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Historic Bars of Chicago Paperback – April 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Claremont Press; First edition (April 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893121828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893121829
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A guide and historical journey . . . a handy book [that] gets you out of the house. . . . Great for those who want to use taverns as a means to exploring the city. [Parnell] is a fine writer with a real sense of history. A fine, fine book. --Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune and WGN radio

Very accurate. Right on the money. --"Chicago Tonight," WTTW-TV

One look at [Parnell's] 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. . . . 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. --Chicago magazine

About the Author

Sean Parnell is a drinker with a writing problem. He created chibarproject.com in 2000 and has written about Chicago's best taverns in Esquire Magazine, Time Out, and About.com. Please buy his book Historic Bars of Chicago so that he can get some help.

When he's not writing about bars, Parnell runs a marketing consulting firm, Innovaxis, that provides marketing strategy and implementation services for companies looking to grow, take their website to the next level, and launch new products and marketing campaigns.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert McGann on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Chicago is patchwork quilt of neighborhoods, each with their own character and characters. The neighborhood bar is the epicenter of each of those neighborhoods, and the repository of the neighborhood's history, and by extension, form the history of Chicago itself.

Parnell's effort to dive deep into every bar he could find (some of which many of us native Chicagoans haven't ever heard of) provides us with a snapshot of the city through its beer-soaked lenses, and provides an exhaustive, yet accessible, rundown of the hundred most significant historical (and still open for business) bars of Chicago. It must have taken a lot of beers to gather all the stories from owners, bartenders, and patrons, as this book doesn't just pull information that comes from newspaper accounts.

This isn't meant to be a guide book to the average tourist, but it provides just as much information about the city's fabric than any guide book would provide (and a much more enjoyable tour at that). The suggested bar crawls are much better than any walking tour you'll find, and the trip down memory lane of the bars that have closed down or been destroyed reminds us what was and why we should preserve what we have, even if what we have are plywood floors soaked with pre-Prohibition beer, 80 years of nicotine damage, and a dust haze on photos of publicans long past.

I loved reading about the bars I thought I knew so well and finding out so much more about them, and reading about the bars that I've never been to, but now need to find an excuse to get there (or rent a trolley car for the night).

A tremendous effort, and cheers to the author for a solid work that we can all enjoy over a glass of Schlitz (or ten).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TheReader on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book tells more than where to go to quench your thirst in Chicagoland. I found it to be an informative, easy, fun read because of the author's observations about the buildings, food and neighborhoods. It is organized with addresses, hours of operation, and everything else we need to know about the listed, pictured, bars. I could tell whether or not I want to visit the establishment just by looking over the pages. The book tells which places serve no food, snacks, or a full menu. That makes the decision about where to go so much simpler. I noted that two bars with extensive beer selections also serve full German menus. I like knowing that detail before I go somewhere. The book also includes if and what type of music will be heard at the bar.
To me, the most fascinating aspect of this book is the histories of the bars and their unique neighborhoods. It is interesting to see that many of the bars have been around since before Prohibition and have even been Speakeasies. I even learned which places have been used as sets for filming. There are tons of details that even as a Chicagoan I never knew. I found myself just idly reading details about some lounges and taverns just because it is written in a lighthearted, interesting manner. I had fun and got an education while trying to answer the trivia questions regarding local history.
If you are a Chicagoan, I think you will enjoy learning more about the featured places so you can really enjoy your pub crawl. If you plan to be a tourist you will find direction and fun while reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Stclair on May 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whether you live in Chicago, are visiting, or just generally interested in the history of Chicago bars this is a must have. It's much more than just bar reviews. Very detailed and well organized. I'm glad I bought it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Crenin on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful reference for helping me find those hidden, interesting bars in Chicago. I have lived here for about 20 years, and have been waiting for a book like this to come along. Even though I have been to many of the obvious establishments, it always amazes me that there are great bars in my neighborhood that I have not visited that have been around for well over 4 decades.

HOLY OLD BARS, Batman!

This is a great gift for anyone who is new to the Chicago bar scene, or wants to find something new (to you) and interesting.
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By Heather Cenek on December 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book & will be getting it for myself as well. It was a gift for my brother & he'll be very happy with it.
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