood dive all coexist at Schaller’s Pump, and have for longer than at any other watering hole in town.
Established in 1881, the joint survived prohibition as a speakeasy, was the favored drinking den of five Chicago mayors (and counting), and used to abut the Ambrosia Brewery until that got torn down in the 50s, leaving a huge lot that remains empty to this day.
A few blocks from U.S. Cellular Field, the bar is utterly devoted to the Sox, with limited décor save for the team paraphernalia that plasters the walls – including a diagram of the field with patrons’ smiling photos pasted across it – and is packed with feisty locals whenever the game is on.
Other days, the Pump is normally just a chill neighborhood hangout. Far from a raging party, all sorts still drop in to experience the famously friendly vibe, nosh on Irish-American comfort food, and listen to stereotypical South Side Chicagoans talk about future prospects for “Da Bears.”
After all this time, the pub remains family owned, with the elderly patriarch – a tiny man with a perpetual smile – hanging out until late and telling patrons “I’ll see ya in church!” as they depart.
A Chicago classic, Schaller’s Pump is the sort of bar that’s cool specifically because it really isn’t – the sort of bar someone would take grandma to…
…unless she’s a Cubs fan.
Sox fans, blue-collar locals, history-minded tourists and Chicagoans from other parts of town, neighborhood cops, friendly Irish-American old-timers, late 20s to knock knock knocking on heaven’s dooooor.
Occasional live music from neighborhood bands.
Several TVs mostly tuned to the game.
Electronic jukebox mostly tuned off.
Traditional Irish-American fare like corned beef sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and the signature prime butt steak.
Free parking in adjoining lot.
Appetizers $1.50–$3.50, soups/sandwiches $3–$7, entrées $6–$10. Beer $3–$4, mixed drinks $4–$7.
Casual: work jeans, baseball jerseys, polos, lots of denim, simple blouses, old-style fashions the wearer doesn’t realize are old, nothing flashy.
During a Sox game, when patrons huddle together in solemn solidarity and belt out that well-known South Side proclamation that they’ve got two favorite teams: “The go-go White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs!”
Shinnick's Pub (3758 South Union Avenue) is a popular Irish dive located in a building almost as old as Schaller’s.