of the Month
has been selected as Babe of the Month by ChicagoBachelor.com.
Maria was born April 19th, 1987 and plays with her right hand..
At the age of 8, she was spotted by Martina Navratilova during
a match in Moscow and brought to Florida at the Bollittieri academy..
Shortly after, she switched coaches and now trains with Robert
Lansdorp who among others helped Tracy Austin in the past..
As she approcahes her arrival to a stardom status, comparisons
with Anna Kournikova
are obvious.. "I love fashion". She is also is a big
fan of dancing and singing. Needless to say, this current Wimbledon
champion is winning hearts everywhere. Check out our Maria
of the Month
McGee's has been selected as Bar of the Month. Nestled into
the heart of Sheffield Neighbors, also known as Lincoln Park
West, McGee's Tavern & Grill has become an immensely popular
pub with DePaul students and everyone else on the North Side
under the age of 30. With its polished wooden interior, wide
variety of brewskies, good selection of pub grub, more televisions
than you can shake a stick at, and GAP-clad regulars, McGee's
has something for anyone looking to get off the couch. While
the bar promotes itself as an Irish or English-style pub, it's
really more of a classic Chicago tavern the likes of Glascott's
Groggery, Kincade's, River Shannon, and John Barleycorn's Memorial
Pub, all of which have that old-fashioned look and nuevo-neighborhood
McGee's can be found on the north side of Webster Avenue,
just east of Sheffield. As with Kelly's Pub across the street
the bar is situated almost under the Red, Brown and Purple
line El tracks. This can make conversations a challenge in
the leafy sidewalk café filled with polished wooden
picnic tables under green patio umbrellas, which makes an
appearance when the temperature rises. Although known as McGee's
Tavern & Grill, the bar humbly displays "McGee"
in gold lettering upon a green-painted façade. Large
plate glass windows with neon shamrock Budweiser signs allow
you to check out the place as you're waiting to get carded.
Once inside this green-painted interior with wood-paneled
walls and cris-crossed, red-brick floor, you'll quickly discover
that there's more than meets the eye to what may initially
appear like a narrow crevasse than a bar.
Running down the west end of the room is a long, well-varnished
bar with an impressive selection of booze behind its cabinets
of wood and glass. An ornate brass fixture offers 30 beers
on tap, including Stella Artois. A throng of patrons sits
upon wooden, green-padded, high-backed chairs at the bar and
carefully eye the cute bartendresses when they're not looking.
More sit at wooden cocktail tables across a narrow aisle from
the bar and at two larger tables located in front of the windows
overlooking Webster, just inside the doorway (which can be
quite chilly in winter). Combined with those coming and going,
waitresses serving those at the tables, and the idiots that
like to stand in the aisle to talk with their friends at the
bar, this area becomes incredibly congested particularly
when a pub crawl rolls in. If this becomes too much to bear,
just head through the small archway in the north end of the
room, past the Golden Tee machine, and head into one of the
three back rooms. [Editor's note: since my last visit to McGee's
upon which this page is based, they have somehow found more
space, perhaps by taking over part of whatever was next door,
and have added more tables and flat panel televisions to make
the front bar much more comfortable.]
The exposed brick room in back is filled with cocktail tables
and offers more elbowroom under a slanted wood, lodge-like
ceiling. It was here that I was once visited with a good friend
of mine who always runs into someone whenever he goes out
in the city. On this particular occasion, he actually ran
into girl that still had a suitcase of his that he left with
her over three years ago. Bizarre. When the two big screens
are rolled up at the north end of the room, small bands play
upon a modular, worn, black plywood stage in front of a brick
fireplace whose pieces are stacked in the corner when unused.
I once saw a 3-man acoustical jam play there who gave a stirring,
albeit male, rendition of "Galileo" by the Indigo
Girls. In a moment of quiet melodrama, I wondered, "How
long 'till my soul gets it right? Perhaps only the King of
Night Vision knows..." This was immediately followed
by a cover of the Beatles' "Come Together." My melancholy
gave way to weak sense of poetics as I noted that the lyrics,
"Come together, right now over me" was like
Galileo's heavens. Sensing the odd mood I was in, my friend
abandoned me so that he could talk to the boyfriend of the
girl with the suitcase. Fortunately, the feeling passed as
soon as I downed another beer. When Mother Nature calls, mind
the busboys and waitresses endlessly coming and going from
the kitchen as you head through the hallway to the right of
the stage. On the east wall, three plate glass panes offer
a portal through which you'll find the beer garden, which
is open all year round and is filled with low-slung, plastic
tables and chairs (covered and heated in colder times, making
it an ideal locale for McGee's annual pumpkin carving contest).
Through two folding wooden doors in the west wall of the back
room is yet another back room, used primarily for private
parties but also to accommodate the masses on the weekends.
This room offers another bar at its south end and additional
seating at cocktail tables to the north.
If you're lucky enough to snag a table, be sure to order something
from, "the kind of menu where everything's 'famous,'"
according to The Official Chicago Bar Guide (2001). Self-proclaimed
as the, "Best Damn Bar Food in Town," the selection
at McGee's starts off with such notables as McGee's Famous Irish
Nachos (waffle fries smothered with homemade chili and cheddar
cheese and topped with jalapenos, chives, olives, diced tomatoes,
guacamole, and sour cream), Mexican Cheese Sticks (deep fried
corn tortillas, rolled and stuffed with jalapeno jack cheese),
and buffalo wings of which the spicy wings are second only to
bw-3 and better than the much-ballyhooed wings at Hog Head McDunna's.
The main course at McGee's consists primarily of burgers and
sandwiches, as well as an eclectic selection of turkey and tuna
croissants, chicken salad served in a pita, the Tilapia Reuben
(grilled tilapia on rye with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand
Island dressing), Italian beef, and pepper & egg sandwiches
all of which is served in wicker baskets. Homemade French
onion soup is also available along with the usual variety of
salads. Even though the food is not expensive, running
Tavern & Grill
950 W. Webster Ave.
Chicago, IL (773) 549-8200
about $6 to $8 per item, I once offered to leave
a shoe for the waitress in order to start a tab after I informed
her that a friend and I had accidentally run out on the bill
at Kelly's (we both realized this just as we were walking into
McGee's and fortunately had enough time to run back and pay
without having the cops called on us).
In addition to its "famous" fare, McGee's
prides itself on its popular events. Mondays feature a seemingly
odd combination of euchre tournaments and an all-you-can-eat
chili bar for $6. Middle of the week specials include pitchers
for $7 and wings 10¢ each on Tuesdays, and burgers are
a buck on Wednesdays. Like the Lakeview Links, McGee's has the
distinction of being one of the few bars in the city to be cheeky
enough to charge a $4 cover after 7:00 p.m. on Thursday nights.
However, you can find consolation in that all Budweiser and
Michelob bottles are $1. Fridays feature 10-ounce martinis for
$5 and "madness at midnight," which consists of the
distribution of free pizza. A brunch menu that includes omelets,
pancakes, steak & eggs, French toast, and a variety of skillets,
is available on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., along with
a make your own Bloody Mary bar for $5 and an all-you-can-drink
coffee "bar" for $2.50. In recognition of this McGee's
was voted #1 in the city for Best Place for Budget Booze in
a 1999 Metromix poll.
A note on McGee's versus Kelly's Pub: while Kelly's
Pub would initially appear to have lower-priced food and beer,
given its dive bar look and feel, the sandwiches are actually
cheaper and the beer specials better at McGee's, not to mention
that McGee's offers a wider selection. For example, on Wednesdays,
Kelly's features MGD for $2 while McGee's has everything for
$2.50. If Kelly's wants to continue attracting DePaul students,
or anyone for that matter, they might want to revise their pricing
if they want to stay around for another 70 years.
While the food is good at McGee's, most come for
big games shown on no less than 32 televisions and three big
screens. This makes McGee's ideal for watching March Madness,
the NFL on Sundays, playoff games for any sport, and the Nebraska
Cornhuskers on Saturdays in Fall. In this way, McGee's joins
the lesser known Flounder's as Cornhusker football and basketball
headquarters (as if two bars supporting Nebraska were needed
in this city). "Over the last eight years only Memorial
Stadium has held more Husker fans than we have... 'Hail, Varsity!'
fills the bar before kick-off and after every time the Huskers
score," boasts McGee's. The bar also has has Elk Creek
(a Nebraska drink) and "Red" beer flowing freely during
Nebraska games and they even pass out a variety of Cornhusker
tchotchkes to the crowd. In recognition of its efforts, McGee's
was selected by Digital City Chicago as one of the city's Top
10 Best Sports Bars and was the top audience vote getter and
one of five editorial nominees for Best College Bar/Club in
Citysearch: Chicago's annual poll (both in 2001). And, since
it's the cornerstone of the Bar 1 quintet, McGee's either hosts
or is a stopping off point for a plethora of annual events,
Screw Cupid Pub Crawl (February) for $25,
from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., hordes of lonely singles travel
by trolley between all Bar 1 establishments (McGee's, Duffy's,
Durkin's, Jack Sullivan's, and the Wrightwood Tap) as often
as they like Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl (May) same setup
as for Screw Cupid
Crawfish Boil (May) all-you-can-eat crawfish, jambalaya,
red beans & rice, and shrimp gumbo and live music Air &
Water Show Boat Trip (August) $80 per person includes
an all-you-can-eat and drink from noon to 4:00 p.m. on McGee's
Pumpkin Carving Contest (October) each patron gets a
free pumpkin to carve and is eligible to win prizes
Turkey Crawl (November) same setup as for Screw Cupid
for those with nowhere to go on Thanksgiving
Additional events include New Year's Eve, Super Bowl and St.
Patrick's Day parties, periodic journeys to major concerts like
the Dave Matthews Band and Jimmy Buffet, and for the cross-town
classic at Comiskey and Cubs/Brewers games in Milwaukee.
The crowd at McGee's mostly consists of behatted
Lincoln Park and Lakeview denizens in their early 20's. This
demographic finds the food and beer specials hard to resist
and are magnetically drawn to the pub crawls and annual events.
McGee's is also the stomping grounds for Chicago Sport and Social
Club participants those people having the time of their
lives playing every sport you can think of for the low, low
price of up to $1,000 per team to play one hour a week for eight
weeks. The crowd can get pretty rowdy, but if you come early
and grab a table or a seat at the bar, you'll be apples. And
guys, if you're one of those whose head appears to be on a swivel
when there's a lot of talent around, don't come to McGee's with
your girlfriend particularly in July when McGee's becomes
an air-conditioned oasis during the Sheffield Garden Walk.
McGee's also attracts the occasional celebrity,
like former Chicago Bears quarterback, Bob Avellini, who was
arrested in 2002 for "accidentally" smashing the glass
door at McGee's with a golf club after he was denied entry.
Rumor has it that he was thrown out of the bar earlier and returned
to threaten the bar staff. Since he had his trusty golf club
in hand and it was after last call, they wouldn't let him in.
As Avellini "tapped" on the glass with the club to
get the attention of those inside, the glass mysteriously broke.
Hmmm, sounds like something Jim McMahon might do, not Avellini...
"What do you get when you put a Leprechaun and a football
fanatic in a blender? You get McGee's."
Shecky's Bar, Club & Lounge Guide 2002
McGee's, not to be confused with Bobby McGee's
Bar & Grill on the South Side and McGee's Bar & Grill
in Rolling Meadows, actively works to draw a good crowd to the
bar and does so with flying colors. Within comfortable surroundings,
one is sure to enjoy a couple of beers, some food, the game,
and the talent. For more information and to join the Bar 1 mailing
list to get a rundown of their weekly events, check out the
McGee's website. Cheers.
written by Sean Parnell