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Detail for J.T.Collins : Bar

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Friendly neighborhood corner pub; outdoor dining; sports viewing. - sys, 12/26/1999

What a change.... I remember when the space inhabited by JT's was first opened by The Torchlight Cafe'. WOW...That place was built by friends, and friendly vibes. The artist/painter/decorator was a gal by the name of Staephanie Eihl. The visionary of the entire project though, was a great guy by the name of Alan Rodgers and a few of his friends. I remember when I used to walk by when they were gutting the place and rebuilding it. Alan found an incredible antique Back-Bar(which at the time was nothing more than a dirty rotten looking & cut in pieces junk heap). With the help of a few friends, they really made it come to life. Alan had found a glass artist to remake the old back-lit leaded glass rods that are on either end of the Back Bar. Then he found an anline cherry dye for a punch of color. With an old stable floor from the old Hawthorn Downs Race Track that Alan found in Reader Ad, and

Chicago , J.T.Collins

Alan himself laying the courses of brick under the massive picture windows. It wasn't long before NBC had the place on the news doing a guest appearance with comedian Judy Tenuda. WEA (Warner Electra Asylum Records) also had a heck of a party there introducing some new acts as an one of the first unplugged shows ever seen. Another great musician that came from the heart of The Torchlight cafe' was Blue Note Records recording artist and friend Kurt Elling. This patron remembers back when Elling (who worked for a moving company at the time) came in to the Torchlight one night and introduced himself to Alan. Elling handed Alan a tape over the bar and asked that he listen to it some time and see if his (Elling's) music would fit in at Alan's place. Well, typical of Alan, just by the vibe he got from Elling, Alan walked right over to the sound system, and put in the tape. "That tape was nothing short of brilliant." I think I heard that tape every night for a month until Elling started to play there on a regular basis. The next thing you know, Elling is the new Bartender a swell. I remenber Alan saying, "no way can I let this guy continue to be a mover, he might get hurt. Plus he's a great guy." Anyway, out with the old and in with the new. Frasca Pizzeria is awesome as well. It's great that the old negativeity of JT's has moved on. After all, A wise man once said, The Torchlight Cafe' was nothing more than an anagram for "Catcher of Light." Cheers to all involved in keeping the flame alive.
- Patron Saint, 11/24/2007

I spent this most recent New Years in this establishment with about 30 friends and I wouldn't go back if I was paid in free liquor. There was no respect from two of the bartenders, one woman with blue hair in particular. The bartenders were unhappy with tip they received on one drink order from a few members of our group and proceeded to misserve others who went up to order. I ordered a rum and coke, a pretty simple drink I seem to think, but the rum bottle must look too much like the gin bottle for that's what I got served. The blue-haired wonder seemed to think it was funny that I had gotten the drink, obviously knew about it already from her reaction. There were similar stories from other members of our group. The statement that I would like to leave is that as we sat around the next morning quenching our dehydration and sharing our stories from the previous night I came to this realization. There are ten drinkers from the neighborhood who will not let any of their acquaintances grace the stoop of this place again. - Paul, 01/07/2002

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1 planet: Below par, skip it. Chicago guide with reviews
2 planets: Has redeeming facets. Chicago guide with reviews Chicago guide with reviews
3 planets: Decent, worth checking out. Chicago guide with reviews Chicago guide with reviews Chicago guide with reviews
4 planets: Excellent, we'll be back. Chicago guide with reviews Chicago guide with reviews Chicago guide with reviews Chicago guide with reviews
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