2319 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, Illinois


Bottles and Cans Classic Cocktails Draught Beer Craft Beer Outdoor Space

This bar conforms with the screenless charter


The qualification of this bar is suspect

Enter backstage left through a facade that, without the neon Leinenkugel's sign would look more like a clandestine adult specialty store than an eclectic tavern. A walk through the front door of Hungary Brain passes what would be the back of a stage that is just as often cluttered with living room furniture as it is with musicians. A quick glance at the website confirms that Hungary Brain does aim to be somewhat of an artistic incubator yet maintain a grounded neighborhood bar mentality. The unassuming entrance suits the space very well and as the entrance hallway opens up a quaint scene unfolds. The space is not cramped nor cluttered, but more a huddled menagerie of tables, chairs, and other living room furniture.

The bar runs along the east wall and with its plain demeanor and unusual rear stockage is a perfect example of the unassuming aura this bar gives off. Stocked is a standard spirit selection, a handful of beer on tap, and a delightful selection of bottles and cans - like the always delicious Tecate.

The dim light lowers inhibitions nearly as well as the libations and the boxy space is bedazzled with eclectic wall coverings, funky furniture and enchanting lamps. The stage area sometimes seems off limits but in the absence of any musicians it is encouraged to make yourself comfortable anywhere. An efficiently constructed DJ booth perches itself above the rear of the space and is accessible only by ladder and trapdoor. A pair or retro video games lend their soft glow to the ambiance, one on stage for all to observe a brave quarter dropper’s finesse and one strategically placed a few feet from the restrooms, a perfect occupation if a line for the loo materializes.

A few steps past the restrooms is the fire emergency door, aka, the door to the beer garden, though that term is used quite liberally. The back area serves its purpose well enough though; fresh air, seats and tables, not-so-meticulously hung Christmas lights create the mood, some mood.

Hungary Brain is an at times peaceful oasis in a desert of HD marred drinkerys. A hazy escape to grab a cocktail or a cold one, sink into a comfortable couch about as old as the ironic polyester pants worn by that one guy, and catch up with some new friends.

Comments (3)

  • The name of this bar alone makes me want to visit. Sounds like a cool place.

  • Patrick M Holbrook vouched for Hungry Brain

  • Erin Lindsay vouched for Hungry Brain