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Wrigleyville Bars Charging $1,000 Or More For Tables This Weekend

By  Ariel Cheung and Dong Jin Oh | October 26, 2016 8:38am | Updated on October 28, 2016 8:51am

 Old Crow Smokehouse is among Wrigleyville bars charging hundreds to get in during the World Series.
Old Crow Smokehouse is among Wrigleyville bars charging hundreds to get in during the World Series.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

WRIGLEYVILLE — And you thought World Series parking in Wrigleyville was expensive.

Bars near Wrigley Field are charging as much as $250 — per person — to get inside this weekend to watch the Cubs play in the World Series ... on TV.

At several bars, the steep charge gets you drinks and a buffet, but no guarantee of a seat.

To guarantee a four-seat table, that'll cost you an extra $500 at bars like Old Crow Smokehouse, Deuces and The Diamond Club and John Barleycorn. Casey Moran's and Moe's Cantina have similar watch party packages for home games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Internet lit up last weekend with people aghast that The Cubby Bear was asking a $100 cover charge to watch the National League Championship Series across the street from Wrigley Field.

But that's chump change compared to this weekend's asks. Tickets for the packages range from $225-$250 on Hastickets.com.

HVAC Pub, 3530 N. Clark St., is hosting a watch party Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $250 for all-you-can-eat pizza and wings, plus beer, wine and well drinks. Pay an extra $1,000 and get seating for six during the game, plus a bottle of Grey Goose vodka and a bottle of champagne.

Other bars have slightly more modest offers, while others aren't bothering with a cover at all. But fans planning to head into Wrigleyville should get there plenty early — some fans waited in lines for more than two hours during the final game of the National League Championship Series.

Fans packed into Old Crow Smokehouse for the final game of the National League Championship Series on Saturday. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Myron Mixon's newly opened Smoke Show Barbecue at 3801 N. Clark St. will have all-you-can-eat tickets for $50 on the weekend. Reservations will be accepted for home games, but it'll be first-come, first-served for away games Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Cubby Bear at 1059 W. Addison St., is keeping it simple for the weekend: the cover is still $100 with no table reservations or party packages.

Standing room at Rockit Burger Bar, 3700 N. Clark St., is $40, or guests can pay $100 for a table. Yak-Zies, 3710 N. Clark St., will charge a $25 cover and an hourly surcharge of $50 for a table.

Cubs fan and BP Wrigleyville intern @FullCountTommy posted a spreadsheet on Twitter with an expanded list of bars and the covers they'll be charging this weekend:


Many places will only admit people 21 years and older, so call ahead if you want to bring the kids. Most weren't charging during away games this weekend, although some of the bigger bars like John Barleycorn and Cubby Bear are.

The skyrocketing fees irked Cubs fan Rigo Fernandez, who theorized several of the most popular bars colluded to fix entry prices.

"I was outraged at this apparent monopoly situation that was occurring before us," Fernandez said. Lifelong fans like him who can't afford $750 for seats at a watch party "will be prevented from participating in the historical moment ... when the Cubs end their 100-plus year championship drought," Fernandez said.

After reading up on price fixing and looking over the bars' offerings, Fernandez decided to file a complaint with the Department of Justice.

"There appears to be no competition. All of the prices are advertised at the same level," Fernandez said. 

The prices are huge hikes even from the National League Championship Series last week. Then, Old Crow entry was $30, while Deuces charged a $100 cover.

As of Tuesday, some bars were still debating whether to charge a cover or not, while others have promised not to. Among the bars pledging free entry are Big G's (3716 N. Clark St.), Johnny O'Hagan's (3374 N. Clark St.) and Johnny O'Hagans (3374 N. Clark St.).

Murphy's Bleachers, 3655 N. Sheffield Ave., will not charge a cover or table fee. However, as the bar notes, lines to get in for the NLCS started at 3 p.m. on some days, and it's been busy even on weekday away games, so get there plenty early.

The World Series began Tuesday in Cleveland, where Wednesday's Game 2 also took place, before coming to Chicago for Game 3 Friday, Game 4 Saturday and Game 5 Sunday.

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.


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