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Irish pub and restaurant in the former punk palace O'Banion's.

Our Review

The Kerryman is a pub wrapped in a restaurant wrapped in a tasteful renovation of what used to be the punk palace O’Banion’s. Inside young’uns stand three and four deep at the wooden bar canoodling or lounge in the comfy chairs. The restaurant, on the second and third floors, seems almost an afterthought: fundamentally, this is a bar that serves decent bar food. Fish-and-chips were no gustatory miracle but better than you’d get in many pubs. Bass ale onion rings seemed more popular than corned beef on Saint Patrick’s Day; I saw a platter of them on just about every table. The Irish cheeseburger was our favorite dish; nothing fancy, just a half pound of Angus beef with Irish bacon and cheddar, done right. The Kerryman stumbles with some of the other selections: rack of lamb (the most expensive menu item at $23.95) was inexplicably mushy, and the shepherd’s pie was, to be kind, a mess of salty glop. On the positive side, my oenophile dining companion was impressed by the larger-than-expected wine list, and my Guinness had a sweet freshness not always found on tap in Chicago--with such heavy traffic, kegs turn over quickly.

David Hammond

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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