RIVER WEST — For $20, Chicagoans can pay for the privilege of riding a bus to some of Chicago's diviest haunts.
The first-ever "High Class Dive Bar Pub Crawl" is the brainchild of Joe Hernandez, a longtime bartender at Chicago-based Last Call Tavern Group. For three nights, party buses will shuttle barflies to "the best of the best" dive bars throughout the city, he said.
"A $3.50 can of Schlitz or Hamm’s and an Old Grand-Dad shot just makes the party more fun," Hernandez said. "It’s a neighborhoody thing, and sometimes you watch 'Cheers' and a group of outsiders come, that’s kind of the fun of this party."
The "high class" component will reflect the dress code. Guests will be asked to wear their "finest evening attire," and the person deemed "best dressed" will receive a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne to pop on the party bus.
The buses, by the way, will be stocked with snacks and refreshments and souped up with TVs and dancer poles.
The pub crawl's three nights will feature a total of nine bars, with each evening ending at Richard's Bar, 491 N. Milwaukee Ave.
One of the stops will be Rossi's Liquors in River North.
Dave Matthews says some dive bar bartenders welcome the groups:
Rossi's Liquors, 412 N. State St. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
Cynthia Herrera, a longtime bartender at Rossi's, said she would not be weirded out by people in evening attire stumbling into the proudly divey bar.
"It happens quite often, actually," she said.
Though Rossi's sticks out in its upscale neighborhood, Herrera feels it also fills a void.
"We've been a dive bar since before it was cool to be a dive bar," she said. "Everybody here is proud we're one of the few places you can drink for cheap Downtown."
Only 30 tickets are available for each night of the pub crawl; all of the tours start at 4 p.m. at Clover Sports & Leisure, 722 W. Grand Ave., where Hernandez sometimes works. Here's the full schedule:
Sunday, May 24
• Grayland Pub in Albany Park
• Rose's Lounge in Lincoln Park
• The Chipp Inn in Noble Square
Sunday, June 28
• A bar in Hyde Park to be determined
• Bernice's Tavern in Bridgeport
• Rossi's Liquors in River North
Sunday, July 26
• Spyners Pub in Lincoln Square
• The Four Treys Bar in Roscoe Village
• Friar Tuck in Lakeview
Click here for more information.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: