When the temperature plummets in Chicago, the term “hot spot” takes on a whole new meaning. Forget joints with trendy cocktails, fancy food or panoramic skyline views, we just want a seat by a toasty fireplace.
Here’s a roundup of some favorite places to warm up on a cold winter’s day or night.
• When it comes to fireplaces, the city’s Irish bars are king. A do-it-yourself pub crawl could include stops at Chief O’Neill’s, 3471 N. Elston Ave.; The Grafton, 4530 N. Lincoln Ave.; and the Fifth Province at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.
• Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., and Galvin’s Public House, 5901 W. Lawrence Ave., earn bonus points for added authenticity. The Irish Bistro fuels its fires with traditional peat logs, and Galvin’s fireplace is set with small stones that come straight from co-owner Kathy Galvin’s family home in County Donegal. Sláinte.
• Lake View’s Wilde Bar & Restaurant, 3130 N. Broadway, and Lady Gregory’s in Andersonville, 5260 N. Clark St., have placed their hearths at the center of comfy library-style rooms. The folks at Wilde even encourage patrons to pull a book off the surrounding shelves and settle in for a pint.
• If swank is your thing, you’ll love the drawing room hearth at the Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan Ave. For a more low-key vibe, head to Ten Cat, 3931 N. Ashland Ave. This classic neighborhood bar is a favorite with folks who just want to hang out with pals, shoot some pool and drink some beers. Ten Cat’s rear fireplace adds to an atmosphere that one reviewer described as “cozy as hell.”
• Moody’s Pub in Edgewater, 5910 N. Broadway, is known for its burgers, but its roaring fireplaces — plural — are an equally big draw in the winter. Make yourself at home, but maybe not as much as this guy.
• The Moonlighter in Logan Square, which opened in fall 2017, is one of the newest additions to the ranks of Chicago’s hot spots. The bar, at 3204 W. Armitage Ave., is the latest venture from the Scofflaw Group, whose nearby namesake gin joint boasts one of the sweetest fireplaces in town.
• It would be easy to mistake the fireplace at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Road, for one of the theater’s set pieces. But it’s the real deal, and the perfect place to enjoy a drink and conversation before or after a show.
• What with all the doughnuts to ogle, we wouldn’t blame customers if they failed to notice the fireplace at Firecakes’ Clark Street location. A tip of the hat to this unsung hero, 2453 N. Clark St.
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At walking distance of our property, you will come across the great pastry shop Firecakes Donuts. They offer a variety of different donuts and serve great coffee for those Monday blues #firecakesdonuts #allthingschicago #lincolnpark #awalkdownclark #clarkstreet #donuts #homerknowsbest #drools #coffee 🍩☕️
• We end with a surprising entry to this list: Wendy’s. No, that’s not a typo. The fast-food giant undertook a major redesign of hundreds of its restaurants over the past five years, among them the location at 2053 W. Lawrence Ave. The renovations included the addition of a faux fireplace, which flickers pleasantly enough to chase the chill, if not the Frosty, away.