For future reference…
or most of 2001, I got paid to stumble from bar to bar for a book called The Official Chicago Bar Guide. At the time, I fancied myself Chicago’s top authority on the subject, but the city’s ever-shifting nocturnal scene—and a sudden glut of listings online—rendered my book irrelevant almost immediately. One of the 11 or 12 people who bought it was a Wrigleyville resident named Sean Parnell, who’d been doing his own research for Chicago Bar Project, an exhaustive online bar encyclopedia that kicked my little book’s ass all over the city. I never met him and never forgave him.
Until this past May, that is, when Parnell released Historic Bars of Chicago. One look at the book, which overflows with adoration for Chicago’s taverns and the implausible legends that haunt them, and I knew I had never been anything more than a nightlife dilettante. When I finally met Parnell, 36, over Guinness pints at Brehon Pub (731 N. Wells St.), I was embarrassed to find that he knew every word of my book and had never realized we were at war. He told me about the most underrated bar in town (Cody’s Public House, 1658 W. Barry Ave.); a pub that got its name because it once siphoned beer into its taps directly from the brewery next door (Schaller’s Pump, 3714 S. Halsted St.); and a place where patrons drink shots from an inflatable sheep’s rectum (Friar Tuck, 3010 N. Broadway). But it wasn’t until Parnell quizzed me on bar trivia that I grasped the truth: I’d never known bars—or loved them—quite the way he does
(click to continue reading Chicago Bar Project’s Sean Parnell Knows His Drinking Trivia – Chicago magazine – August 2010 – Chicago.)
I know I’ve blogged about the Chicago Bar Project before1, but it is a pretty cool project. Too bad there isn’t a location based iPhone app…Footnotes:
- disclaimer, I think a few of my photos are still being utilized by Mr. Parnell, with my permission of course. [↩]