4 Reasons Why Gale Street Inn is a Local Legend

Considering the restaurant and bar industry is notorious for short life spans (most age in dog years, it seems), it’s incredibly impressive when a business can endure for more than half a century. On the far northwest side of the city, Gale Street Inn has done just that, churning out consistent American fare since 1963. It’s a keystone for locals in the area, sure, but here are 4 reasons you should add Gale Street Inn to your must-visit list: 


Gale Street Inn
Gale Street Inn

1). Ribs ribs ribs. Aside from the occasional barbecue restaurant, burly portions of succulent, finger-licking ribs are sort of a bygone delicacy in Chicago, perhaps in part to the steady omnipresence of other meat options like burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and so forth. Gale Street Inn is one of only a few spots in town renowned for their ribs, and they certainly justify the trek up north. They comprise a full section of the menu all their own, available as a full rack, half rack, or rib combos. All ribs come with soup or salad, and to sweeten the deal, full racks are $5 off on Mondays. 

2). It’s the perfect mix of classic and modern. While comfortable and reliable menu staples like stuffed mushrooms, potato skins, and French onion soup are present and accounted for, Gale Street Inn is anything but stale. The pub treads the smart middle ground where old standbys are still endearingly comforting, but they also outfit their menu with some surprises, like tuna poke. The diced yellowfin tuna dish is mixed with sweet chili, ginger and sriracha, served with avocado and lavosh crackers. 

3). People are always searching for that special place that feels like real life Cheers. Gale Street Inn is that place. It feels almost too good to be true, with a motif seemingly preserved in time and staffed by jovial veteran employees who know customers’ names and stories. It’s that relaxing ambience, friendly vibe, and complete lack of pretension that makes Gale Street Inn the rare gem it remains today. 

4). The restaurant is a fixture in Jefferson Park. Like any good neighbor, Gale Street Inn is an active participant in the local community, bringing it beyond merely a watering hole and making it a neighborhood destination and gathering place. The restaurant maintains a neighborhood bulletin board of sorts (it’s actually a chalkboard), complete with up-to-date local events and happenings, from theatre runs to art news and markets. They’re also eco-conscious, participating in incentives like “Save the Straw” days, wherein beverage glasses go without straws to cut back on resources. Gale Street Inn also regularly hosts events like Mardi Gras parties, and birthday parties are a common occurrence.

- Matt Kirouac