Lots of beer and lots of noise at Fatpour Tap Works



The keg cooler, upstairs
  • The keg cooler, upstairs
Yet another sports bar on Division, Fatpour Tap Works is every bit as good as you’d expect. Actually, if you share my generally low opinion of sports bars, it’s a little better than you’d expect. The main thing this place has going for it is a standout beer list: 50 taps and 100 more bottles and cans from breweries including Evil Twin, Jolly Pumpkin, Lost Abbey, and Mikkeller. The website boasts that a two-story glass keg cooler allows you to "watch our tap system stream over 2 miles of beer overhead to the bar and table taps." In reality, there's very little action visible within the cooler, but it is a cool-looking centerpiece—and aside from the keg cooler, the place looks very much like any other sports bar, with dozens of flat-screen TVs, wood floors, high wood tables, and dim lighting.

The food I tried was uneven, not quite good enough overall to be described as a cut above your average bar food, but probably at least a half step up. Mac 'n' cheese with shallot, garlic, beer-braised pork butt, spinach, dried tomato, and "smoked Gouda cream" sounded great but was light on the mix-ins and fairly bland; salt and pepper would have improved it but they were nowhere to be found (and neither was our waitress). "Airline Chicken," on the other hand, was outstanding, seared until crispy and lightly seasoned; french fries were pretty decent too.

The bar takes its name from its 22-ounce draft pour, served in a frosted mug. Fortunately this isn't an option for all drafts; 22 ounces of the Allagash Curieux, a bourbon-barrel-aged tripel that weighs in at 11 percent alcohol, would be fairly dangerous in that quantity (it arrived in a very reasonable-sized snifter). Our server wasn't particularly well versed in the beers, but she was very willing to bring us generous samples—which was nice, but didn't quite make up for a noise level so high, even on a Sunday night, that my friend and I could barely hear each other.

Fatpour Tap Works, 2005 W. Division, 773-698-8940, fatpourchicago.com

Add a comment