“Your Neighborhood Stop For Craft Beer, Fine Wine, And Friends.”
Opened in 2013 by Bruce Longanecker Jr. and Hillary Lake, the Sedgwick Stop aims to be the Cheers of Old Town (not to be confused with the dearly departed Earl of Old Town). Their mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make everyone feel at home. The result is more of a neighborhood sports bar with a very good selection of craft beer, wines, whiskey, and a modern take on comfort food.
Mama Would Be Proud
You’ll find the Sedgwick Stop just north of the actual Brown Line Sedgwick Stop (and the bar’s namesake), just west of Old Town Ale House and south of Twin Anchors and Marge’s Still – all of which makes for a nice Old Town Triangle neighborhood pub crawl.
The Stop looks like it used to be a house, and once did serve as the Charley Lee Laundry in the 1920s, but was Mama de Luca’s Italian restaurant for decades prior to becoming the bar in 2015. Four flags hang over the brown awning and brown-painted wooden facade. Large windows open out in warmer weather.
Step through the red framed door and you’ll find a long front room with wooden floors, low slung tables in front and cocktail tables along the south wall. A wooden bar is found in the northwest corner with a nice wooden back bar with stained glass lies opposite a Golden Tee machine. Large flatscreens feature mostly Chicago sports.
In summer, there’s a small sidewalk cafe along Sedgwick and along the south side of the property (both of which are dog-friendly), and there’s free cornhole on Sundays.
Wine, Whisky & Vittles
A Loyola Ramblers flag hangs over the digital jukebox, near a chalkboard on the north wall to the right of the bar displays a nice selection of TBD craft beers on tap.
Scotch, bourbon and whisky lovers will appreciate over 60 selections available. The bar also offers 17 wines by the glass, and many more in bottles – pulled from an impressive wine rack past the Golden Tee machine and towards the smallish back room with its handful of low slung tables.
The food menu is highlighted by an intriguing selection of bar snacks – deep fried bacon or reuben balls, anyone? – the “best” grilled chicken (based on an exuberant patron’s review), the pork schnitzel (harder to find now that the Chicago Brauhaus closed), and the obligatory selection of burgers and mac-n-cheese selections. The bar serves brunch on weekends with a Bloody Mary that features a slider sticking out of the top, and is kid-friendly by day and early evening. An annual chili cook-off is held in November.
Into the Depths
The subterranean party room at Sedgwick Stop features a bar and configurable tables that serves well for wedding rehearsal dinners, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, networking events, fantasy football drafts, or any other private event. They even hold whisky tastings down there.
The Real Sedgwick Stop
According to Chicago-L.org, “Sedgwick station opened on May 31, 1900 as part of the original stretch of the Northwestern Elevated. The headhouse was one of several stations built from a design by William Gibb on what is now the Brown Line. Architecturally, it is similar to those still at Chicago, Armitage, Belmont, Fullerton, and Diversey. Constructed of brick with terra cotta trim, the Classical Revival design was inspired by the work of the great 16th century Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The bold modeling of the details, especially the columns and segmented arched windows, is characteristic of Italianate work of the late 19th century. The building, which is square in floor plan, features un-glazed terra cotta pilasters with composite capitals on either side of the front center entrance and on either end of the front facade. The front elevation has a heavy cornice with egg and dart molding and other classical ornamentation.”
I remember Sedgwick Station as being unique because, for 106 years, there were no back railings so you could fall off onto Sedgwick if weren’t careful.
Next Stop: Sedgwick
Though the bar claims to be a gastropub but it seems to me that’s it’s more of a sports bar with above average fare. The craft beer selection will satisfy just about any beer snob, and both wine and whisky selections are underrated – and likely under-appreciated by the younger, sports-oriented crowd it attracts.