New Food And Bar Tour Of Historic Bridgeport Goes Off The Beaten Path

By Jessica Mlinaric in Food on Aug 11, 2015 3:04PM

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Shinnick's Pub Courtesy of Chicago Detours

The irreverent local tour company Chicago Detours celebrated its fifth anniversary last weekend with the launch of a new tour: a historic bar and food tour of Bridgeport, the “Big Shoulders Food and Bus Tour,”

The “Big Shoulders Food and Bus Tour” offers a driving tour of Bridgeport’s industrial history, neighborhood food and beverage standbys and emerging artistic present. The tour balances visits to historic sites like the former Wrigley factory and Chicago Stockyards Gate with stories of Chicago’s drinking culture from longtime barkeepers. Each attendee will enjoy two to three beers, the choice of a Chicago hot dog or mother-in-law sandwich, and a salty cookie along the way.

Chicago Detours picked Bridgeport for the site of its anniversary tour because the neighborhood is richly historic, culturally fascinating, and not widely explored. “With its ties to politics, segregation, tavern culture, and industry, including the Stock Yards, Bridgeport in many ways embodies the story of the whole of Chicago,” Executive Director Amanda Scotese told Chicagoist.

In its five years, Chicago Detours has grown from a solo operation to a team of six and has developed more than 15 tours specializing in architecture, history and culture. The organization has designed a Pedway map, discussed “Tourism as Placemaking” for PechaKucha, and supported community initiatives in its efforts to engage the public.

For Scotese, Chicago Detours is influenced by the positive feedback she’s received from the community. “It’s inspired me to continue to share new ways of critically thinking about the city in fun and visually engaging ways.”

Scotese looks forward to future collaborations with local organizations, designing new tours, and meeting the Chicago Detours’ guests.

"A good tour connects people to their surroundings, to history, and to each other,” she said. “The basic human connection of the shared experience of a tour excites people intellectually, creatively, and emotionally. It's a pretty cool thing. “

Rate and availability inquiries for the "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour" may be made at 312-350-1131.