Ahh, Sportsman’s Club. If our Marketing Manager hadn’t chosen Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits as her choice for HAUNTS, she probably would have gone with Sportsman’s Club. Alas, it was our Events Manager, Elise, who claimed it for herself. The lovely little Humboldt Park bar, located next to a too-bright gas station, is an oasis from the constant noise of Western Avenue. A quick stop inside the tiny, but impressive space though, reveals a number of different surprises.
Glittery chandeliers hang from the tin ceiling without creating an air of pretension. High-back booths serve as a space to unwind with a specialty cocktail. Challenge a friend or stranger to a friendly game of checkers of chess on the booth tables, too. The back walls are lined with the heads of long-gone game animals (we don’t know if they’re real, but we’re assuming not).
But most importantly, the tight squeeze down the narrow walkways between the big wooden bar and the booths lead to a back patio that makes most spots envious. In the summer months, it is a respite from the noise of Western Avenue and the city itself. Twinkling lights hang above neighborhood folk and curious drinkers alike. A fireplace keeps hands warm during the frustrating transition from summer to fall. A small bar offers beers and (thankfully) rose on tap. And if that wasn’t good enough, rotating DJs spin the most eclectic array of tunes, with everything from classic rock to hip hop to genres we’re not even sure how to classify.
Besides the fireplace and the music, Elise loves that they allow dogs. For our photo shoot, she invited her adorable pooch, Lucy. “I adopted her a few years ago and she is the most awkward dog you will ever meet,” Elise said. “She also goes by ‘Goose’ but will answer to anything if you have food in your hands. It’s very desperate and I’m trying to teach her to be better than that.”
When not hanging out with Lucy, Elise will sip one of their cocktails, which she praises. “I love trying anything on their rotating list of cocktails,” she offered. “Usually the gin based ones tend to be my favorite.” We definitely agree!
WHAT SHE SAYS:
“If I had to choose a go-to drink I will forever pick a chilled, still rose no matter the season because it’s absolutely delicious and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise they are a witch. I understand that particular choice is a little basic, but … zero f*cks.”