Saturday, June 25, 2016

Oh Hey Look - It's Summertime!

We wait all year long for this season - insist on apartments with "outdoor space" so that we can soak up some rays during these glorious 12 weeks or so when we can, vow to visit every street festival we can, etc etc. And then before we know it, it's over, the heat gets turned back on and our "outdoor space" lies dormant for another 9 months. So lets make the most of it shall we? Here are some of our favorite outdoor spots in Bucktown as of late:

1. Our garden here at Ray's - we have a small herb garden out back (think urban Fern Gully) that is perfect for a brief afternoon break in between cooking breakfast and cleaning rooms, checking in guests, and playing local tour guide.

2. Red Door - We've mentioned this place before, probably for it's patio and we're doing it again.  Stumbling distance from Ray's and you can find a good list of cocktails and comfortable food options. They even serve Dorilocos! What's that? Check it out here.

3. Small Cheval - You may have heard of Au Cheval the upscale diner burger destination, but what you may not know is that they have a little sister - Small Cheval, right around the corner from Ray's, and it boasts a small outdoor patio where you can post up for some neighborhood people watching (fair warning, you will definitely not forget the train is nearby...but we like to think the el noise adds "genuine local atmosphere")

4. Madison Public House - Our manager lived across the alley from this bar/restaurant when they first put up the "coming soon" sign and started renovations.  True to the timeline of construction, she had moved out long before they opened, but they are now in full swing. There's nothing innately that special about Madison Public House, except that not too many people know about it, and, sometimes they have a basketball hoop set up on the patio so you can challenge your friends to ill-advised athletic competitions after enjoying a few beers. Perfect if you're an alum of UW Madison. (also train-adjacent)

5. Orbit Room - This one technically falls in the Avondale neighborhood, but when did branching out ever hurt anyone? Orbit Room has an unexpectedly good patio, and it's off the beaten path, adding to it's unpretentios "1970s Elvis" (according to a yelper) vibe. Decent beer/drink list, decent food, great music, service, and atmosphere.

We left out some of our regular spots, in an effort to highlight something new, but definitely worth checking out as well are Parson's Chicken & Fish, Jack & Gingers (DOG friendly patio) Big Star, and many more.

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