NFT Chicago Bryn Mawr

Bryn Mawr

Old fashioned iron lamp posts line Bryn Mawr's charming historic district while young families push strollers, walk dogs, and have brunch. Bryn Mawr/Bowmanville also boasts Rosehill Cemetery, a 350-acre Chicago landmark that is the final resting place for luminaries like Montgomery Ward, Richard Sears, Oscar Mayer, several Chicago mayors and one Vice President (Charles Gates Dawes).

Higher rents and property taxes have made the area that circles Rosehill Cemetery largely family friendly, displacing college students and the younger crowds. Bryn Mawr and Bowmanville have grown into mainly residential neighborhoods with a sprinkling of serviceable restaurants and dive bars. Dependable Fireside Restaurant & Lounge with its coveted 4 a.m. liquor license and sunny patio space is the place to be when the 2 a.m. bars close. Locals flock to the See more.

>Leadway Bar & Café for their eccentric martini list and artsy vibe.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Eric Kroh
Photo:  Eric Kroh

Leadway Bar
The first time my friends and I walked in here, we got stared down by everyone in the bar. Hesitantly, we made our way to some empty barstools and ordered our drinks. When conversations resumed, almost none of them were in English. After a while, we were apparently deemed harmless and forgotten about. It would make sense that regulars at the Leadway would want to protect their enclave from intrusion. Indeed, it seems that effort has been made to make the bar appear as inconspicuous as possible from the outside. Inside, however, the space abounds with unique, artistic flourishes. The bar is set in small, multi-colored tiles, glasses are held inverted in large, sinuous metal sculptures that hang from the ceiling. For a small fee, one can make use of watercolors and an easel set up in the corner. One entire wall is plastered with patrons’ creations, ranging from the painfully amateur to the surprisingly able. The atmosphere is really the only reason to go to the Leadway. The beer selection is not particularly impressive, but the usual standbys are available. A pool table stands in the center of the main room, worn with use.

Posted By:  Brian Diebold
Photo:  Brian Diebold

Bobbie's Runaway
When you think about dive bars in Chicago, a few things immediately come to mind. Older men gathering at two in the afternoon for no reason. Cigarette and cigar smoke so thick it could choke a horse. Beer and shots are the only drinks ever ordered. Well, Bobbie’s Runaway has it all plus a few perks. Old fashioned, home style cookin’ is their specialty. Daily lunch and dinner specials make Bobbie’s feel like home. In fact, it’s the bartender that does all the cookin’. A true “mom” type, my bartender kept her cool as she served drink after drink between rounds of slinging home cooked hash. Did I mention Mr. Winkie? Mr. Winkie is the unofficial mascot of the bartenders at Bobbie’s. He’s a larger than life dildo that graces the back of the bar. They dress him up in cute little outfits and amuse patrons willing to ask for him. But no bathroom sessions with Mr. Winkie, please. Who knows how much he’s been around the bar. And no photos, please. That’s why I had to get a shot of poorly dancing patrons.

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