Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yard House: first visit

Look, you guys probably know by now that I don't like chain restaurants. I just don't. They take up space and money and share of mind/belly/wallet that could be used by unique local places that are the vision of individuals. I could go on, and I really believe it. But...

I visited a Yard House in Glenview, Illinois today. And I enjoyed it. I had a glass of Goose Island Honker's Ale that was perhaps the best, cleanest glass of Honker's I've ever had, and I loved it. Cathy got a pint of Guinness, and it was as good as in any Irish pub -- as in, Irish pub in Ireland or here. And the service was good, and the music wasn't too loud, and...it was good.
(I've got an article on draft maintenance coming out soon in Nightclub & Bar magazine -- my first piece for them -- that talks quite a bit about Yard House's draft line cleaning processes. Can't go into details before publication, but I was not surprised by the quality of the draft beers we got in Glenview.)

6 comments:

BDS said...

I'm insanely jealous. Honkers Ale is numero uno for me. While you are out there, can you convince Goose Island to distribute in our area? Jeez, just tell them about our beer week!

BDS said...

Oh and my husband just reminded me that we went to a Yards House in Scottsdale and we enjoyed it as well.

Steven said...

The Yardhouse's selection has always impressed me. That all the beers they serve come from the same (marketing visible) deep-freeze cooler, the bar-tender's lack of beer knowledge (though I'm told that is improving), and the overall warehouse atmosphere never has.

No Goose Island in your neighborhood? Have you checked with your local A-B distributor? Since the match-up with A-B distribution, Goose should (should) be available across the country.

Lew Bryson said...

GI is definitely arriving, but not Honker's and 312. Specialty first, and that's smart.

The bartender did seem to have a clue. The 'warehouse atmo' didn't throw me; Victory's got very high ceilings, as do some German beerhalls. And you can't have a big place without having a big place: some places do it with warrens of smaller rooms, some with big open space. It wasn't unfriendly. The one Flying Saucer I've been to looked much the same, only darker, and it's not all bad. It's one approach.

Steven said...

I think you've used the term "soul" before. Atmosphere is a good one too -- German Bierhalls have both, never got that cozy feel at Yardhouse. But as said, you can't deny the selection.

Drew said...

Eh, I can deny the selection. Maybe it's just here where the things started, but YH has always felt a close spiritual cousin to 57 channels and nothin' on.