Food & Drink

No Shots Allowed: An Oral History of Chicago's Old Town Ale House

Published On 03/16/2016 Published On 03/16/2016
Old Town Ale House in Chicago
Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

I basically proved to people that if you drink in a bar long enough, they give it to you.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist
Jim Vondruska/Thrillist
Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

If you get some assholes in here, and you want to get them out, just put the opera on. The jukebox is big as far as affecting our clientele.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

... Bruce has a "No Shot" list. Instead of getting kicked out at first, he just puts you on the list.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist
Jim Vondruska/Thrillist
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1. Old Town Ale House 219 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610 (Old Town)

Old Town Ale House is an iconic Chicago dive bar whose crowd varies between comedians from nearby Second City, hipsters, tried-and-true regulars, and tourists (due in no small part to the bar's feature on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. ) The jukebox, which is usually playing jazz, rules the show, but don't be surprised if one of the bartenders puts on some opera to water down the crowd. The wall is covered with funky paintings of everyone from longtime regulars to celebrities and politicians... case in point: a portrait of a naked Sarah Palin holding a rifle.