The age of the package liquor store, tap room and old man piss-house is almost past; while there are divey dives across the farther (mostly poorer) reaches of the city, a favorite for dollar shots and the 1:55am six pack in the West Town-Ukrainian Village-Wicker Park uber-aquarium remains the unpretentious, obstinately inexpensive Ola`s. Whether you call it “cold beer” or “zimne piwo,” as it`s proudly Old-Styled on the sign outside, it`s a rustic comfort zone to bring back sentimental memories of the likes of the Busy Bee and the unscrubbed Alcohol Abuse Center way back in the twentieth century. (It`s also the sort of brightly lit, pleasingly rundown kind of place that keeps the wrong element from stumbling in from up Division Street way.) And the prices are fair for takeout, with several coolers of better brands along with the brain-draining provender of lesser lagers.
947 North Damen (773)384-7250
Best of Chicago 2007