4800 Forest Hill Ave.
Second Place: Capital Ale House, Midlothian
Third Place: Sedona Taphouse
Maybe we should change the name of the category to Best South Side Bar That Isn't O'Tooles, because these guys run with the honors every year. With zero pretense and a refreshingly diverse crowd of regulars and newbies, O'Tooles is aged to perfection. Since 1966 the bar has embraced a "come as you are" attitude, warming up bellies with Jameson and pints aplenty. Folk acts jangle in the back corner while a bunch of dudes watch NASCAR on one of many screens and the neighbor lady gets the scoop on who and why so-and-so's car stayed in the parking lot overnight. Even when it isn't St. Patrick's Day, there's something special going on here. The Forest Hill stronghold is what so many newfangled pubs try to be without all the effort. And yes, other South Side watering holes attract the attention of our voters. Hopheads and lager lovers give a well-deserved nod to the purveyors of frothy beverages and craft beer at Capital Ale House as well as the buzzed-about Sedona Taphouse, with its long lineup of brews.
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