December 14th, 2011

What’s your favorite bar in Chicago? Whether it’s a pub in Pilsen, a dive near DePaul or a tavern in Tri-Taylor, we’re one of the best bar towns on earth. So, what is your spot? The one you’d take visiting friends to. The place where you and the bartender are on a first name basis. Everyone has one. But not everyone knows the real story behind their beloved bar.

Enter Sean Parnell. The author of Historic Bars of Chicago, a comprehensive guide to 100 landmark drinkeries, Parnell returns to the CPL circuit this evening at our Near North branch. During his free discussion, which begins at 6:30, Sean shares some of Chicago’s history as experienced through our rich nightlife.

Beyond the book, Parnell’s bar mastery runs deep. In 2000, he created the Chicago Bar Project, a web index of everything you need to know about every bar in the city, and he’s been a featured writer on the subject in Esquire Magazine, Time Out Chicago and on

Collect your curiosity and make plans to join Parnell, tonight, for another round with Chicago Public Library.

To whet your appetite, here is Parnell’s list of the Top 10 Chicago bars, from

1.  Sheffield’s Wine & Beer Garden (3258 N. Sheffield Avenue)

2.  Green Mill Cocktail Lounge (4802 N. Broadway)

3.  Hopleaf Bar (5148 N. Clark Street)

4.  Goose Island Brew Pub (1800 N. Clybourn Avenue)

5.  Duke of Perth (2913 N. Clark Street)

6.  Billy Goat Tavern (430 N. Lower Michigan Avenue)

7.  John Barleycorn Memorial Pub (658 W. Belden Avenue)

8.  Twin Anchors (1655 North Sedgwick Street)

9.  Southport Lanes & Billiards (3325 North Southport Avenue)

10.  Moody’s Pub (5910 N. Broadway)

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