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Zoom in: River West

Richard's Bar, est. 1926, takes old school to the next level


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Open since 1926, Richard's Bar (491 N. Milwaukee) is old-school to the bone—the bar menu above the register looks like it hasn't been updated since the 50s, most of the bartenders were probably cracking Old Styles before I existed, and the vibe is divey Rat Pack swank, complete with a jukebox that's likely loaded with Sinatra and Martin. As if the authentic Italian flavor and retro mystique weren't enough, the joint also serves hard-boiled eggs, perched in a shot glass with salt and pepper shakers on the side, for 75 cents a pop. It's a forgotten tradition that's meant to provide some sustenance for working-class regulars and maybe, just maybe, help them avoid hangovers (unlike the salty snacks of present that encourage more drinking). Simply roll the egg on the provided paper towel to loosen the shell and season to taste. Eating hard-boiled eggs at a bar while sipping on Maker's Mark sound kind of raunchy? Not at Richard's, I guess. The bar goes through about two dozen a week.

Have a particular observation or favorite oddity about a neighborhood? E-mail it to zoomin@chicagoreader.com.

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