Public House

Gastropub / Restaurant
Public House Beer lovers in search of a new hangout will make a new home at Public House, a ten-thousand-square-foot gastropub that pours more than 120 labels, including its own seasonal brew produced in collaboration with Chicago's Goose... Chicago United States 41.889496 -87.628108
3.83 7
Public House - Gastropub | Restaurant in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Beer lovers in search of a new hangout will make a new home at Public House, a ten-thousand-square-foot gastropub that pours more than 120 labels, including its own seasonal brew produced in collaboration with Chicago... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Red Line: Grand; Brown, Purple Express Lines: Merchandise Mart

  • Phone:

    312-265-1240

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 11:30am–2am, Sa 11am–3am, Su 11am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Public House Review

The Scene

Beer lovers in search of a new hangout will make a new home at Public House, a ten-thousand-square-foot gastropub that pours more than 120 labels, including its own seasonal brew produced in collaboration with Chicago's Goose...

Beer lovers in search of a new hangout will make a new home at Public House, a ten-thousand-square-foot gastropub that pours more than 120 labels, including its own seasonal brew produced in collaboration with Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery.

Split into two distinct rooms by a grand stone entryway, the restaurant also boasts a dozen specialty booths, each featuring its own personal beer and liquor taps that dispense libations at the push of a button. Even the cocktail menu takes a beer-centric approach, with each specialty drink crafted to imitate a particular style of beer, from the Belgian tripel-style “Monk-y Business” to the classic Bavarian-style “The Weiss Guy.”

Lunchtime sees the place crowded with business people from the nearby Financial District looking to relax over tiger shrimp burgers and lobster pot pies before heading back to the office.

Lines start forming as early as 9pm on busy nights, however, as eager beer fanatics and affluent couples hope to snag a place at the grandiose bar in the eastern room, where streams of natural sunlight are eventually replaced by the flickering light from a bank of flat-screen TVs.

Across the hall, groups of friends and young professionals enjoy dinner or drinks in a room reminiscent of a ski chalet in the French Alps – save for the windows looking out onto busy State Street – complete with hefty wooden beams, gothic chandeliers, and leather booths.

Ideal for a classy afternoon lunch or a barley- and hops-fueled night, Public House has something to offer whoever walks through the doors…as long as that something involves beer.

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Tip from Lucas:

Twenty-five beers on tap, $9 beer flights, and a beer pump at your table…what else do you need? Okay, how about a beer float – Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout with a scoop of triple-vanilla ice cream, topped with a warm chocolate chip pretzel cookie.

  • Crowd

    Businessmen and young professionals for lunch, affluent frat boys and party girls at night, late 20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJ spins Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays. Twenty-seven flat-screen TVs. Check the website for a listing of weekly events.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Full restaurant menu featuring gastropub fare and desserts. Smoke-free fireplace area with four beer taps and two spirits taps (reservations recommended). Private seating for smaller parties.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $5–$15 entrées $14–$24, desserts $8. Beer $6–$20 wine $8–$15/glass or $32–$290/bottle, cocktails $12. Valet $12.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Upscale casual and business attire during the day, dressier in the evenings: cocktail dresses, slacks, button-downs.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for a livelier crowd, or weeknights and daytime for a relaxed lunch and dinner setting.

  • Close By

    From the same owners as Public House, Bull & Bear (431 North Wells) boasts the same table taps in a sports bar environment.

Public House User Reviews

Average rating:
A house of wood
Teresa M. May 1, 2013
Public House was a suggestion from Paul, my photographer/cinematographer friend from college that wore the city like a trendy motorcycle jacket and liked dark, rugged yet casually elegant spots. I was skeptical, because the crowd around the House of Blues tends to get touristy, tends to get yuppity, but the group, a collection of semi-professionals and patched together old college friends in town to reminisce and conquer Chicago again, came to a consensus. We waited too long in line on too cold a mid-March Saturday night. I felt too short in flats when the other women donned thick-heeled three-inchers. But Public House did not disappoint. I ordered a vodka-tonic for which I know I paid too much, but in the end I didn’t mind. Dark brown pillars stood like night guards between the bar and the restaurant tables, offering to hold our drinks as we danced. The ironclad chandeliers and the glow from the TV screens flashing sports coverage on the wall behind the bar covered us in dim mood lighting, and we danced and sang until it felt like our hearts spilled out on the floor along with our drinks. The DJ played songs that pickle our memories: I Want It That Way, No Diggity, NKOTB early hits, Alliyah’s (may she rest in peace) Are You that Somebody. My friends and I, along with the rest of the Saturday night crowd of twenty and thirty something semi-professionals, reveled in the throwbacks amid the smell of wood and house-beer, remembering college and before then. A night well spent at a solid venue.
Hardly a pub, but what's in a name really?
Craig B. Dec 11, 2012
I highly recommend getting a late lunch at Public House, especially if you can snag a booth. The tableside taps are amazing; you get to pour yourself drinks, and you get to choose from two beers and a liquor. And if those three options aren't quite what you were looking for, Public House boasts an impressive beer list, sometimes even including a beer co-brewed with Goose Island that can't be found anywhere else. And the food! The food is amazing. I've never been to Public House at night so I can't speak to that scene, but you can't go wrong here with a meal and drinks.
Amazing bar with great food
Christina W. Dec 9, 2012
This place surprised me a ton. I knew it was owned by the same people as Bull & Bear, and I really didn't like that place much at all. It was loud, the people were irritating and snooty, and I thought it was generally overpriced. But Public House is completely different. First of all, the place is absolutely stunning, with wood-paneled walls, gorgeous leather banquettes, and an entryway that makes you feel like you're walking into some sort of super-spa. The beer list is amazing, and you can do flights which is always a plus. (Also they have table taps, which is amazing in itself.) And on top of all that, the food is incredible. I mean, truly incredible. They have 3 types of steamed mussels, all of which are divine. They also have a killer burger. But by far the best thing on the menu is the chicken burger that literally melts in your mouth. The prices are not low, so I can't make this a regular thing. But every so often a visit to Public House is necessary, and it never disappoints.
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