Fountainhead

30s / 40s / After Work / Beer / Beer Lovers / Bloody Marys / Brunch / Budget-friendly / Business Casual / Casual / Dinner / Diverse / Dresses / Drink Specials / Drinkers / Gastropub / Groups / Groups / Indian Food / Jam Packed / Jeans / Mid 20s / Mimosas / Pasta / Pasta / Post Grads / Professional Types / Seafood / Skirts / Specialty Beer / T-shirts / Theme Nights / Wall to Wall / Whiskey / Whiskey Lovers / Young Professionals
Fountainhead Fountainhead in Chicago's Lakeview is a popular gastropub with a huge selection of beer & whiskey. Come tip a few back in Chicago with Party Earth. Chicago United States 41.961483 -87.678609
4.04 9
Fountainhead - Gastropub in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Though the name evokes memories of a high school English assignment, Fountainhead’s moniker is actually a reference to a free-flowing source of craft booze rather than an homage to Ayn Rand. Located on an otherwise quiet... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–F 4pm–2am, Sa noon–3am, Su 10:30am–2am
    Sunday brunch until 2:30pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Fountainhead Review

The Scene

Fountainhead in Chicago's Lakeview is a popular gastropub with a huge selection of beer & whiskey. Come tip a few back in Chicago with Party Earth.

Though the name evokes memories of a high school English assignment, Fountainhead’s moniker is actually a reference to a free-flowing source of craft booze rather than an homage to Ayn Rand.

Located on an otherwise quiet corner, the gastropub draws in passersby with the warm light that illuminates its large windows, and keeps them inside with a drinks menu that would take a lifetime to get through.

Patrons tuck in along the window booths, cozy in around the fireplace, or snag one of the dark wood tables that fill the open room before diving into the task of choosing from the two hundred-odd beers – and almost as many bourbons and whiskeys.

Once that mission is accomplished, it’s time to move on to the small menu of budget-minded comfort food that ranges from basic burgers to fancier fare like duck confit pasta and herb-roasted salmon.

The venue’s assortment of alcohol supports a diverse clientele, from young wannabe connoisseurs to seasoned sippers to post-grads dropping in with their parents. But after prime dinner hours, the vibe is more bar than restaurant, with packs of young professionals out with coworkers or old college friends who will no doubt wake up with regrets the next morning.

Thankfully, Sunday brunch makes the regret go away, especially with the special “breakfast” beers.

Drawing crowds looking for a late night of drinking that want greater variety than at the average watering hole, Fountainhead is a grown-up drinking den that still manages to be cool.

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Tip from Jonah:

Be sure to join Fountainhead’s mailing list through their website. They have lots of special events and the mailing list is the best way to get first dibs.

  • Crowd

    Diverse mix of booze hounds, hop heads, whiskey nuts, bourbon nerds, scotch savorers, young professionals, old professionals, and anyone looking for solid grub to go with their grog, mid-20s to 50s, with most of the late-night crowd in their early 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Frequent food- and drink-related events, including tastings, “meet the brewer” nights, classes on proper pairing, and more.

    Check venue website for latest event.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Full menu of creative comfort food, including venison spatzle, curry chicken, burgers, braised beef, duck confit pasta, and shepherd’s pie.

    Brunch menu on Sundays includes several varieties of eggs Benedict, frittatas, special “breakfast” beers, and staples like Bloody Marys, Bellinis, and mimosas.

  • Prices

    Brunch menu $7–$12. Appetizers $5–$10, entrées $8–$20. Beer $4–$30, wine $6–$8/glass or $19–$61/bottle, whiskey $7–$24, other spirits $5–$24+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual to business casual: t-shirts, jeans, Banana Republic and J.Crew, comfy skirts, flowy dresses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for a packed house by 7pm and Sunday brunch to stave off Monday with one more round.

  • Close By

    Though not as small as its original location, Tiny Lounge (4352 North Leavitt Street) is, as the name suggests, quite tiny and serves up a popular selection of martinis to an unpretentious crowd of regulars.

Fountainhead User Reviews

Average rating:
A welcome gastropub in Ravenswood
Brinda G. Dec 10, 2012
I may have been suspicious of this bar because of its name. (I am not, let's say, a big Ayn Rand fan.) The owners are vague about the name’s origin, but there definitely isn’t a weird Atlas Shrugged theme going on here. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out gastropub, where the food and drink combinations will make foodies happy but are plenty accessible to the rest of us. I like their food and drink events as well. Roof decks are rare in this part of town, so that’s a huge plus for this place in the winter. The Fountainhead is one of my stand-bys for good (but affordable) food or just beers with friends.
Good food, great beer, incredible whiskey
Craig B. Dec 9, 2012
The only time I visited Fountainhead was on Valentine's Day, so my experience may be a bit limited, but I still think it's a safe recommendation. For one thing, the tap list is a thing of beauty, and even though that's something any decent bar in Chicago should be able to accomplish, Fountainhead does so with gusto. It can get pretty crowded, but you never feel overwhelmed. And the bartenders and wait staff are always good for a recommendation as far as what beverige will go with your meal. Finally, when I went there we were seated next to the fireplace, which totally scored me points with my date.
Incredible beer bar (and whiskey too!)
Christina W. Dec 8, 2012
If you like beer, you definitely need to check this place out. If you like whiskey (especially scotch), you absolutely MUST check this place out. The beer list is excellent, featuring mostly local craft brews and some amazing imports. But the whiskey list is mind-blowing. First of all, it's massive. The list is so big that the print on the page has to be miniscule in order to fit everything. (I think after my first visit, which was shortly after it opened, they moved to a book format because they just couldn't fit the whole list on a single page.) And the selection is incredible. I have yet to find a Scotch bar that can live up to this standard. They had a 32-year aged Scotch. Holy cow! On top of that (and who needs anything more??), the food menu is excellent. Great burgers, great sandwiches, and the BEST Mac & Cheese I've had in Chicago. Hearty mac & cheese with sundried tomatoes and duck confit. I'm smacking my lips just thinking about it...
Praise the Beer!
Karl H. Oct 1, 2012
As of today, Fountainhead is my favorite go-to pub for astounding beer. The selection goes on and on, leaving me with the feeling that I need to go back more often just so I can sample all the wonders their menu has to offer. I keep going back to the German beers (as the selection is extensive) but if you're looking for a good craft beer, there are plenty on hand (check out the North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout). The beer prices can be a bit expensive, but for what they serve, that is expected. The Scotch selection is very solid and (as with everything else) a great selection can be had. Whenever I head over there, the place is full to the gunnels, but I've yet to wait anything over ten minutes for a seat. The vibe of the place is laid back and the patrons always seem to be enjoying themselves and, to use a pun, seem to be in great spirits. As to the food, that's the reason for the three stars. The vegetarian options are limited to their black bean burger and a few salads. Though I was able to get my "burger" all gussied up, it wasn't the best I've had. It tended to fall to pieces within a few bites, but it at least had some taste. To be fair though, my wife said her burger was downright amazing, so take it as you will. As this pub is all about the beer and spirits, it is well worth checking out, and if you're a meat eater, the food should suffice.
Great Gastro!
Jessica S. Sep 21, 2012
Probably my favorite neighborhood bar. The roof deck is so nice on a warm day, and you can usually get a seat up there at night if you show up before 7:30 or so. I consider myself a bit of a beer snob, and Fountainhead has what appears to be a downright never-ending selection. Lots of ciders, too, like the ginger peach, which is just sweet enough to satisfy you sugar junkies and just strong enough to lay you out in the sun if you have more than two (or three, like I did the other day). Inside is very cozy and even downright fancy. I love grabbing my beau and snuggling in to one of their comfy booths with a stout. Food doesn’t compare to the drink but is still good. Charcuterie plate is a bit on the small side. Ceviche is superb but also a bit small. Tacos are boring, although admittedly I would eat a shoe after a few beers and be happy. Still, 100% recommend you check it out.
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