2771 N Lincoln Ave at W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago IL
The Place: A cool divey whiskey bar in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chitown.
The Time: Thursday August 10, 6pm. I’m visiting yet another friend in yet another American city. She had work right before we were going to see a Neo-Futurists show, and she recommended Delilah’s as a chill place for me to get a drink. Plus she’s a good friend and knows I love whiskey so I'm in.
The Vibe: Divey but not dark and dingy. They’ve got Christmas lights, diner stools, two not-obnoxious TVs and a framed portrait of Elvis on the back wall. It’s pretty empty for Thursday happy hour, which I appreciate. There are three people (2 guys and 1 woman) on the left side of the bar, and on the other side is a woman alone (!) with her laptop and a cocktail. I sit smack in the middle of the bar. The group of three is talking politics so I tune them out because I like my bars to be safe spaces where I don’t have to hear about the looming threat of nuclear war. The music is not too loud, it’s not too dark, I can read Bad Feminist in peace.
The Bartender: A really nice guy with spiky hair, glasses and arms full of tats. His name is either Ray or Rick. He seems to be the only one working here until a second guy comes in, frantic because he overslept during his nap. But then that guy disappears and it’s just Ray/Rick for the rest of my time here.
The Drank: There are so many bottles of whiskey I can’t even read the labels. The bottles are against a mirror too so I’m like wait, how many bottles are there actually? To make my life easier, I go with the bourbon special: David Nicholson on the rocks for $6. I know nothing about this bourbon so Ray/Rick tells me it’s a bonded bourbon, aged and federally supervised for several years? Anyway. It’s not as smooth as my favorite bourbons, but it’s six bucks so I can’t complain. I would normally have gotten a cider or beer at this time of day, but this is a whiskey bar so when in Rome.
Was I Hit On? Nope. There’s a guy that comes in and sidles up next to me at one point. He asks Ray/Rick if he's gonna put on the game. Ray/Rick says he has no plan to. The guy says he called earlier and someone told him it’d be on here. Ray/Rick says he wasn’t aware but he could put it on in the front, just without sound. The guy then says, “don’t bother” and leaves. I actually can’t fathom caring about something as much as that guy cares about football. (Football? Baseball? See? I don’t care.)
Should You Drink Here Alone? For sure. If you find yourself in Chicago and hankering for a good whiskey, Delilah’s is your place.
*UPDATE* The bartender's name is Rick.