On an unassuming street corner at Roscoe and Wolcott in Roscoe Village lies the Four Moon Tavern, with it’s alluring bright blue sign depicting four crescent moons blending into each other. This is a place where you can enjoy some good food, have a game of pool, and hobnob with local actors and artists. The Four Moon was opened in 1999 by four local actors whom replaced the biker bar dive that formerly stood on the spot.
Found at the corner of Roscoe and Wolcott, in the base of a three-story, wood-frame building, the Four Moon Tavern has become a staple of East Roscoe Village particularly since JT Collins bit the dust. While The Shire has a great drinking atmosphere, and both Waterhouse and Belly’s have trendier crowds, none of the above beats the Four Moon Tavern from being just that: an excellent tavern.
The cozy feel at the Four Moon Tavern is largely due to one of the only wood-paneled, pine ceilings I have seen in the city, as well as a music selection that includes jazz, old-school bluegrass and classic rock. You’ll also find a mermaid painting and stained glass behind the bar, blue candle globes and track lighting. I recommend you have a seat at one of the cocktail tables found along the bars western wall, so that you can observe all the knick-knacks behind and above the bar opposite. Among the eclectic items, the following was observed: a Baby Huey children’s book, two cans of Billy Beer, a Topp’s Big Boy figure, a toy monkey with cymbals, and two Texas longhorn skulls – one with a red sequined cap, lit up with it’s own dedicated light. A collection of lunch boxes was spotted on a shelf next to a chalkboard illustrating the daily specials and those celebrities that happened to kick on that day. In addition to the Billy Beer cans, American beer connoisseurs will appreciate lighted beer signs from Falstaff, Blatz, and Schlitz. For those pining for Hamm’s memorabilia, head over to Johnnie’s on Lincoln. Also observed were very thin bathroom doors and those wishing each other Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in March.
The quality of food is one step above what you would normally find, but consists mainly of hearty pub grub specialties like fish & chips, meatloaf, burgers, lasagna, beer-soaked brats, salads, sloppy joes, crab cakes, pot stickers, brats, pierogi, and an imaginative array of appetizers – everything for under $8. All-you-can-eat fish and chips is served every Saturday and Sunday until 7 p.m. Perhaps because of the performing arts clientele, the food is reasonably priced. In the summertime, Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is quite enjoyable in the Four Moon’s sidewalk café along tranquil Roscoe Street. Private parties and lounging are found in the back room, complete with a couch and additional tables and chairs. This room is not immediately noticeable just walk past the pool table.
The Four Moon is great for a quite pint and savory food that is easy on the wallet. The bartenders at Four Moon also pull a mean pint of Guinness, adhering to a proper two-minute poor rarely seen outside of the more traditional Irish pubs in the city like Cullen’s, Irish Oak and Johnny O’Hagan’s. In recognition of it’s culinary achievement, Four Moon was rated three out of four forks by the Chicago Tribune in 2000. Perhaps it was Shecky’s Bar, Club & Lounge Guide 2002 that put it best, “The only people that have anything bad to say about The Four Moon Tavern are the other local tavern owners.”