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As Pitchfork Music Festival attendees flood Union Park this weekend, the Near West Side becomes the center of the city's universe for three days and nights. For those unfamiliar with the neighborhood's dining and drinking establishments—out-of-towners, those who rarely venture off Milwaukee Avenue—we've assembled a diverse list of spots to sip and sup within a 15-minute walk of the festival grounds. It's definitely worth noting Pitchfork Fest's draconian reentry policy: there is, um, no reentry. So you'll have to hit up these locations before heading into the park or once you leave.
Below you'll find a bar or restaurant for a variety of Pitchfork temperaments.
"Man, I'd really love a piece of meat wrapped in another piece of meat."
If you take Randolph in and out of the festival, you're going to see a painting of a tiger in a top hat. Past peculiar, charming exterior is a bar where meat mixing (e.g., bacon-wrapped shrimp) on the menu collides with bocce in the beer garden. 1415 W. Randolph, Fri 11 AM-2 AM, Sat 11 AM-3 AM, Sun 11 AM-2 AM
"I need a drink as refined as my music taste."
Maude's Liquor Bar
If your primary attractions to Pitchfork are more Waxahatchee and Kurt Vile than Run the Jewels and Mac DeMarco, you might cruise a few more blocks down Randolph to this exquisite purveyor of cocktails from Brendan Sodikoff. Drinks run around $13, but you're used to paying for quality, right? 840 W. Randolph, Fri-Sat 4:45 PM-1 AM, Sun 4:45 PM-11 PM
Green Street Smoked Meats
Some find the perma-crowd of Pitchfork a little suffocating. Not you. You're an extrovert who also happens to love great barbecue. Check out this cafeteria-style 'cue joint—another Sodikoff property—where the pork ribs are served straight out of the smoker and you sit elbow to elbow with potential new friends. 112 N. Green, Fri-Sat 11 AM-1 AM, Sun noon-11 PM
"Who wants to shotgun a PBR?"
Mahoney’s Pub & Grille
Maybe it’s because you really wanted Lolla tickets instead, but your approach to Pitchfork has been to go hard when you can and boot and rally when you must. There's a bar for that. Mahoney's has the vibe of a place overtaken by former Sig Eps—guys anxious to extend their college primes and who just want to rage, brah. If you want to keep the party going after Chance the Rapper clears the stage on Sunday night, this is your place. 551 N. Ogden, Fri 4 PM-3 AM, Sat 11 AM-3 AM, Sun 11 AM-2 AM
"Ugh! There's not enough shredding at this fest!"
Until this year, more traditional rock acts were trending down at Pitchfork. If you find yourself wishing for more guitar heroes or hoping someone finds the dial that can turn things to 11, booze-soaked Cobra Lounge is your place. 235 N. Ashland, Fri 11 AM-2 AM, Sat 5 PM-3 AM, Closed Sun
"Perhaps this leather jacket was a mistake."
About a half mile north of the park is this neighborhood biker bar, complete with rooftop patio, tall piles of fries, and more rust and leather than you can shake a pitchfork at. If Sleater-Kinney doesn't wear you out too much Saturday night, set coordinates for Twisted Spoke. 501 N. Ogden, Fri 11 AM-3 AM, Sat-Sun 8:30 AM-2 AM
"I wish someone would play 'Wagon Wheel.'"
CrossRoads Bar & Grill
This southern-themed joint is more likely to provide you with that down-home atmosphere than any of the musical acts at Union Park. Head south to Madison for such comforting drink options as an old-fashioned made with Bulleit Rye or a Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' on draft. 1120 W. Madison, Fri 11 AM-2 AM, Sat 11 AM-3 AM, Sun 11 AM-2 AM
"Two words: Classy pregame."
Yet another Sodikoff spot, this booze-forward upscale diner serves up its tough-to-overhype cheeseburgers nightly until midnight. 800 W. Randolph, Fri-Sat 11 AM-1 AM, Sun 10 AM-midnight (kitchen closed daily 3-5 PM)