Set the GPS or grab a compass to get to Logan Square on Saturday afternoon when the city of Chicago’s second pour-your-own beer bar, Navigator Taproom, officially opens to the public. City permitting stymied the debut by a few weeks, but staff is finally ready at 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave. with 40 self-serve taps. There’s also wine on tap and a bar where bartenders will mix cocktails for customers.
Navigator uses the pourmybeer.com system. It’s the same set-up used at Tapster in Wicker Park. Trade a credit card for a tap card at the host stand and then use the new card to dispense beer using touch screens. Guests pay for their drinks the end of their visit when they retrieve their credit card. The law mandates “responsibility limits” on the tap cards. That means after two adult beverages the cards need to be reauthorized by staff. Don’t worry, customers can still pour more than two drinks. The practice is just a safety net to prevent over-served customers.
Owners Erik Swanson and Tim Enarson want Navigator to feel like a brewery’s tasting room with an open feel where strangers can share tasting notes. There’s room for 99 people, and guests can pick snifter, pint, and wine glasses. About half the beer is from local brewers. Enarson is excited about beer like Empirical’s Up Quark Passion Fruit Pale Ale and 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer: “It’s summer in a glass,” Enarson said.
Customers can feed themselves by ordering delivery. Enarson said they’re trying to partner with a local restaurant and feature select items, but they’re not ready to make an announcement.
Take a tour through the tasting room by looking at the photos below. Navigator Taproom opens at noon on Saturday.
Navigator Taproom, 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 270-1690, open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays; noon to 2 a.m. on weekends.