just got back from chicago. the only liquor store i went into was Binnys in downtown Chicago on Grand st, I believe. I know it wasnt the one recommended here, but it was a few blocks from our hotel and was a pretty good size anyway. I was actually pretty surprised that i didnt recognize half the stuff on the shelf, as its not seen here in KY. nothing i can remember right now, but they had all the mainstream stuff you see in KY, none of the lower shelf stuff you see in KY, and a lot of lower shelf stuff you dont see in KY. I wasnt tempted to try anything though. I had brought along my OGD 114 and KC 120. some of the stuff on the shelf was the same price as in KY, and some was up to 20% more. of course, there was no ECBP....but thats a given.
as far as food.....Purple Pig had a 2.5 hour wait on a thursday, and about 8 of us were in town together, strangely we all planned chicago trips independently the same week, so we met up that night. we ended up at an Irish pub after everything else had such long waits. only thing on the menu that interested me was trying a bulleit rye. it was fair, not great.
we did try Xoco for lunch one day. quite good and decently priced, and totally original.
Chicago was surprisingly (to me, from what i expected from past trips) hospitable, as long as you dont drive. I dont think Chicagoans could drive without horns. we walked everywhere, which probably explains why everyone is so nicely fit there. its easy to spot the tourists among the natives....
the weather was perfect too! 70-85 every day.
bar bourbon selections kinda sucked more than i expected. everyone had KC 100, KC rye, EC, BH, JB, MM....and a few would have one or tow more, but that was about it. the bulleit rye was the only thing id not tried and was interested in trying. makes me glad to live in such a bourbon-rich area such as louisville!
at the hotel bar last night, i wanted to try some KC rye, but at $13 a shot, id rather wait and get a whole bottle for twice that when i get home. if i dont like it, id rather give it away than get raped like that at a bar. hell, ive had bookers for $10 a shot, which is still pricey, but far more reasonable than 13 for something that costs 25 a bottle around home!
by the way, i'm cheap.....but i prefer "logically reasonable"