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Apparently Beer Goes Well With More Than French Fries

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Oct 11, 2006 5:13PM

There are some things that we think are worth fighting over. White Sox versus Cubs. The TV remote. The last pancake on a Sunday morning. One thing that we don't necessarily think deserves a lot of time or thought is arguing over the distinction of being Chicago's first "gastropub," as the Sun-Times did this morning.

2006_10_gastro.gifTo recap: Gastropub is "a term coined in England to describe a bar with really good, affordably priced food." The current gastropub trend started in England in 1991 and came stateside in 2004 with New York's Spotted Pig; the first self-proclaimed Gastropub in Chicago is BB's, which opened in August. Apparently, The Gage, a new restaurant in Chicago opening in November, is also claiming to be Chicago's first gastropub and posted ads on Craigslist advertising this fact as a way of luring helpless cooks into its kitchen.

The Sun-Times gets to the heart of the matter, calling out both BB's and The Gage for advertising themselves as the first gastropub, when Hopleaf has been serving up "really good, affordably priced food" to complement beer for some time now. Hopleaf owner Michael Roper says he has been doing for years what the new gastropubs in town are claiming to do for the first time, adding that he doesn't want to be known as a gastropub anyway: "It sounds like some kind of unpleasant condition one might find themselves in."

Strange and/or unappealing labels aside, there must be more than three bars in the city that serve gourmet food and beer together, right? We are assuming for the time being that the food at Goose Island doesn't count as "really good."

Where else in Chicago do you think serves up delicious food in a bar setting?

Image from rIAm