Chicago

Where to Get Take-Out or Delivery Alcohol in Chicago Right Now

Have your own happy hour at home.

RIGHT BEE Cider
RIGHT BEE Cider
RIGHT BEE Cider

It’s no secret that Chicagoans love to drink, a sentiment made blatantly clear when Governor Pritzger not only permitted but encouraged the city’s many bars and restaurants to keep the booze flowing via takeout and delivery throughout the COVID-19 shutdown. Thus, watering holes from Rogers Park to Hyde Park took to the internet, updating their websites with inventory and ordering information and running out cases of beer and bottles of wine to socially isolated civilians like the capeless heroes they are. But with all these new options — not to mention the state’s ever-changing stockpile of rules and regulations — it’s tough to figure out where to start. 

Here’s everything you need to know for sheltering-in-place in spirited style while we weather this storm alone together.

Note: While a lot of these spots are utilizing third-party delivery services like Caviar and Grubhub, you can often cut out the middleman by ordering directly from the bar, restaurant, brewery, or distillery. It’s always a good idea to check the company’s website for more information before triggering the app.

Whiner Beer Company
Whiner Beer Company
Whiner Beer Company

For beer, look to the source

Small breweries need your love more than ever these days and many of Chicago’s fermented finest are bravely carrying on to ensure you get your sudsy fix. 

Marz Community Brewing
The innovative Bridgeport boys have set up a virtual cooler on their website so you can check out all the creative brews, seltzers, and shrubs they’re stocking well in advance. Peruse the offerings then shoot [email protected] an email or use the online shopping portal to place your order for next-day pick-up or delivery.

Off Color Brewing
While their beloved Northside taproom has woefully (and, thankfully, only temporarily) closed, these sour specialists have thrown their entire fleet up on Caviar for our drinking pleasure. 

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery
These Logan Square rabble rousers have also made their lot of shiny tallboys available via Caviar, alongside fresher-than-fresh 32 ounce crowlers and a few housemade bottles of the hard stuff (i.e. whiskey and gin) to make it a complete breakfast.

Dryhop Brewers
Another Caviar convert, these Lakeview haze-masters are cranking out a selection of cloudy wheats, IPAs, and saisons in 32 ounce crowlers in addition to a full lineup of delicious pub grub.

Revolution Brewing
Sure, you can grab a case of Anti-Hero at the grocery store like normal times, but you can keep the pants in the drawer by using Caviar. Your freshly-filled crowler and juicy two-patty Butter Burger will be knocking on your door in no time.

Right Bee Cider
It’s not all about the grain! Go gluten-free with a Caviar-delivered growler of refreshingly crisp small-batch hard cider lovingly supplied by Chicago’s very first cidery.

Empirical Brewery Taproom
The self-proclaimed nerds over at Empirical have shuttered their Edgewater taproom for the time being but don’t despair — you can still satisfy your craving for artfully-crafted unfiltered lagers and fruity IPAs via the good folks at Grubhub.

Pilot Project Brewing
Baby Bucktown beer haven Pilot Project has also jumped on the Grubhub train, offering four-packs and 32 ounce crowlers of their ever-changing inventory. Expect enough brews, kombucha, cider, wine-beer hybrids, and even cold-pressed juice to last you ‘till spring.

Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery
West Town’s most bodacious and botanical brewpub has long been crushing the Grubhub game, and now they’ve added lots and lots of beer to the mix. Crowlers and tall boys lead the charge here, many of them limited-run and most of them sold at a notably steep discount.

Middle Brow
Take advantage of this Logan Square stunner’s no-contact, no-cash, no-credit card pick-up by purchasing your desired brews (and/or hand-picked natural wine) on Toast before dropping by Bungalow to fetch it, social distance-style.

Hopewell Brewing
Don’t forget about your Lil Buddy! Hopewell is running pick-up and delivery through their online shop and they’ve also thrown in some much-needed cheer in the form of optional houseplant add-ons.

Half Acre Beer Company
Stop by either Half Acre location for cans, growlers, howlers, big boy bottles, and even kegs (!!) ordered off the brewery’s handy online shop and trucked out to you curbside. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Whiner Beer Co. 
Hit up these Southside Belgian-style wizards on Instagram or email (instructions here) for next-day home delivery at bargain prices. Yes, that means you can literally order Le Tub from the tub. Enjoy.

Old Irving Brewing
Stay safe and hydrated by dialing up Old Irving and placing your no-contact curbside pick-up order, now available from noon to 8pm every day of the week.

Aba Restaurant
Aba Restaurant
Aba Restaurant

Up your wine game with expert recommendations

There’s nothing like staring down a towering wine list to make you feel like an uncultured child. Avoid the anxiety by trusting the pros behind these expertly-curated collections, each available for pick-up and delivery.

Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants
LEYE’s vast array of Chicagoland eateries have always been on point in the wine department. Check out their updated website for the full rundown of vino-savvy offerings from A-list purveyors like Aba, Bar Ramone, Beatrix Streeterville, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!, RPM Steak, and Quality Crab & Oyster Bah. And keep your eyes peeled for some amazing deals and rare finds — they’re bringing out the big guns for sure.

All Together Now
Ukrainian Village darling All Together Now has taken an uber-creative approach to pushing their boundary-pushing wine selection: they’ve opened a “drive-through window” facing Chicago Avenue and are happily handing over bottles of the good stuff to passersby on foot, in their cars, or on roller skates. They’ve also launched a Wine and Cheese Hotline (773-661-1599) to attend to all your solo dinner party-planning needs and for the thirstiest social-distancers, there’s always Grubhub.

Dorian’s
Wicker Park’s ultra-hip record shop/wine bar is helping to keep spirits high with “Quarantine Care Packages” available for Friday pick-up through Tock. The little bundles of joy feature natural wine, hand-picked vinyl, art, and other mood-elevating goodies.

Parachute
Michelin-starred dining on Caviar? Get weird with a bottle (or three) of funky natural deliciousness salvaged from the Korean-inspired Avondale award-winner’s extensive collection and keep tabs on their Instagram to see what’s up next.

Red & White
Milwaukee Ave’s most inviting wine shop is now treating quarantiners to assorted cases and four-packs of their farm-to-bottle favorites. Order from their website for daily delivery and pick-up.

Maple & Ash
Nothing makes a peppercorn crusted 28-day dry-aged NY Strip sing like an incredible bottle of bubbly. Fill out the online order form and pick up both from this swanky Gold Coast chophouse.

RHINE HALL
RHINE HALL
RHINE HALL

Hone your mixology skills with DIY cocktail kits

Unlike California and New York, Chicago has yet to clearly legalize the sale of opened, premade mixed drinks for take-out. Instead, bars and restaurants like these are limited to batched cocktails in sealed containers, full bottles of liquor, and DIY kits complete with barware, tinctures, and other fun drinkables. Here’s where to roll up your sleeves and get started.

Three Dots and a Dash & Bub City
Tropical meets Southern on Bub City’s Grubhub page, now featuring mouthwatering batched cocktails as well as breathtaking bottles of whiskey, rum, and other Godsends from both celebrated River North institutions. Need something pretty to sip from? Toss in a festive mug from Three Dot’s awesome online shop.

Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants
A few fellow LEYE joints are also climbing aboard Three Dots and Bub City’s cocktail kit bandwagon. Scroll through boozy delights from Aba, Ramen-San, Summer House Santa Monica, RPM, and more on the mighty hospitality group’s website.

Bar Biscay
Whip up classic martinis, Manhattans, spritzes, and more with a kit from Bar Biscay’s take-away arm, Bodega Biscay, now offering no-contact delivery and curbside pick-up every dang day.
 
The Aviary
Test the gilded molecular gastronomy waters with a Grant Achatz-approved bottled concoction developed in collaboration with Mississippi River Distilling Company. Orders for pick-up can be placed via Tock

Maria’s Packaged Goods
Bridgeport’s best is holding it down on its website with curious cocktail kits like the Chicago Handshake, a sixer of Old Style plus a sixer of mini Malort bottles for a cool $20. No physical contact involved.

Parson’s Chicken & Fish
Negroni slushies! Get ‘em while they last via the Logan Square staple’s Caviar

The Whistler
Pull up to this Logan Square hotspot and pop the trunk every day from 3pm to 7pm to load up on their heat-sealed bottled cocktails. See what’s brewing before you head out on their website.

Dusek’s
The upscale Pilson pub is rolling out a line of $10 “Pocket Cocktails” starting April 1 on Caviar, so stay tuned for updates.

Rhine Hall Distillery
Stay clean with a bottle of tasty housemade brandy and Rhine Hall’s own hand sanitizer, available for pick-up via Tock. The sanitizer comes in a 2.5 ounce bottle and the proceeds go to support the distillery’s donation efforts toward non-profits, public service workers, and hospitals.

And don’t forget to tip your bartender

Despite their best efforts, most Chicagoland bars and restaurants were forced to lay off the bulk of their teams behind the stick. But you can still throw these local heroes a well-deserved bone by participating in the many fundraising efforts around town. Everybody’s got their own thing going on, so search GoFundMe or head directly to your favorite bar or hospitality group’s website for more information.Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Meredith Heil is a contributor for Thrillist. 

Chicago

Robyn DaCultyre Is Doing It for the Culture

"The cool thing about Ohio is that there is literally a place for everyone."

Photo by Kayode Omoyosi
Photo by Kayode Omoyosi
Photo by Kayode Omoyosi

I was introduced to Robyn DaCultyre at an Untitled Queen show at C’mon Everybody in late January, and it was one of the most unique drag shows I’d seen in a while. Afterwards, I tracked down this self-described “drag creature” and video chatted about her drag origin story, the state of drag in her native Ohio, and the dual identities that make up her persona. Thrillist: I want to ask you about how Robyn DaCultyre came about and your point of view behind your performance.

Robyn DaCultyre: I’ve been travelling around the country from a young age in ministry and Christian studies. I moved to Chicago right after high school. Four years later, moved back to Columbus and decided I didn’t really want to do church anymore; that wasn’t where my heart was.

I had a really low point in my life and had a suicide attempt and then really found drag and started doing drag as a coping mechanism and way to let off steam. I started in July of 2019, and it was really a lot of punk and metal music. I created this drag creature of sorts and they were really out of this world and celestial and all of those fun alien type terms.

And then we went into a global pandemic and I had a lot of time to figure out who I wanted to be. Digitally I was still doing a lot of drag creature-esque numbers and all of that, but I had this moment where we’re on the front lines getting hit with pepper spray and rubber bullets and pepper spray-all of those lovely things. And I said, I have this platform and I need to start showcasing what’s happening.

Untitled [Queen] stepped in at the right time and messaged me and said, “I’m doing this show for Independence Day called Untitled in America with 52 different performers and I want you to be a part of it.” It was at that moment I was able to take the footage I had been recording on the front lines and incorporate it into digital content. I did a song called Black Like Me by Mickey Guyton that talks about white picket fences, but if you want to see how America is, then you should try being Black like me. The imagery of what’s literally happening in Columbus in that digital performance really spearheaded me into focusing on people who look like me.

Nina Simone is one of my biggest inspirations, and one of her quotes that resonates with me is that it’s the duty of the artist to resonate with the times. My art is politically charged. I like to entertain, but there will definitely be a time when you come to a show expecting to have your drink and be chill and that might not be the case.

How did the name Robyn DaCultyre come about?

I was smoking with Ursula Major, who was on season one of Dragula, and the first time I introduced myself to her I was Robyn Banks, which is my drag name originally. She said, “Well, do you just not want to be original at all?” [Laughs] And I sat with that for a couple of months, and I got really stoned one day and was listening to Janelle Monae, and she talks about doing it for the culture, and I said “I do it for the culture, too!” And the rest is history.

And you started a series called Melanated.

We started Melanated last February. I told the idea to my show director that there were no shows specifically run by Black people that only featured Black entertainers. I wanted to do this show for a night and she said, Why don’t we do it once a week for the whole month? The first show happens, and it’s a sold out crowd, and [my director] comes back and says we should do this every month. So I sucked it up and here we are a year later.

Melanated is the only fully Black show in all of the state. It’s a horrible marketing tool and not something I want to promote, but it is just a fact. It amazes me that we are the 13th largest city in America and there’s nothing here that’s fully focused on Black entertainers. The name also comes from Janelle Monae; she says she’s highly melanated and I said, that works.

Photos by Chay Creates LLC (left) and Bridget Caswell (right)
Photos by Chay Creates LLC (left) and Bridget Caswell (right)
Photos by Chay Creates LLC (left) and Bridget Caswell (right)

You refer to yourself as a drag creature, as opposed to drag queen or king…

This is actually the first time I’m making this public. I am in this place where I want to separate the alternative creature from who this melanated goddess or whatever is. DaCultyre is definitely the person who runs Melanated and then Robyn is this drag creature that is out of this world and really loves punk and alternative music. And both intertwine to make Robyn DaCultyre.

You also do pageants. Tell me about that.

In 2020 I was appointed by Nina West, who is from Columbus, as the representative from Ohio for National Entertainer of the Year in Louisville, Kentucky. I placed ninth out of 13 contestants and I really fell in love with the system and fell in love with the pageantry and loved the idea of reigning and being different. I want to show that we as alternative performers, as bearded performers, you can come into these systems and shake things up.

Is there a uniquely “Ohio” style of drag?

No, and I think that’s one of the things that makes it so amazing is that everyone has their own unique style, and it’s all pretty much accepted. I started as a performer and a drag creature and there was space that was afforded to me and I transitioned to more glamor and pageantry and that’s afforded to me as well. I’ve been a bearded entertainer for a year now. The cool thing about Ohio is that there is literally a place for everyone.

I think I have everything I need. Is there anything else I didn’t ask you about that you want to bring up, or‚Ķ

I don’t think so. Are there any generic questions you haven’t asked?

Generic questions‚ĶI think I asked all of them already [laughs]. I like to ask what you’d be doing if you weren’t doing drag?

It’s a great question. I have a day job that is very demanding so I need drag to get away. I’m also very creative and artistic. I used to do web design and all these other things to pull into my creativity. Drag is the longest thing I’ve stuck with in all parts of my life, so I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

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John deBary¬†is a drinks expert and writer. His first cocktail book,¬†Drink What You Want, is available now, and his next book,¬†Saved by the Bellini, is expected in early 2023. He is also the co-founder and president of the¬†Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of hospitality industry professionals through advocacy, grant making, and impact investing.

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