Seems like everyone's doing those end-of-year and end-of-decade lists right about now, and we're nothing if not bandwagon-jumpers. But instead of telling you what we think were the coolest bars, clubs and restaurants of 2009 (or making you cast your vote), we're going to let the numbers do the talking. Before the new decade begins, we'll be giving you the lowdown on what venues Centerstage users viewed the most during the past year, along with our ideas about why each was so popular. Did your favorite make the list?
First up: Bars.
At first, the interest in this veteran of the Wrigleyville scene seemed like a surprise. Then we realized it: Cubs fans had to do a lot of drinking this year.
2. Blue Frog Bar & Grill
Who doesn't love karaoke? Or the chance to see a drunk Ed Swiderski sing "Big Pimpin'"?
3. Bull & Bear
Three words: Personal beer taps. One more word: Celebrities.
4. Social Twenty-Five
No cover charge to sip on top wines and dance to respected DJs...it's no mystery why this new spot garnered buzz.
5. Market Bar and Restaurant
White Sox GM Kenny Williams is a part owner of this West Loop lounge, which explains the many local sports stars spotted here. Still - a drink called the "Darryl Strawberry" is just asking for trouble.
High-altitude bars were all the rage in '09, and this 29th floor lounge has a cocktail list that befits its high-falutin' location.
7. Manhandler Saloon
It's the friendliest place you'll find to grab a drink - and a new leather-daddy.
The rhythm is definitely gonna get you at this diverse Logan Square club/restaurant. Check your stereotypes at the door.
9. Harry Caray's Tavern
The success of this announcer-themed bar in the shadow of Wrigley Field was as foreseeable as Milton Bradley's inevitable flop.
10. Goose Island Brewery
A revamped menu and an always-exciting beer list kept this stalwart afloat despite economic troubles in '09 - here's hoping for another 20 years.
For more on these top bars and other local venues, visit centerstagechicago.com/bars.