Good Eats at the Howard Street Inn: Graced with a friendly staff, incredible specials and a tasty, diverse menu, it’s easy to see why this sports-watching mecca is so popular
6700 W. Howard Street in Niles
History in short: Seeking to create a family-friendly atmosphere with good vibes and good food, Ken Hoffman left his general manager post at Rosewood in Rosemont some 20 years ago to create the Howard Street Inn. Two decades and tens of thousands of satisfied customers later, it’s safe to say the move was the right one. While not affiliated with Tam O’Shanter Golf Course or the Niles Park District (both located next door), the Howard Street Inn works seamlessly with both on events, catering, etc.
Howard Street Inn’s wrap-around patio — a sun-soaked, sought-after destination from spring into the fall — gets seasonal walls installed and heat pumped through it during the winter.
The scene: It’s a colorful stroll into the Howard Street Inn for sure, as the decor leaves no doubt this is a sports-friendly environment. “Everyone is always looking up at all of our team flags and pennants hanging from the ceiling and along the walls,” says manager Becki Ebert. “It’s an instant attraction.”
With more than two dozen TVs, ample seating inside and out, an energetic staff and great daily specials, it’s easy to understand why the Howard Street Inn is so popular during football season, and the setup is accommodating for larger groups if you’re rolling in with more than your normal crew. They attract a consistent weekday lunch crowd and plenty of families and golfers too.
The wrap-around patio — a sun-soaked, sought-after destination from spring into the fall — gets seasonal walls installed and heat pumped through it during the winter to make it a comfortable, year-round option. Bonus: There are six slot machines in the corner of the main room should you desire to test your luck.
Menu expectations: While the Howard Street Inn may give off a definitive sports pub vibe, their high-quality menu far surpasses what you’ve come to expect from most sports bars. Hearty burgers, pizzas, creative salads and wings are favorites for sure, but not to be overlooked is a diverse assortment of homemade comfort food like jambalaya, pot roast dinners with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, beer-battered fish, sirloin steak sandwiches and more. Personal faves include the tender brisket tacos and the buffalo chicken dip appetizer with homemade pita chips.
You’d be hard pressed to uncover better specials anywhere around. … “We have a lot of fun here, no doubt,” says manager Beckie Ebert, “and I think people see that and appreciate it.”
Interesting notes: There’s a legit continuity with the HSI staff, as servers routinely come back to handle a few shifts during college breaks or find time to work several nights a week after they graduate and secure full-time jobs. “We have a lot of fun here, no doubt,” says manager Beckie Ebert, “and I think people see that and appreciate it.”
A total of 12 different burger options grace the menu, including a Western smokehouse burger, turkey burger seasoned with Mediterranean spices, and a Mac Daddy topped with mac n’ cheese and applewood smoked bacon.
Hosted parties: If you’re looking to host your next event somewhere with a stellar view, check out The Fairway banquet facility next door that’s ideal for weddings, parties and fundraisers.
Specials and more: You’d be hard pressed to uncover better specials anywhere around, including a daily happy hour, $18 domestic buckets every day, $2 well drinks on Mondays, $3 martinis on Thursdays and 24-ounce frosted mugs of select domestics ($3) or premium drafts ($4) to go with $4.25 Bloody Marys on the weekend.
Also, check out the free raffles during Bears games and stay tuned for more info on their Oct. 16 NFL Bash with a DJ, food, prizes and plenty of fun both inside and out.