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Where to celebrate Bloomsday in Chicago

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June 16, 1904 was quite a day for Leopold Bloom of Dublin -- it took James Joyce over 265,000 words to describe it in his modern classic, Ulysses. While you may not have actually read the book (not many have made it all the way through), you can still celebrate Bloomsday along with the rest of the lit-loving world today.

The traditional celebration involves readings from the novel, plus plenty of song and drink. You can find all that at the Irish American Heritage Center's Rattlin' of the Joists, tonight at 7:30 p.m. ($10). If you'd prefer to skip the books, here are some places the libation-loving Joyce might enjoy:

Chief O'Neill's
Owned by All-Irish musicians Brendan and Siobhan McKinney, this Northwest Side bar and restaurant has a commitment to traditional tunes, with bands playing jigs and reels throughout the night. The food is not to be outdone, though, as the menu includes "Emerald Isle Favorites" like fish 'n' chips, Irish stew, corned beef and more.

Johnny O'Hagans
The handcrafted bar at this Wrigleyville pub was imported directly from the ol' Emerald Isle. It's also got some darn good curry chips and plenty of Guinness.

James Joyce Irish Pub
Well, this one's a no-brainer. While the Berwyn pub doesn't seem to have anything special going on for the big day, we'll bet that at least one of the questions in its regular trivia night (9 p.m.) will be related to the author.

Dubliner
How about celebrating a Joyce book you can actually get through in a month? We're not sure this South Side spot has any real connection to Dubliners, the author's collection of short stories published in 1914, but at least you can get a $2.50 pint of Guinness or Harp.

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Rubenstein published on June 16, 2009 12:05 PM.

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