Chicago’s Wrigleyville and Wrigley Field
Three words define the Chicago’s Wrigleyville and Wrigley Field in the Lakeview Northside neighborhood: “The Chicago Cubs”. This is the place in Chicago for sports fans and music lovers to hang out and watch baseball games, sing live band karaoke or rock out to slammin’ Chicago bands.
Wrigleyville isn’t so much a live-in community, as only a few apartment buildings wrap around the ballpark. Wrigleyville’s loosely defined boundaries consist of the immediate areas surrounding Wrigley Field along North Clark and West Addison in the larger Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Wrigleyville is filled with tons of low-rise brick buildings. The few apartment buildings located in this area sit on two sides of Wrigley Field, boasting rooftops overlooking the stadium.
Over the years, as more and more people began to watch the game for free (or for a small fee charged by the landlord of the building), the Cubs organization realized they were missing out on making even more money and bought out the rooftops. Now, fans can purchase a unique, all-inclusive experience that offers an all-you-can-drink/eat ballgame extravaganza. Pretty much every establishment in Wrigleyville is sports-themed, typically with Cubbie gear from players like Alfonso Soriano and Derek Lee and earlier favorites like Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks. Before grabbing an Old Style or a beef sandwich at one of the many bars and restaurants, lots fans head to Wrigleyville Sports to stock up on hats, t-shirts, jerseys and all other kinds of Cubs memorabilia. That is, of course, if they don’t get snagged by one of the street vendors.
The Cubby Bear is the most iconic spot in Wrigleyville to drink a beer or munch on some grub. Opened in 1953, it’s kiddy-corner from Wrigley Field, on Addison and Clark. This place is wall-to-wall packed on game days, but when the Cubbies are out of town. The Cubby Bear turns into a rockin’ music venue featuring live bands (and even one that plays karaoke jams). It had once been named the 7th best Sports Bar in the United States by Maxim Magazine, and you know Maxim doesn’t rate anything unless there’s a hottie (or 20) involved.
The John Barleycorn bar is one of the few places near the ballpark that has nothing to do with the Chicago Cubs. This saloon-style spot is decked out in tons of wood accents, including a huge bar. With plenty of large flatscreen TVs, Barleycorn is always hopping with a crowd of 20- and 30-somethings on game day. Once the Cubs game is over, the upstairs transforms into a huge dance club with live bands or the hottest DJs providing the best music.