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Check Into the Renovated Motel Bar, Back Open in River North

Four Corners has reinvented a classic

The Motel Bar
Barry Brecheisen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

A venerable hideaway in River North, near Chicago and Larrabee, the Motel Bar has been closed for a spell. For 12 years before, the bar — modeled after a ‘70s hotel lobby drinking hole — served cheap food and was a comfy spot for a cocktail or shot of Malört. Now the owners of Benchmark and Federales have taken over and remodeled the space. The new iteration of Motel Bar debuts tonight at 600 W. Chicago Avenue.

The new owners, Four Corners, have added new seating and TVs. It won’t have the youthful exuberance of Federales, where patrons throw shot glasses at a bell. This is a more tranquil spot where customers can have conversations. Or they could play foosball on an oversized table with eight handles, ideal for two on a side — no more elbowing a teammate.

They enlisted Siren Betty Design to reinvent the 2,200-square-foot space and there’s also a 60-seat patio. The main layout remains the same, and that’s not a bad thing. Walk through the space below. Motel Bar is open with a new menu.

The Motel Bar, 600 W. Chicago Avenue, open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday.

The Motel Bar kept the old logo.
It’s friendly inside.
TV-style dinners are part of the ambience here.
A chill place for those who actually want to hear conversation.
A peek at the photography on the wall.
It’s still retains the ‘70s feel.
Customers can find lounge seating throughout.
This is a gorgeous foosball table.
A closeup of the pitch.

The Motel Bar

600 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654 +1 312-822-2900 Visit Website