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Wrigleyville Vs. Boystown: Which Lakeview Neighborhood Is The Booziest?

By  Ariel Cheung and Tanveer Ali | January 26, 2016 5:45am 

 Two nightlife destinations in Lakeview do plenty of boozing, but only one reigns supreme.
Two nightlife destinations in Lakeview do plenty of boozing, but only one reigns supreme.
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LAKEVIEW — When it comes to the booziest strip in Lakeview, the Cubbies really can win it all.

Boasting 60 liquor licenses on the streets surrounding Wrigley Field, Wrigleyville has 14 more places to grab a drink than Boystown's 46. The home of the Chicago Cubs does have a slight size advantage — it's about 750,000 square-feet larger than Boystown.

Neither neighborhood has a city-designated border — both are housed in the Lakeview community area — and businesses tying themselves to Wrigleyville and the LGBTQ community stretch farther than what's generally accepted by official sources.

Inspired by a recent DNAinfo story about a duo who walked all of Western Avenue and drank at each of its 64 bars, we looked into which Chicago streets had the most bars.

We looked at three types of business licenses active as of Jan. 11 in Chicago to find out. Here's the map:

Tavern licenses are issued to businesses whose main focus is selling drinks. Some of them also have late-hour licenses and can serve alcohol until 4 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The third type, "consumption on premises," allow all businesses to serve alcohol, like grocery stores giving out samples and theater companies or restaurants with a bar.

When only counting bars, Wrigley's 22 are a step behind Boystown's 23.

Five of the 37 consumption on premises licenses in Wrigleyville belong to Cubs eateries at Wrigley Field. Metro, Under The Gun Theater and Salt and Pepper Diner have the licenses along with a couple dozen restaurants like Red Ivy, Vines on Clark and Lowcountry.

In Boystown, Treasure Island Foods, Strawdog Theatre Company and the Center on Halsted are licensed for consumption on premises.

While there are no official borders for Wrigleyville and Boystown, each have approximate areas in Lakeview in which they stake their claim. Here are the boundaries we used, with Wrigleyville on the left and Boystown on the right. [Screenshot/Google Maps]

Clark Street, which has two-thirds of the Wrigleyville licenses, has the most places to grab a drink in the city. The 12-mile-long street has 203 places that serve alcohol from Rogers Park to Chinatown.

Halsted Street has concentrated clusters of bars in Boystown and Lincoln Park, with 127 total places to drink along the 20 miles of road that leads straight out of the city's south end.

The 44th Ward, which includes most of Lakeview, has 208 total drinking holes, with Clark Street's 60 from Diversey to Addison topping the list. Trailing behind are Halsted Street with 27 (all in Boystown), Broadway with 26 and Sheffield Avenue with 22.