Our Story

Whenever a new customer wanders into Black Rock, we usually get a few questions: 

"Where did the name come from?  What's the diamond on the sign mean?  Where did the moose come from?  Is this a jewelry store?"

We can understand why not everyone knows a lot about Black Rock.  After all, we're a neighborhood bar with an obscure name, slightly off the beaten path on a residential section of Damen Ave.  While we might not be the most widely-known bar in Chicago, we're proud of our reputation as one of the North Side’s best kept secrets. 

While that’s quite a bold statement, we think we live up to it.  The bar itself—the physical space—is a true classic.  The original question-mark-shaped bar, antique tin ceiling, cozy fireplaces, and vintage décor all combine to effortlessly create the kind of character many bars struggle to affect.  

And while we’re inspired by the past, we’re about more than just nostalgia.   Black Rock proudly features a small but well-curated craft beer list, with an emphasis on limited and one-off releases, and a kitchen menu best described as "homestyle electric bar food."  And in doing so, we think we’ve perfected the modern neighborhood bar.  Which might explain why we’ve built such a following. 

More lively than a typical local bar, more comfortable than most upscale bars, Black Rock caters to customers looking for an alternative to the often formulaic Chicago bar scene.  With an army of loyal regulars and a large, diverse weekend crowd (think yuppies to hipsters and everything in between) we've created a home-away-from home for patrons of all types from the surrounding neighborhoods of West Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Northcenter and beyond.  In fact, it's not uncommon for customers that reside nowhere near Black Rock to adopt us as their "local."

Obviously, there's only so much words and pictures can tell you.  We suggest all our neighbors—no matter what your zip code—experience Black Rock firsthand.   It probably won’t be long before you’re calling Black Rock your very own neighborhood bar.

And in case you’re wondering about those commonly-asked questions:   

Black Rock?   The owners liked it.  

The diamond?  An oblique reference to our name and a slyly apt signifier for the bar itself (diamond in the rough... get it?).  

The moose?  He just showed up one day and never left. 


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