Oct 22, 2012

Murphy’s Bleachers and a crawl down Clark Street

I’ve been long overdue in completing my Wrigleyville rooftop game series of blogs.  Chalk it up to a long, brutal week in the real world and my real job.  At any rate, to continue where I left off last time …

If there’s one “must stop” place for me after a Chicago Cubs home game, it’s probably Murphy’s Bleachers at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield.  Appropriately enough, it’s right behind the bleachers and across from the Harry Caray statue.  And between Murphy’s Bleachers and the Cubby Bear (across from the main gate), most people have the same idea when it comes to congregating after the game. 

Murphy’s long ago expanded from a small corner bar to more than a brownstone full of rooms and bars to fill patrons on game days.  The good side of that it, although it’s always crowded, it’s never too hard to get served.  Of course, don’t expect any drink specials on game day.  But during the off-season, you can find good deals on drink and food specials.  And if local craft beers are your thing, Murphy’s has a nice selection on tap. 

Kent and I wandered in after the game with some of his pharmacy friends and met some more friends from Springfield, Ill., who had attended the game.  And for those who have never been here before, it’s always fun to check out the various memorabilia that has been collected or donated through the years. 

Someone likes bobbleheads

Ahhh ... the team that cemented my fate as a Cubs fan
After a couple drinks at Murphy’s, a group of us decided to fill up on something more substantial, so we walked around the ballpark to the Goose Island Brewpub, at least to their beer garden.  Goose Island’s Wrigleyville location boasts a capacity for 500 people, and judging by the cavernous interior, I believe it.  Their beer garden, in all honesty, doesn't consist of much more than a lot of outdoor tables with umbrellas in a converted parking lot, but it serves the purpose. 

I was happy that Kent and I decided to stay outside and enjoy the sun begin its slow descent over the brownstones while drinking a couple more microbrews (I recall having their nut brown ale and something seasonal that had a hint of blueberry maybe?  The memory is fuzzy at this point.)  Our group also shared a massive plate of nachos and another appetizer of pretzels with dipping sauces, all of which really hit the spot.   

So, after a full day of eating and drinking around Wrigley Field, you’d think we’d be smart enough to get straight on the Red Line and go back to our hotel.  You’d be wrong, of course.  For some reason, we had the great idea of walking down Clark Street to see what more trouble we could find.  And let me just say, at this point in the day there is nothing more indecisive than a bunch of inebriated pharmacists. 

We eventually settled, or stumbled, into a place called BEER.  That’s right, just BEER.  Something about its simplicity must have appealed to us at the time.  Or maybe it was this guy being his own one-person band for entertainment. 

The entertainment value aside, the place was unpretentious and uncrowded enough for us to get a wobbly table near the front, watch the musical train wreck in front of us and down a can of beer before, finally, staggering back to the hotel.  One long wait for the Red Line, an overheated El ride and a cab ride in which Kent befriended the Romanian taxi driver, and the day was done (the trip back is practically worthy of a blog post all its own). 

Yes, we tried to go back out later, but our energy level was simply too lacking.  Plus, we knew we’d need some stamina for the drive back the next day – and the places we planned to stop along the way.  And that story is for next time …  

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