Party Earth Review A classic tavern where the typical dad would hang out with his buds to watch the Bears, P.J. Clarke’s offers a chill vibe and plentiful comfort food, two ingredients that have made it a casual mainstay in the competitive... ... read full review
1204 North State Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610
Red Line: Clark/Division
Restaurant: M–Th 5–10pm, F 5pm–midnight, Sa 10am–midnight, Su 10am–10pm
Bar: M–F 11:30am–2am, Sa–Su 10am–2am
Gold Coast, Chicago –
A classic tavern where the typical dad would hang out with his buds to watch the Bears, P.J. Clarke’s offers a chill vibe and plentiful comfort food, two ingredients that have made it a casual mainstay in the competitive – and ritzy – Gold Coast neighborhood.
A halo of neon over large open windows lights up the front door, but once inside, patrons discover a cozy atmosphere with lots of dark wood and polished brass accents. Black and white pictures of Hollywood celebrities like James Dean and Clint Eastwood hang on the walls, while an ambient mix of old-school tunes and seasoned crooners adds to the laid-back vibe.
Midweek sees the joint busy with families and older sports fans, who chow down on burgers and mac and cheese as they watch a game on one of the flat-screens spread throughout the four levels, while an outdoor dining area invites friends to enjoy their meal al fresco.
Things get a bit more energetic come Fridays, when rowdier folks in the midst of a pub crawl stumble in from the party mecca of nearby Division, ready to linger over a few drinks and reenergize before heading back into the night.
Weekend brunch also makes P.J. Clarke’s a good destination for budget-friendly omelets and pancakes to go with whoever is on the field, so even though the place never rages, it does offer an old-school feel that’s as comfortable as an old friend.
Sports fans, laid-back young professionals, families, older moneyed locals, party kids escaping the Division scene for a spell on weekends, 20s to 40s+.
Ambient mix of Frank Sinatra-type crooners and vintage rock, though the music is never the focus.
Several flat-screens tuned to sports, with a clear emphasis on the Bears during football season.
Traditional comfort food includes hearty mac and cheese, meatloaf, burgers, and large salads. Brunch till 3pm on weekends.
Brunch menu $9–$13, appetizers and snacks $4–$14, entrées $10–$19+. Beer $4–$6, wine $6.50–$10/glass or $28–$40/bottle, cocktails $8–$12.
Casual: jeans, team t-shirts, post-work business attire, slacks, sundresses, halter tops, fitted sweaters.
Any time the Bears are playing to catch the game without having to fight for a seat, Fridays and Saturdays for a little respite from rowdy Division Street, or weekends to recover from said night on Division.
Right next door is McFadden’s (1206 North State Parkway), a high-energy sports pub that eventually draws wall-to-wall people on Friday and Saturday nights.