Since 1986, Bridgeport residents have been going to Kaplan's Liquors to stock their fridge (from the store in the front) and throw a few back (at the bar in back).
But in recent weeks, the neighborhood watering hole--smartly renovated by Brothers Ed and Mike Marszewski, and renamed Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar in honor of their mother--has skyrocketed into the top tier of Chicago beer-drinking destinations.
The new beer list, with 10 on tap, 97 bottles and three cans, holds multiple beers from favorite brewers like Bells, Three Floyds, New Belgium and Founders. And it's ripe with rarely spotted gems like Burton Baton ($6), a high-gravity, oak-aged ale-IPA blend from Delaware's Dogfish Head.
The cocktail list is short and sweet, with a Rittenhouse Rye Sazerac ($9), a Dark and Stormy ($6) (made with Ron Rico, a sweet spiced rum the owners discovered in the basement), and a few Gosling's Ginger and Filbert's soda-based concoctions.
It's a collaborative effort, with contributions by the owners' friends--and, potentially, by you.
Come up with a brilliant drink, and the Marszewski brothers will add it to the list--and invite you to step behind the bar to play mixologist on its inaugural night.
Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar, 960 W 31st St.; 773-890-0588 or communitybar.wordpress.com
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