There’s no question that Chicago Cubs fans are among the most loyal in all of baseball. And for good reason.
Traditions and lore abound throughout the team’s history, which is as rich and plentiful as the beautiful ivy that grows on the brick walls that line Wrigley Field.
The place itself is considered a historical treasure, one of only a few old-school baseball parks that have somehow managed to keep up with the times while still embracing the true and sincere wonder of America’s past time.
To this day, it remains a neighborhood ballpark, complete with its intimate feel, fly balls that sometimes reach the “Ballhawks” on Waveland Avenue and rooftop apartments whose residents have some of the best views in the house. Oh, and there’s no parking lot.
All of that does not lend itself all that well to the traditional tailgating experience, but that doesn’t stop Cubs lovers from enjoying all sorts of pre- and post-game fun.
Of course tailgating does still happen, but mostly in the form of a neighborhood party. It’s more commonly called bar-gating, due mostly to the plentiful selection of bars and pubs nearby.
Here are a few local joints to consider if you’re headed to Wrigley this spring:
Murphy’s Bleachers, 3655 N. Sheffield
Established in 1980 at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland, Murphy’s is a historic landmark of its own.
The family-owned and operated establishment has been a mainstay in Wrigleyville with history dating back to its origins during post prohibition when it operated as Ernie’s Bleachers. Then they sold hot dogs and beer by the pail.
Over time, the tavern has expanded inside and out, but it has stayed true to its history and is still known for its local craft beers and award-winning menu.
Bernie’s Tap & Grill, 3664 N. Clark St.
Across the street from Wrigley on Clark and Waveland, Bernie’s is also family-owned and operated since 1954.
Cubs fans commonly gather together before and after home games at this neighborhood pub, which features a variety of pub food as well as four full-service bars on two floors and a sidewalk patio cafe and beer garden.
From juicy burgers and sandwiches to apps and starters, their menu has something for everyone.
Gingerman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark St.
Amid the sea of sports bars lies a local favorite that promises a little something different. Also known as the GMan Tavern, the spots extensive beer list and eclectic event calendar keep things interesting on a daily basis.
The clubhouse meets neighborhood watering hole resides in the heart of Wrigleyville and the building tells a story of its own. The building’s first real estate deed dates back to 1905, according to the web site, “standing as Wrigley’s friendly neighbor over the left field wall for over a century.”