From the outside, Southport Lanes—one of the North Side’s oldest continuously running bars-looks like any other Lakeview tavern, complete with a complement of yuppies and shots of Jaegermeister. But what’s that in the backroom? A bowling alley! Not just any bowling alley mind you, but a set of lanes that hearkens back to Chicago’s golden age, so old-fashioned that when the pins are knocked over, a human hand reaches down, picks them up, and resets them. Those hands deserve a tip though; just roll up some cash, put it in a bowling ball, and gently roll a ball down the gutter-do it after your first game, and you’ll find those pins get set up a lot faster during your second.
3325 North Southport (773)472-6600
Best of Chicago 2002