For a respite from the bright, postmodern lighting schemes and sci-fi cocktails that seem to have taken over the Chicago bar scene, check out Miller’s Pub. Located in the heart of The Loop, this gorgeous old tavern will send you and your friends time-traveling back to the 1930s as you enjoy cocktails and conversation in a sepia-toned haven from the modern world.
Walk through the doors and take in the classic atmosphere. As you look at all the dark wood, old timey portraits on the walls, and patterned ceilings, remind yourself that Miller’s isn’t retro at all, it’s original. You’re experiencing a night out with friends much like Chicagoans did when the place opened in 1935. So grab a couple of barstools or slip into one of the cozy booths and make a toast to old bars and old friends.
As long as you’re going to an old school bar, you might as well have an old school cocktail. There’s not much older than the aptly-named old fashioned, which mixes bourbon or rye whiskey with muddled sugar and bitters and just the right amount of orange. It’s all topped with a single, bright-red maraschino cherry, giving the sweetest finish to a complex cocktail. If your crowd favors beer, choose from the voluminous library of brews for which Miller’s Pub is known. Small-batch breweries are well represented, with as many beers on tap as the pub’s 50-foot-long bar can fit.
Miller’s Pub is a great place to meet up for drinks, but if you lose track of time (as it is easy to do here), ask for a menu. You’ll find the food is as reliable as the drink. Chow down on its world-famous barbecued ribs or its signature burger, or choose from a wide selection of Italian favorites. If you’re not quite hungry enough to scarf down a reuben sandwich or an order of beer-battered cod, the menu is liberally peppered with lighter Greek specialties–a reflection of the Gallios family, who purchased the bar from the Miller brothers in 1950 and still own it today.
But the real reason to meet up at Miller’s is not its killer Greek salad or behemoth beer list. While you clink glasses with your friends, you’re also rubbing shoulders with some of Chicago’s most famous ghosts, including Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and Jimmy Durante–who is rumored to haunt the place.
The walls at Miller’s Pub are so papered with signed photos and Chicago memorabilia that it is practically an unofficial museum of the town. Or, as one regular puts it, “Miller’s Pub is Chicago, plain and simple.”