Best place to lose at pool

The Ten Cat Tavern

3931 N. Ashland
773-935-5377

The Ten Cat is known for its well-maintained vintage Brunswick pool tables, a Sport King and a Medalist, and for the skilled play of its regulars. But its charms are such that I wouldn't mind losing. The bar, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, was formerly a vintage clothing shop whose owner had (and still has) ten cats—hence the name. Owners Richard and Connie Vonachen have decked the space out with vintage booths, tables, and chairs more comfy than kitschy, and in the front room on the south wall there's a charming mosiac of the Chicago skyline. The crowd in the back room and out in the garden tends to be mellow and is regularly ministered to by Claudio the Tamale Guy. —Kate Schmidt