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Bar DeVille
Craft cocktails in Ukrainian Village

Chicago

Even people who work in their profession's most elevated positions relish getting back to basics on their own time -- like a 5-star chef who goes home to devour grilled cheeses, or a concert cellist whose iPod holds nothing but Foreigner. Getting back to boozing fundamentals, Bar DeVille.

From the owners of a mini-empire of variously purposed, approachably upscale lounges (Victory/Empire Liquors, Angels & Kings), DeVille's meant to be their dream dive bar, the sort of place they'd want to hang at every night (and should, since they all live within a few blocks). Behind the unmarked facade are three drunkenly comfortable rooms: up front's dark green leather & pine booths with tabletops fashioned after mounting plaques you'd expect to read "Fast Pitch Champs '89"; further back, an exposed brick parlor hosting a red felted antique pool table, spacious enough to play w/o jabbing strangers' buttocks; then a back room strewn with flea market furniture and dominated by a DJ booth fashioned from a church pew, where waitresses'll sell beers by the six pack -- like 7-11s, and equally likely to laugh at your jokes. Throughout, tap & bottled beers range from dive staples (PBR, High Life) to 30+ upscale brews (Hitachino Nest, Belzebuth Blonde Ale); and because even truck stops now have specialty cocktails, DeVille's slinging 18 of them, from a classic "Dark and Stormy" to the "Jumpin' Jack Smash", made with Laird's Bonded Applejack ("A is for apple; J is for...what was the question again?")

Bonus drinking: in the far back, there's a Dutch door'd closet serving chalkboard-special shots and beers for $3 -- each of which'll be "Cold as Ice", and likely to give you "Double Vision". Leaving you unlikely to "Know What Love Is".

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1. Bar DeVille 701 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

From the owners of a mini-empire of variously purposed, approachably upscale lounges (Victory/Empire Liquors, Angels & Kings), DeVille's meant to be their dream dive bar, the sort of place they'd want to hang at every night (and should, since they all live within a few blocks).

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