Tag Archives: White Sox

Get Pumped at Schaller’s Pump

The Front of Schaller's Pump

So we previously talked about different bars for Cubs fans, or places to go near
Wrigley Field, but now it’s our turn Sox fans! Being the only It’s a Local Thing writer who resides in the Bridgeport neighborhood, the Southside is sort of my expertise. So I decided to bring all of you lovely readers to my neck of the woods. When I think of Bridgeport, I think of baseball and politics. Bridgeport is not only the home of the Chicago White Sox, it has also been the home of 5 Chicago mayors (Edward Kelly, Martin Kennelly, Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic, and Richard M. Daley).  Since I’ve lived in Bridgeport my whole life, it should be an absolute given that I’d be a huge Sox fan! With that being said, let me take you guys over to one of the best White Sox bars Chicago has to offer, Schaller’s Pump.

The Pump (as locals like to call it) opened in 1881, and has been the longest
running tavern in Chicago ever since. It can be found on the 37th
block of Halsted, with an entrance located on the north side of the building.
Its large parking lot makes it easy for visitors and locals alike to park, stay
for a few drinks, and then walk on over to the field for the game. I mean, how
many Northside bars can say they have plenty of parking?

The Pump has been the stomping grounds for many politicians, conveniently located across the street from the 11th Ward Democratic Organization. Schaller’s Pump is a Chicago landmark, and its popularity resides not only on its great location, but also on the fact that it has been family owned and run since the very beginning. Mr. Schaller, who is in his 90s, continues to help his son and 4 daughters run the business, making for a quaint neighborhood bar. My grandparents have grown up going here, as well as my mom and dad, so it was only natural that I would enjoy The Pump just as much as they have.

Now that I’ve got you up to date, let’s make our way inside. Once you step inside
you will see that it is decorated much like your typical neighborhood bar, having beer signs in neon lights, dim lighting, and a working antique cash register behind the bar.  Also, being located in Sox territory, did you expect anything less than the walls covered in Sox memorabilia? Well if you did, you’d be wrong. The bar fully extends across the north wall with tables placed generously on the remaining floor. The Pump is normally fairly quiet, giving you a very relaxing setting to kick back and enjoy your beer. However, on game days you better expect a bit of a crowd, and definitely more excitement. The Pump is fairly small and comfortable, but they do have a large back room for parties and large groups.

Sox Fans Inside The Pump

The food here is good, but the menu is limited compared to other restaurant menus. They don’t have any appetizers, but what you can find are hamburgers, BLTs, BBQ ribs, orange roughy, hash browns (which are a popular side dish), and believe it or not– a liver sausage sandwich. The Pump is well known for their Butt-steak special, as well as their non-greasy fried chicken and breaded shrimp. They also give you free macaroni salad and beet salad with your bread before your mealarrives, which is something I’ve never seen other restaurants do. I hate to break the hearts of all you vegetarians out there, but their menu doesn’t really give you much of an option. I don’t eat meat myself, so I usually order an old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fries or a salad.

There are daily specials that you can find on a chalkboard near the kitchen doorway. Drinks are pretty conventional here, so don’t try and order anything fancy like a martini or they’ll look at you funny. They have a variety of beers, such as Miller Light, Bud Light, Old Style, Heineken, and MGD to name a few. Cold beer is served, depending on which type you choose, either on tap, in a bottle, or even in cans. For non-beer drinkers, The Pump also offers numerous types of vodkas, whiskeys, and rums. All food and drinks are reasonably priced, and the service is well over expectation.

Mitchell's, Shinnick's, and Wings & Rings

There are a few other bars in the Bridgeport neighborhood that are also quite popular during Sox games, such as Shinnick’s Pub, Mitchell’s Tap, and Buffalo Wings & Rings. But I’ll leave it up to you to check out these places. Personally, I’d pick Schaller’s Pump over the others, but after a good Sox game, I’ll usually make an appearance at each one of them (go big or go home right?). Especially with a group of friends, exploring the neighborhood bars is never a bad idea.

Bridgeport is a very welcoming neighborhood, so bring your friends, heck, bring your family, and come on down and enjoy all this neighborhood has to offer. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’d say I live in a pretty great neighborhood. The Schaller family takes great pride in their business, which shines through their great food and friendly service. So I recommend stopping in Schaller’s Pump, whether you’re a Sox fan or not, all are welcome. But don’t come in wearing a Cubs jersey, it is the Southside remember.

Location:
3714 South Halsted Street
Chicago,
Illinois 60609
(773) 376-6332
Photo Credit: Dana Ragazinskas & (Guests at Bar- chicago.timeout.com)
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