Nov 11, 2021

A commoner drinks at Meier’s Tavern, Glenview, Ill.

There’s certainly no shortage of neighborhood drinking establishments in and around the Chicago area that have been faithfully serving its customers since the days of Prohibition (or even before).  But I doubt many are left that have a pedigree quite like Meier’s Tavern on the outskirts of Glenview, Ill.

If you’re thinking Meier’s looks like any other old corner dive bar in Chicagoland, you’d be wrong.  Location on the south side of Lake Avenue just west of Interstate 94, Meier’s looks like a wonderful combination of roadhouse, dive bar and supper club.  And it should, as it’s been serving locals and travelers since 1927, according to the tavern’s website.

Back when it opened, Meier’s was a farmhouse turned speakeasy on a relatively quiet road into town.  Today, the road is busier but not much else has changed due to its proximity to the Blue Star Memorial Woods on the edge of town.  Parking is plentiful, and the building blends right in with the local scenery. 

Upon entering, you’ll likely notice the main dining area to the left.  Again, given the black-and-white checkered tablecloths, not much appears to have changed over the years.  But if it works, stick with it, right?

For the occasional overflow or special event, a small set of stairs to the right leads to another dining area and, apparently, a doorway to the kitchen.

I don’t mind being seated and waited on, but when I’m by myself, you know I’m not going to pass up sitting at a classic long bar like Meier’s has.  It just feels right leaning on the bar and enjoying a refreshing beer (or several) right after work just like so many of the regular customers here.  And whether you’re recognized or not, the bartender will be attentive and engaging.

The beer of choice at Meier’s – for reasons still unclear to me – is DAB.  I have yet to go to another bar where DAB was drunk so religiously as it is as Meier’s.  It’s simply the thing to do here, and the price is right, so I had to try it.  Maybe it’s the atmosphere, but I wound up enjoying my first foray into DAB quite a lot.  As German beers go, it’s a refreshing, crisp, easy-drinking but flavorful lager that’s work well with much of the menu at Meier’s.  Plus, they pour it into the perfect beer mug for drinking German beer.   

And as the placards on the bar and tables show, the food menu is pretty basic even by bar standards (it’s also cash only, or at least it was when I frequented).  But I can vouch for the quality of their burgers and patty melt.  You’ll walk away satisfied.  And please, get the tots.    

Finally, when you visit Meier’s Tavern, it’s worthwhile to look around and really relish its throwback charm to another era.  For instance, they’ve held on to a wooden phone booth that looks every bit as old, but preserved, as the tavern itself.  It’s surely non-functional at this point, but who cares?  One has to wonder how many priceless discrete conversations happened here over the years. 

Then there’s the checkout counter near the entrance where you may still find yourself paying for your dinner.  True to the old neon sign out front, some of the package liquor for sale is displayed on the beautiful built-in wooden shelves. 

A visit to Meier’s Tavern is a lot like a step back into time, and it’s definitely worth anyone’s time to do so.  The ambiance is warm, the DAB is ice-cold and the food is tasty and affordable.  Plus, you won’t feel like you’re in the suburbs.  If you find yourself on the Chicago area’s northside and are looking for a nice bar to simply relax in, put Meier’s Tavern on your to-do list.


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