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Good Measure

(312) 600-9268

226 W Chicago Ave

Chicago, IL 60654

Even though it’s new, Good Measure in River North has the atmosphere of a dive bar, with red neon lights and a big wooden bar that looks like it belongs in Classic Chicago Bar Magazine. And since it’s also one of Chicago’s Darkest Restaurants you can easily hide your expressionless face and/or their tears. The cocktail list is well-rounded and affordable, with drinks priced around $12. Text them to meet you here after work when you want a low-key spot to end something.

Good Measure is primarily a kind-of-divey bar, and its River North location makes it a convenient spot for after-work drinks. But there’s also an interesting menu of great bar food, which will make you feel better after a Monday full of meetings in which nothing was accomplished. The menu ranges from Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to a fantastic cheeseburger with foie gras sauteed onions, and the atmosphere involves loud punk music and rockabilly-inspired artwork - all of which can help you pretend you spent the day working in a tattoo shop instead of arranging PowerPoints in the office.

Even though it’s new, Good Measure feels like an authentic Chicago dive bar, with dark wood, rockabilly skeletons, and lots of neon red light. But there’s also an interesting menu of great bar food, ranging from Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to a fantastic cheeseburger. Plus, the atmosphere is enjoyable enough that the decision to go out in River North afterward will feel like a choice, not a necessity.

On the surface, Good Measure seems like it’s just a cooler-than-average bar in River North. It’s dark with red lighting, and has an overall dive-y atmosphere. But it also serves really great food - with small plates like curried hummus and a non-boring burrata with pickled peach puree, and larger ones like a fantastic burger and some very good fried chicken. This spot is fun, but you might want to check your date’s opinion on punk music before you come, since that’s all they play.

Chicago Brown Line

Good Measure is a very useful spot to know about in River North. First of all, unlike a lot of other bars in the area, this is a low-key option for cocktails after work. Second, despite the bar-like atmosphere and great drinks, it’s actually a fantastic restaurant as well (with creative dishes like Nashville hot fried duck livers and rarebit with potato and sage donuts). In fact, the food here is better than what you’ll find at most of the nicer restaurants in the neighborhood. And it’s right down the street from the Chicago Brown Line stop. In other words, we’re seeing if the apartment above it is available for rent.

The fact that Good Measure in River North is very dark isn’t surprising. It’s supposed to feel like a dive bar, i.e. a place where you probably don’t want to see everything too clearly. But the very front of the space is less like a dive bar and more like a normal restaurant where you just can’t see your food. There are a few globe lights above the bar that seem to dim as the night goes on, so it becomes a race against time to keep an eye on what you’re eating before darkness falls. Like Escape The Room, but with very good Nashville hot duck livers and hummus.

We can’t really decide if we like Good Measure more as a bar or a restaurant, since it succeeds equally at being both. But it doesn’t matter - either way, this is one of our favorite spots in River North. It’s a little divey inside, with neon red lights and a big wooden bar that looks like it belongs in Classic Chicago Bar Magazine. But there’s also an interesting menu of great bar food, ranging from Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to a fried Polish sausage - which in no way falls into the “light bites” category, but is delicious nonetheless.

There’s a lot of mis-direction happening at Good Measure. First, it looks like a dive bar in Wicker Park, but it’s actually a brand new spot in River North. Second, despite the bar-like atmosphere, it’s just as much a fantastic restaurant as it is a place to drink (just try the Nashville hot fried duck livers or rarebit with potato and sage donuts, and you’ll understand). In fact, the food here is better than what you’ll find at most of the nicer restaurants in the neighborhood. Normally we don’t like being tricked, but we forgive Good Measure.

Unlike most bars in River North, Good Measure isn’t club-like. It’s a kind-of-divey place with neon red lights and punk music, and it doesn’t really fit in with the neighborhood. But because of the fantastic cocktails and fun atmosphere, this place still feels like a party. The menu is eclectic, with dishes ranging from Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to a fantastic cheeseburger with foie gras sauteed onions. This is the kind of spot you hit up on the way to your coworker’s party at the Underground, as long as you’re OK with never making it to that party since you’re going to be having such a good time here.

Good Measure has the atmosphere of a funky dive, plus an interesting menu of great food ranging from Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus. Everything is thoughtfully plated, and not at all what you might expect to be eating in a bar where the main design elements are rockabilly skeletons and neon red lights. The cocktail list is well-rounded and also affordable, with drinks priced around $12. Stop here after work when you want a low-key hangout in the neighborhood.

This River North spot looks like a dive bar, but it has fantastic food, and usually feels like a party. This is the kind of spot you hit up spontaneously after a successful visit to the salon, when you have a great blowout but are still wearing sweatpants. Ideally you’ll also be pretty hungry, because everything from the Nashville hot fried duck livers to the deep fried Polish topped with truffled onions is great.

Good Measure feels different from all the big, tourist-filled spots in River North where DJs blast music all night - it’s a kind-of-divey bar with rockabilly skeletons and neon red lights instead of disco balls. But the atmosphere isn’t the only thing that makes this place stand out. There’s also an interesting menu of great bar food, ranging from Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to a fantastic cheeseburger with foie gras sauteed onions. This is the kind of spot that will make you immediately forget about the five bachelorette parties you passed by on your way here.

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