Bar: Chicago’s sluggers

Let’s start with a joke: What do you call 40 guys sitting around, watching the World Series? The Yankees. OK, that was a cheap shot. And what does baseball have to do with a bar review anyway? Everything, in the case of Sluggers, located just a Sammy Sosa home run away from Wrigley Field.

Voted the third-best sports bar in the country by USA Today, Sluggers teems with post-Cubs crowds throughout the baseball season. Rumors abound that Cubs players frequent the bar (If you see Moises Alou, don’t shake his hand. Trust me). And even though the staff is cut in the off-season, it’s still busy anytime there’s a major sporting event. Monday Night Football is a big draw, and thanks to the satellite package, you’re not stuck watching Bears-Niners on Sundays. So what makes Sluggers the premier place to watch the big game? It’s all in the numbers: 30 televisions, 2 big screens, 53 different beers and 90 mile-per-hour fastballs coming at you from the batting cages. Not to mention the cheap drink specials that mysteriously disappear when the Cubs start playing. Old Style tall boys go for $2 everyday, with nightly deals and free pool on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There’s even a dance floor if you feel like getting your groove on to “Sweet Caroline.” But the bar’s real draw, and its namesake, are the batting cages on the second floor. There are several pitch speeds: The slow-pitch softball might be the best bet after a few drinks, or you could strike out against the aforementioned 90 mile-per-hour heaters. At least you’d know how.

Sluggers is located at 3540 N. Clark St. Open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. for Cub home games; otherwise, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday.

–Jim Martinho