Last updated 1 year ago
There’s no place like Chicago! The city of broad shoulders, famous for it’s diverse neighborhoods, street festivals, music culture, and urban architecture, is one the most unique cities in the world. We want to honor this beautiful place that we call home, so we put together this list of some of the things you’ll only find in Chicago.
A 100+ Year Old Baseball Stadium
It’s an exciting time to live in Chicago if you’re a Cubs fan! The loveable losers are actually predicted to be the best team in the MLB this upcoming season; maybe this is our year afterall (fingers crossed). Although Wrigley Field is in the process of renovating and there are older ballparks still standing, this 100+ year old stadium standing on the North Side of Chicago was the first ballpark to let fans keep foul balls, the only stadium to still use a manually-operated scoreboard since its origin in 1937, and the only stadium to have a neighborhood named after it. Wrigley Field will forever be a staple and monument of the lively North Side culture.
Spitting LED Faces
If you’ve been to Chicago’s Millennium Park then you’ve definitely been greeted by two towering faces, playfully spitting water at passerbys. If you don’t know, this interactive art display is called Crown Fountain and is made up of two 50 ft tall LED glass brick towers standing on a black granite reflecting pool in the heart of the Loop. You can find kids and adults alike splashing around in the fountain on summer days, or tourists snapping photos of the powerful LED displays as they illuminate the night sky. Crown Fountain is a huge aspect of Chicago pop culture and is unlike any public art display in the city.
The Original Portillo’s (NO KETCHUP)
The key to any Midwesterners heart is a Chicago-style hot dog from Portillo’s, definitely no ketchup. Back in 1963, Dick Portillo opened "The Dog House" in a 12-foot trailer hooked up to a garden hose. These days, meat fiends wait hours for juicy Italian beef sandwiches, char grilled burgers, and perfectly made dogs at 38 Portillo's locations in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona and California. It’s not only in Chicago, but you can only find the real deal here. With a buyout in the works, the Portillo’s might soon reach all corners of the nation, but we’ll never forget where they came from. No matter where they end up, Portillo’s will forever be an original Chicago classic.
The Original WhirlyBall
Some call it a sport, others call it a lesson in humility. Since its origin in 1993, founder Sam Elias has opened 3 Chicagoland WhirlyBall locations and started a nationwide craving for this one-of-a-kind recreational sport. If you choose to accept the challenge, you’ll use hand-held scoops to propel whiffle balls at your scoring target. In a team of five, and with the help of a professional referee, you’ll have a bang-up time trying to outscore the competition. WhirlyBall is the ideal sports bar and event venue to escape the nine to five work grind. Recently, to the delight of daredevils and adrenaline junkies everywhere, WhirlyBall added laser tag facilities, bowling lanes, and climbing walls! The bar also features over 32 craft beers on tap all year round. There are some WhirlyBall locations in other states, but everyone knows the reknowned WhirlyBall is just as Chicago as is the Sears Tower (or Willis Tower if you go by what it’s called on a map).
The CTA (Chicago Transit Authority)
Whether you live in Chicago or have travelled here, you have more than likely ridden the "L". You also probably have some interesting stories about your experience. Most cities have a public transportation service of sorts, but there is no public transit system as dynamic and widespread as the CTA and its L system. Spanning across nearly every neighborhood and over 40 suburbs, the CTA is every Chicagoan’s direct line to the rest of the city. Aside from it’s 24/7 reliability, the CTA is notorious for attracting all walks of life, from street performers to business professionals, and the homeless to wanders, a trip on the L is always unpredictable, but always worth talking about.
The Wiener's Circle
Sometimes you don’t just want to grab some food, sometimes you want to get yelled at while grabbing food. You get just that and more at Chicago’s own, The Wieners Circle. No one quite understands why, but go ahead and try it out anyway. This place is known for their hot dogs, burgers and verbally abusive (yet still loving) employees.
There are hundreds of places and things that we could add to the list, but we’ll leave you with these 6 special Chicago things as a starting guide; the rest are up to you to explore yourself!
Last updated 1 year ago
Super Sunday is upon us! Whether you’re rooting for the Panthers, the Broncos - or the commercials - no sporting event quite compares to the intensity and spectacle that is Super Sunday.
What are you plans for the big game? Maybe you’re stressing over throwing a party and don’t have the time or you have a few too many options so you don’t know which to choose. We’re here to make that decision for you: you should spend Super Sunday at WhirlyBall Chicago! We’ll tell you why.
Drink Specials ALL DAY LONG
Drinking and football go hand in hand. Most bars are jacking up their prices for the big game, but we’re keeping ours low because we want to celebrate this glorious football experience with you all! Not to mention, we keep 32 craft beers on tap at all times, so the selection will never be limited! In honor of Super Sunday, grab these drink specials all day long:
$3.50 Bud Light Drafts
$4 Fireball Shots
$5 Jameson Shots
Craft Beer Buckets including: Founders Centennial/$25 and Brooklyn Lager/$25
$15 Unlimited Food Deal
We know watching all that first-rate, all-pro athleticism requires sustenance. That’s why we’re offering a crazy delicious way for you to stay fully satisfied during the game. For only $15, you’ll get unlimited:
Chips & Dip
Two Styles of Wings (Buffalo & BBQ)
Pizza: Cheese, Pepperoni, Denver Broncos (Orange Bell Pepper Rings w/Sausage) and Carolina Panthers (Pulled Pork w/Onions)
TVs. TVs Everywhere.
We pride ourselves on being one of Chicago’s best places to catch every professional sport game, all year round. That wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have over 60 HD flatscreen TVs covering our walls. BUT WE DO. So come Super Sunday, you’ll not only be catching the game, but the game will be watching you… as in, there will literally be TVs surrounding you every which way you turn.
Sports Live Here
Aside from the drink specials and discounted noms, WhirlyBall is ALL about sports and the fans who love them. Catch the game while you bowl, in between lasertag matches, or when you’re off the WhirlyBall court. There’s no better environment to catch the big game than at WhirlyBall Chicago.
Look, we’ll set up the party, cook and serve the food, and clean up after you leave. Sound good? Breathe easy; no need for any anxiety attacks about throwing a party of your own. Maybe next year we’ll be hosting a Super Sunday party for our Bears. But until then, enjoy the festivities!
Last updated 1 year ago
Pizza isn’t just a meal, it’s a way of life. One of the greatest things about it is how versatile your options are topping-wise. There are seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to dressing up your pizza with delicious toppings. However, like most food, people pick favorites. Whether you keep it simple or go all out, your favorite pizza toppings say something about you.
You’re not one to take risks. When you’re satisfied with something you stick with it for extremely long periods of time. Trying new things and going to new places gives you anxiety but excites you at the same time. You are open to change, but you prefer what works. You also could be watching your budget while still satisfying your pizza needs, since adding toppings usually means adding cost.
The Meat Lovers
You are the person at the dinner table most likely to still be eating when everyone else has already finished. You’re adventurous, a huge advocate of weightlifting and working out in general, and you make fun of the plain cheese people. You think bacon should be it’s own food group and you’d prefer it be in every meal you eat. You’re also a beer person when it comes to beverage choice. Your doctor often asks “are you eating enough vegetables?” to which you always reply, “yes, sort of.” Cheers to you, meat lovers.
You LOVE things that are bad for you, but you KNOW you should make better choices; so you do. You’re the friend who the rest of your friends look up to in terms of how they should be living their lives. You’re clean and down to earth, you have a good job but you’re still a fun spirit. You’re a pizza fanatic, but you value your health over everything so you make sure to add as many veggies as you can. You might have dietary restrictions, but you work around them.
The Pineapple and Anchovies
You’re a wildcard. Adventure is your middle name, and you’re ALWAYS unpredictable. You’re the kind of person that everyone wants to go out drinking with. You are fun and rarely take things seriously. You’ve bounced around from job to job, but no matter what, you are content. You are self-described as a “rebel".
You are down to party. You’re always hungry and no amount of food is ever enough to satisfy your cravings. You’re not lazy, but you enjoy chilling on the couch for extended periods of time. You have a job and spending a little extra dough to make you happy is never an issue. You’ve got an outgoing personality and you probably hang out with a lot of other “supreme” type people.
No matter what your favorite toppings are, we can all agree on one thing: pizza is life. Whether you’re a plain cheese kind of person or a supreme lover, WhirlyBall has the hookup. After all, pizza never lets you down.
Last updated 1 year ago
5 Craft Beers You Need In Your Life NOW
The only thing we love as much as WhirlyBall is craft beer. We love craft brews and the people who make them so much that we offer over 32 different craft beers on tap every month of the year!
The first edition of “What’s on Tap?” 2016 features 5 of our favorites, on tap now at WhirlyBall Chicago.
3 Sheeps Cashmere Hammer (Nitro)
3 Sheeps Cashmere Hammer Nitro Rye Stout is the perfect brew for cold winter days. It’s chocolatey, earthy taste hits hard but finishes smooth. The brewing process begins with rye, followed by a base of dark and caramel malts, along with Czech Saaz hops, selected by 3 Sheeps Brewing for their ability to highlight the rye and play off of its boldness. For a limited time, the Cashmere Hammer Nitro Stout is available on draft for just $7 at WhirlyBall Chicago.
Avery White Rascal
Avery Brewing Company’s White Rascal is one of our new favorite Belgian style Wheats available on tap. Often described as “deviously delicious,” the White Rascal is an unfiltered ale, cleverly spiced with coriander and Curaçao orange peel producing a refreshingly zesty classic ale. The semi-sweet citrus flavors found in White Rascal pair nicely with spicy foods of all kinds. The Avery White Rascal is on draft at WhirlyBall Chicago for only $6.
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, an unfiltered golden farmhouse ale with a delightfully clean malt flavor. Dry-hopping releases Sorachi Ace's bright, spicy aromatics to tickle the nose before ascending into a fine harmony between pilsner malt and Belgian yeast. Originally a member of Brooklyn Brewery’s limited Brewmaster's Reserve series, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace’s dry, sharp and crackling flavor is reminiscent of lemongrass, dill and lemon peels - this coveted brew is available on draft at WhirlyBall Chicago for $8.
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Dogfish Head’s Burton Baton is an oak-aged hybrid craft brew that blends hints of citrus with notes of vanilla flavors flawlessly. The Burton Baton has a mellow taste, but this heavy Imperial Double IPA boasts a 10% alcohol content, so tread lightly! This craft brew is perfect for the winter, available on tap at WhirlyBall Chicago for $11.
Ale Syndicate Petrillo APA
Presenting Ale Syndicate’s Petrillo Pale Ale, brewed and distributed right here in Chicago! The Petrillo may first come across as an easy drinking pale ale with a refreshing citrus zing, but spend more time with the brew and you’ll find the Zythos and Ahtanum hops, supported by German-style malts, come together to make a more dramatic, spicy and piney, flavor. Grab one on tap before Ale Syndicate takes over Chicago, available for just $7 on draft at WhirlyBall Chicago.
On top of these 5 craft brews, there are 27 others on tap right now, and always, at WhirlyBall Chicago. Be on the lookout for our next “What’s on Tap?” craft brew breakdown. Until then, cheers and let’s play some WhirlyBall!
Last updated 1 year ago
If you’re from Chicago you already know the only thing that’s as unpredictable as Jay Cutler is the city’s weather. Just when you were tricked into believing this winter would be the mildest the city has seen in ages, you step outside to a blustery, wet smack of freezing cold reality.
Okay sure, maybe this winter is still pretty mild, but that doesn’t stop Mother Nature from singling out our Windy City on any given day whenever she so chooses without any warning. Why are you so cruel, Mother Nature? And let’s be honest, who is ever prepared for freezing temperatures and ice storms when just yesterday the sun was shining bright and you were wearing only a hoodie for warmth?
When the weather takes an unexpected turn how do you handle Chicago’s mixed personalities? Here’s how we cope.
Try To Stay Active
If you can get out of your house, by all means get out and stay active! The Chicago blues is a very common side effect most Chicagoans feel when winter hits. Staying inside and watching movies and taking a thousand trips back and forth from the couch to the fridge is fun, but only for a short time, until the sadsies kick in. The good news? Your local pub, movie theater, bowling alley, or wherever you love to go will probably still be open! If you’re lucky enough to live near WhirlyBall you can stay active all day long drinking craft beer, eating delicious food, bowling, playing lasertag, and WhirlyBalling. If you absolutely CANNOT leave your house try exercising, doing yoga, or reading a captivating book that will help you forget that Mother Nature hates you a lot.
Take Care Of Those Pesky Tasks
Ever heard of the expression “kill two birds with one stone?” Rainy, snowy, icy, or all of the above combined days are perfect for accomplishing tedious life tasks that you’ve been putting off. Sure it’s not the most glamorous idea, but it’s productive and you’ll thank yourself for getting it out of the way. Have a mountain of dishes to clean? Get scrubbing! Is your laundry overflowing? Wash it! Need to book a birthday party? Book it! Need to file your taxes?! ...Set that aside for another day.
The bottom line is sometimes Chicago’s weather is so unpredictable that you actually can’t do anything but wait for it to pass, so you might as well get some stuff done in the meantime!
Get In Touch With Family And Friends
One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to handle Chicago’s two-faced weather is to connect with the ones you love! Chances are they’re feeling the same as you if they are in Chicago, so have yourself a little venting session. Call your grandparents, skype your old friends, or if possible, meet up in person and spend some quality time avoiding the harsh weather outside together! Life is so busy that you sometimes may feel like you don’t have the time or energy to stay in touch with the people you care about. Chicago’s rough winter days are a great reminder that if Mother Nature can take the time and energy to debilitate an entire city, then you must have the time and energy to stay in touch with your loved ones!
Finally, since Chicago’s weather is so inconsistent, you should probably learn to just embrace it. Even though at times we have a beef with her, Mother Nature is capable of some pretty incredible things. The sight of icicles hanging from tall building tops, frozen waves on Lake Michigan, and unplowed streets is actually astonishing in a sort of sublime way. Believe it or not, even the harshest weather conditions can be enjoyed by anyone. Learn to love Chicago’s weather and all its inconsistencies. After all, the only thing that’s constant is change, something we know all too well living in Chicago.
We can’t stop the weather from hitting Chicago hard, but we hope these tips will help you better prepare for the next random ice storm the day after a warm, sunny winter day. Stay warm, stay active, and embrace the mixed personalities of Chicago’s weather. :)