Whether you’re looking for a cozy place to have a few drinks or looking to sing your heart out and try some karaoke, Spyners Pub is the place to be. It is the ultimate dive bar, often lovingly referred to as the lesbian karaoke bar.
Spyners Pub is located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood at 4623 N. Western Avenue and is within stumbling distance of the Western Brown Line stop. Spyners tends to be occupied earlier in the evening by middle-aged lesbians and, as the night goes on, younger crowds LGBTQ+ and straight wander into the bar creating an interesting atmosphere.
The crowd may be diverse and something to talk about, however there isn’t much to discuss when it comes to Spyners decor. It’s a very small place that basically consists of a pool table, some booths and a full size bar. It could definitely benefit from a makeover. The booths evoke a time of the Reagle Beagle and the faded brown and yellow colors that cover the walls are somewhat-less-then inviting. On a positive note, they do offer a fairly large party room equipped with plasma TVs and a state-of-the-art sound system that has been used for wedding receptions and birthday parties. If you happen to be there on a night when a party is going on, you might even be lucky enough to get asked to join in the merriment. On one of my visits, there was a bash going on and the birthday girl ended up passing around cake to everyone in the bar.
Samples of baked goods are much appreciated because Spyners doesn’t offer food, but there is a popcorn machine to help curb late night munchies and you can help yourself to as many bowls as you like. Even better then free popcorn are the free lemon drop shots that the owner Maureen gives out to all her new customers. On my second visit, the owner greeted my friends and I and apologized for not giving us shots on her first time there. She then promptly brought over a tray of lemon drops and gave us a proper welcome, Spyners style. The owner is not only friendly but is also a great bartender. I tend to be a picky drinker, and an indecisive one at that, and have asked her many times to make me something fun and she always comes up with something fabulous and that I’ve never heard of before. Prices are reasonable and drinks tend to be on the strong side.
Now on to more important items: karaoke. Being the specialty of Spyners, karaoke brings out the best crowds every Friday and Saturday night from 9:30pm to close. The pool table is pushed to the side and the front of the bar becomes the karaoke stage/dance floor. It’s a mix of middle-aged lesbians and recent college grads. Upbeat songs are preferred and, if you are feeling brave enough to sing the theme song to Grease, it wouldn’t be unheard of to hear the entire bar singing along with you. Even the bar owner gets in on the action and often does her best Stevie Nicks impression singing Silver Springs.
The regular karaoke DJ is a great guy who knows just what to do to get even the most modest singer on the microphone. He definitely loves his regular karaoke singers but appreciates anyone who can really sing. He will take breaks from having bar patrons sing so he can perform his fabulous rendition of George Michael’s Freedom, an event that never fails to bring everyone in the bar onto the makeshift dance floor. Spyners also occasionally holds karaoke contests.
Every night of the week is a deal at Spyners. Monday nights are free pool nights with Miller Lite buckets for $11. Tuesdays Absolut vodka drinks are on special for $3.50, Thursdays get PBR for $2, Friday Stella on tap is $3.50 and Saturday Blue Moon on tap is also $3.50. The Spyners beer selectionconsists of seven on tap and 16 in bottles, a Bucket of the Month special, and nine wines by the glass with bottles going for no more than $20 each. If that weren’t enough, outside of Spyners hangs what could be the last operational Michelob Light sign in the known universe… For more information, check out theSpyners Facebook page.