Kincade’s combines the atmosphere of a classic Chicago neighborhood pub with the obnoxious personality of a frat bar. Kincade’s is a great place for people to watch the game, get something to eat, and for guys to take their girlfriends and leer at other girls.
Kincade’s is located on a scenic stretch of Armitage in the heart of Lincoln Park, just a stone’s throw from the Armitage Brown Line El stop. The façade of the bar is made up of large, wood-paneled windows that open out in the summertime, as well as Kincade’s white porcelain tile that give Kincade’s somewhat of a retro 50’s look.
Halfway down the room on your left are stairs leading both up and down. This area used to be a two-flat before its reincarnation as an beer-soaked den. Downstairs hosts a pool table, exposed brick and wood-paneled walls with recessed televisions, extra seating, the kitchen, black and white checked linoleum floor, and a long wooden bar. There is also a tiny beer garden area located outside this room, a half-story below the sidewalk. The room upstairs is often used for small private parties, and is clogged with two pool tables, more wood-paneling, an occasional waitress, a smattering of seating, and a strange poster of a monkey.
The last drinking area is a private party room in the back. This room is accessible by a claustrophobic gangway along the outside of the bar. This room offers a nice square wooden back bar with beer taps, a popcorn machine, two pool tables, many tables and chairs, a large mural of Chicago’s downtown, and a large enough space to hold a band.
Sports fans will appreciate over 60 (!) televisions located throughout the bar. Kansas and Syracuse fans will also find a refuge for Jayhawk and Orangemen games, respectively. As noted by Dan Ochwat in his January 2003 Red Streak article, “Hearing someone scream ‘You’re a f—ing idiot’ in a bar is commonplace, but to hear more than 100 people dressed in red and blue yell that phrase could only mean it’s Kansas basketball at Kincade’s and a ref just blew a call. For all Kansas University games, Kincade’s designates an entire room (named Lucy) to KU alumni. ‘They’re out of control,’ says Gregg Weinstein, manager. ‘They wouldn’t even let me put on another game. I had to put Illinois on the worst TV.'”
Additional entertainment is available during popular sporting events with large crowds pushing and shoving, causing the occasional fight. If you visit Kincade’s on the weekend, get there before 8:00pm, as stupidly long lines form down the block to rival the one that snakes around Sheffield’s.
The pub grub is pretty good, with the Voodoo Chicken (blackened, topped with pepper jack cheese) being a notable standout. Kincade’s also has some mouth-watering specials with $1 burger Mondays, a complimentary buffet from 5-7pm during the week, and $0.15 buffalo wings all day Sunday. Fourteen beers lie in wait on tap to wash it all down. If that doesn’t satisfy you, head to Taco Burrito Palace #2 on Halsted afterwards (next to Tonic Room).
It’s very rare that you’ll find a few Streets and San vans parked in front of any Lincoln Park eatery. We generally try to hide from all things yuppy and from places where it’s tough to park an over-sized van. Kincade’s, however, is one of the exceptions. We’ll always find room to park the van-even if it means nudging a BMW a few inches forward and bumpering a Mercedes a few feet back. The specials in this joint make it work the trip. Twenty-one jumbo chicken wings are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and $1 half-pound burgers are ready to be inhaled on Mondays. With prices like these, you’ll still have loads of money left in your pocket after lunch perhaps to bring a bouquet of roses to your wife or your girlfriend, or, better yet, both. So go ahead and order up to 10 or 20 wings and have at it, or come to Kincade’s with a group of 10 and order up to 250 wings. We do it every now and again. We call it ‘The Bone Fest.’ The winner is the guy with the biggest pile of bones on his plate at the end of the meal, and of course, the winner doesn’t pay. Call in advance, as the specials can change weekly or monthly.” Rating: three out of four forks.– excerpt from The Street & San Man’s Guide to Chicago Eats (2004) by Dennis Foley
If you can stand the mob scene, frat boys, weak customer service, cheesy pickup lines, and being kicked out at 1:00am on weekends (2:00am being the official closing time), Kincade’s can be a good place to hang out. If you like Kincade’s, check out the nearby twin bars of Kendall’s and Kelsey’s on Lincoln Avenue, both of which are owned by Bobby Burleson, as are Casey Moran’s in Wrigleyville and O’Donovan’s in North Center. For further information on Kincade’s, check out the Kincade’s website. Hot diggity.