Party Earth Review The famed burgers are almost all named for heavy metal bands, so patrons at Kuma’s Corner are as likely to hear Black Sabbath as they are to eat it. BDSM and pinup artwork line the orange walls of this always-hopping... ... read full review
2900 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Blue Line: Belmont
Bar: M–Th 11:30am–1am, F–Sa 11:30am–2am, Su noon–midnight
Kitchen closes one hour before bar
North Center / Roscoe Village, Chicago –
The famed burgers are almost all named for heavy metal bands, so patrons at Kuma’s Corner are as likely to hear Black Sabbath as they are to eat it.
BDSM and pinup artwork line the orange walls of this always-hopping single-room joint, though most of the artsy portraits aren’t as tatted as the regular metal heads and punk rockers, who sidle up to the wooden bar to gorge on ten ounces of pretzel roll-encased beef topped with everything from bourbon-soaked pears (Lair of the Minotaur) to pulled pork (the Led Zeppelin).
A giant chalkboard with the burger special of the month lingers next to anti-hipster signs and a giant sculpture of a bear – a common motif given “kuma” means bear in Japanese – but there are still plenty of kids in knit caps chowing down at the simple black tables.
Good burgers must be the great equalizer, because unpretentious local suits eat here too, ruining any diet plans along with pale pigtailed Goths and skinny skater girls, all of whom suffer hour-plus waits on busy weekend nights.
But it’s not all burgers at Kuma’s – there’s chili too. And make-your-own mac and cheese, and a smattering of cow-friendly appetizers like mussels.
But whether washed down with a $5 Great Lakes or a $20 limited run beer, most of the meals at Kuma’s Corner are fit for a bear…who loves him some big-ass burgers.
College kids, burger buffs, metal heads, punk rockers, blue collar Joes, derby girls, slackers, hackers, and a garnish of hungry office types, 20s to early 40s.
Minors not allowed after 10pm.
Pretty much every variation of metal music from the 80s, including hair metal, nu-metal, classic metal, death metal, and melodic black metal. One TV over the bar. Patrons are advised NOT to ask staff to tune in the game.
Menu of mostly ten-ounce burgers served on a pretzel roll and named after heavy metal bands, including the buffalo sauce and bacon-layered Metallica burger, the roasted Poblano pepper-topped Pantera burger, various appetizers like fried calamari and cheese fries, make-your-own mac and cheese, and mussels.
Burger specials change monthly. ATM on site. Seasonal patio.
Appetizers $9–$15, sandwiches $12, make-your-own mac and cheese $13, burgers $13. Beer $5–$12+, wine $9, cocktails and spirits $7+.
Casual: studded leather jackets, graphic t-shirts, plaid button-downs, ripped jeans, hoodies, band shirts, knee-high boots, fishnets, dresses.
The earlier the better to beat the dinner rush, as Kuma’s is normally packed by 7pm, or anytime during regular dinner hours for a long wait – more than ninety minutes on Fridays and Saturdays – and a big crowd of festive burger lovers.
Taqueria Traspazada (3144 North California Avenue) offers an affordable Mexican alternative to burgers.