Now surrounded by them, the Daily Bar & Grill was one of the first North Center bars that opened in the late 90s, just south of Lincoln Square, making the place a whole lot more fun to live in or visit. You can expect the same quality of an establishment here as you would at Southport Lanes, Corner Pocket, and Lucky Strike, which are all owned by the same company, Spare Time Entertainment.

The Daily is a wedge-shaped bar, with its facade adorned with yellow and gray paint, a bright neon sign, and porcelain tile running the length of the building. It is located just north of the Old Town School of Folk Music and across from the latest in a long line of establishments that can’t seem to stick (e.g. Square Kitchen and Woodrow’s before that). The bar motif is retro 20s – notice the cool light bulbs over the barstools, blue, beveled glass bar lights, and the jazzy mural in the southwest corner. The Daily was remodeled from its predecessor and features a new pressed tin ceiling, hardwood floors, and an interesting triangular wooden island in the middle of the room called the “communal table,” ala the Riverview Tavern. In the summertime, there is a pretty good sized beer garden in the back. Valet parking is available from Wednesday to Saturday.

The Daily is a good place for a martini with a multitude of vodka and three types of stuffed olives. As for a bit of nosh, their specialty is comfort food, which includes meatloaf, pork cutlet, skirt steak, and chicken pot pie. Expect to pay around $25 per person. For the cheapskate, such as myself, one can order macaroni and cheese for $5.95 – and it’s good enough to make you homesick for mama’s cookin’. However, be forewarned. the mac & cheese portion is big enough to feed two, so don’t order a side order of fries to go with it. The kitchen also offers a full menu and weekend brunch that includes grilled salmon, sandwiches, oysters, bacon-and-chive mashed potatoes, ribs, crab cakes, burgers, pizza, and buttermilk chocolate layer cake or honey-vanilla ice cream for dessert.

If you’re thinking about hosting a private party (30 to 50 people), and would really like to impress your guests, check out the upstairs room at the Daily. This room looks more like a posh drawing room that you might find in an East Coast millionaire’s mansion. The room features a private bar, leather sofas and armchairs, deep red walls, red velvet drapes, hardwood floors with oriental carpets, and soft candlelight. This elegant room can be used for cocktails or an informal dinner, and is sure to please all invited. Consider it like the upstairs at Deja Vu, but without the lechery. I recommend the Daily for a drink after guitar lessons at the Old Town. For more information, check out the Daily Bar & Grill website. Read all about it!