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This sports-loving Wrigleyville sibling of the Lincoln Park stalwart gives Cubs fans all the space they need to spread out. The handsome two-story space features the familiar nautical theme downstairs, and the second floor, which is fitted with a soaring barrel ceiling, features a stage showcasing live entertainment and plush booths that are big enough to fit your whole team

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John Barleycorn Wrigleyville, Chicago / Illinois Reservations

This sports-loving Wrigleyville sibling of the Lincoln Park stalwart gives Cubs fans all the space they need to spread out. The handsome two-story space features the familiar nautical theme downstairs, and the second floor, which is fitted with a soaring barrel ceiling, features a stage showcasing live entertainment and plush booths that are big enough to fit your whole team

Fans love that there’s no shortage of flat-screen TVs, including two 100-inch projection screens showing both college and pro teams. This location offers a something-for-everyone menu (Buffalo-style chicken wings, half-pound burgers and beer-battered fish and chips) and can accommodate 30-900 for private parties.

 

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This sports-loving Wrigleyville sibling of the Lincoln Park stalwart gives Cubs fans all the space they need to spread out. The handsome two-story space features the familiar nautical theme downstairs, and the second floor, which is fitted with a soaring barrel ceiling, features a stage showcasing live entertainment and plush booths that are big enough to fit your whole team.

If you have questions or comments, please get a hold of us in whichever way is most convenient.

John Barleycorn
3524 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL. 60057
773.348.8899
info@johnbarleycorn.com

HOURS
Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday: 5pm – 3am

CUBS GAME HOURS
12:05 pm games – Open at 10:00 am
1:20 pm games – Open at 11:00 am
3:05 pm games – Open at 12:00 pm
7:05 pm games – Open at 4:00 pm

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Type of Event
 Private Semi-Private

Location
 River North Wrigleyville

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About John Barleycorn
JOHN BAR-LEY-CORN: alcoholic liquor personified

There are varying opinions as to what year the English folk song “John Barleycorn” became popularized by word-of-mouth (ranging from 1568 to the 17th Century), but it was most likely first published during the 17th Century. The ballad is an allegorical story of death and resurrection and it was a particularly popular drinking song around harvest time.

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In the song, John Barleycorn (the personification of barley), is attacked, tortured and eventually killed. After his death, he is resurrected as beer, bread and whiskey. There are many versions of this old folk song in England, Ireland and Scotland, all with a similar storyline. A widely-read version of John Barleycorn was published by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1782.In 1913, American writer Jack London published his autobiographical novel “John Barleycorn,” which detailed his enjoyment of alcohol and his struggles with addiction. The book was a smash hit. Temperance advocates promptly used the book to push for Prohibition and the alcohol producers promptly denounced the book. The novel was made into a movie in 1914 with veteran stage actor Hobart Bosworth starring as Jack.

There have been many recordings of the song through the years, but the most widely known is from the band Traffic, who named their fourth album (released in 1970) “John Barleycorn Must Die.” There is also a track on the album called “John Barleycorn,” which is the English rock band’s take on the ancient folk song.

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History of John Barleycorn

The building that the flagship John Barleycorn calls home was constructed in 1890 at 658 West Belden Avenue, in the present Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. The original structure had a limestone rock foundation, columns and walls that were over two-feet thick, and vaulted sidewalks. The first saloon opened in 1890 and was operated by an Irish immigrant who also happened to be a Chicago police officer.

During Prohibition, the east side of the current restaurant was a Chinese laundry. The laundry served as a front for bootleggers who rolled carts of camouflaged liquor through the laundry to the basement. The laundry’s basement was conveniently connected to the saloon’s basement, providing easy transportation of the booze to the saloon via a small elevator. At the time the front windows on the façade were covered, so from the outside the saloon appeared to be “closed” in accordance with the law. Meanwhile, patrons could enter the speakeasy through the laundry, thus eliminating any suspicion that liquor was being served on the premises.

Over the years, many interesting patrons have quaffed a brew here. John Dillinger was a regular patron, and the quiet, well-dressed bank robber used to enjoy “buying the house a round.” Dillinger was shot by federal agents two blocks away near the Biograph Theater (now the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater) in July 1934, thanks to a tip from the “lady in red.” Several saloons came and went in the building until Eric J. Van Gelder purchased the property in the early 1960s and named it John Barleycorn Memorial Pub. The artifacts, handmade ships and paintings displayed around the restaurant were collected by the eccentric Dutch proprietor. Some of the ships date as far back as the late 1800s and many of the pieces were purchased on Van Gelder’s trips to Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Europe.

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One unusual artifact was not discovered until renovations were underway in 1986. Workmen came upon a crumbling hidden staircase leading to a door and after several unsuccessful attempts with a sledgehammer, a hole was finally cut into the door and a workman slipped into the tiny room. In the corner a dust-covered oilcloth concealed a beautiful woodcarving. The carving, which is of an unknown person wearing a crown, is now displayed prominently in our River North location.

The current owners purchased John Barleycorn in 1986. Since then, many celebrities have passed through for a beer and a burger and John Barleycorn was used as a location in two movies: “Primal Fear,” starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, and “The Babe,” starring John Goodman and Kelly McGillis.
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Private Events

Private Events

Our gorgeous Wrigleyville venue offers exceptional private and semi-private space in
a state-of-the-art facility. The venue, which features rich mahogany accents, subtle nautical touches is the perfect space for any corporate, social, charitable or holiday event. Whether it’s a sales meeting, product launch, cocktail reception, client entertainment, employee appreciation, or seasonal celebration, our venue is perfect for any occasion.

Private and semi-private space available for 15-775 guests
Custom food and beverage options to reflect any theme or budget
State-of-the-art sound and audio visual capabilities, HDTVs and microphones
Multiple full-service bars throughout
An experienced special events team to accommodate all your event needs
Complete event design, floral, decor and entertainment services available

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CAPACITIES
Exclusive use: 800 cocktail reception/400 seated

Our restaurants offer a wide selection of distinctive private event spaces.
Contact us at 773.348.8899 or Email us at: info@johnbarleycorn.com

First Name*

Last Name*

Address Line 1*

Address Line 2

City/Town*

State*

Zip Code*

Email*

Phone

Number of Guests

Date & Time of Event

Type of Event
 Private Semi-Private

Location
 River North Wrigleyville

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