I made it up to The Windy City yesterday. One of my bands, The Lion in Rome played a show at Reggie’s, which is South of downtown on State Street. They have two venues and a great record store. If you’re into indie/punk/etc. on vinyl, check it out.
We had some time to waste…only 10 hours. So we went up to Wrigleyville to watch the Cubs game on tv. We found a parking spot on Sheffield right in front of the new cage/screen thing where you can see into Right Field. I have been to the Wrigleyville area dozens of times, but never ventured into any of the local establishments. We had planned to go into the new Harry Carey’s Tavern, but it looked too expensive for our tastes. We ended up going to the Cubby Bear. I mean, how much more “Cubs” can you get, right? The corner of Clark and Addison. Directly across from the marquee, you know? I figured this would be THE place…memorabilia on the wall, players autographs, oozing with Cubs history. Nope, instead we had found what is apparently the place where all the yuppies hang out. The first picture I see is Babe Ruth. A Yankee?! The whole place was spotless-clean and void of any the character I hoped to enjoy. I lived in Southern California for a few years and this place felt very “Irvine” to me.
We decided to stay and watch the game, though. The food was pretty good and the portions were generous. Unfortunately, rather than cheering on the Cubbies with a bunch of fellow fans, we watched the game on muted tv’s while some guy played 90’s alternative radio hits on his guitar from their stage. What kind of bar/restaurant has live music at noon on a Sunday? And from what I thought, this place is THE Cubs bar. No Pat and Ron on the speakers while we watch the game? I left disappointed and walked back to the van before the game was over to take a nap. For some reason, I thought the game was on WGN rather than Comcast and I figured I could go back and watch the game on the van’s magnificent 5 inch color tv. No luck, and I had no interest in watching the White Sox destroy the Tigers. I fell asleep for a while, stretched out on the van’s couch, with my head propped up to see down the 1st baseline to home plate. Is there anything more peaceful for a Cubs fan than to nap just a few feet away from the ivy walls? I woke up and turned on the radio just in time to hear Pat and Ron call the last out as the Cubs were victorious in extra innings to avoid a sweep to the Phillies.
I have always wanted to watch a Cubs game at a Wrigleyville bar. There must be a good place that will fulfill all my expectations. The Cubby Bear is not that place.