Monday, December 17, 2018

Holiday Cheers

 Happy Holidays from the Ray’s crew! We’re gearing up for a busy holiday break, with folks coming to stay from all over. Whether you’re looking for a New Year’s party spot, or a quiet Christmas hamlet to escape the family drama, Ray’s still has a few rooms available to further your holiday cheer. Speaking of cheer, the Bucktown neighborhood has a royal ton of bars and boutiques to either finish off, or if you’re like me and drastically unprepared for this gift season, jump-start your shopping and celebrations. These are all within walking distance of Ray’s, so put on your coat and get to adventuring!


For any and all cocktail/beer needs:

Burk’s Web Pub, 2026 W. Webster Ave.
Jukebox, darts, $3 dollar drafts and two blocks from Ray’s. What more could ya need?

Charleston Bar, 2076 N. Hoyne 
Hip lights, a unusually good looking person is usually spinning records. If you’re cool, or want to be, this is the bar for you. 

Corner Bar, Bell and Leavitt
Sports, ten-dollar PBR pitchers. So close to Ray’s you’ll only have to brave the winter for exactly three whole seconds.


Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne
Good coffee, better beer. I freakin’ love this bar. 






For any and all eclectic gift needs: 

Sideshow Gallery, 2219 Western Ave. 
Tarot cards, crystals, and shrunken heads, oh my!  Half art gallery, half funky gift shop, worth a look just for a full-on weird experience.
 
Red Balloon Toy Store, 1940 N. Damen Ave.
            Classic toys, whimsical vibes.

Three Stars Resale Shop, 2600 W. Fullerton Ave.
Looking for a mid-century modern couch that will make your apartment look straight out of Mad Men? Welp, here ya go. Really beautiful used and antique furniture. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Staff Night Showdown

Fun fact about Ray Reiss, the namesake of Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast, he's a crack-shot poker player. Once a year he makes a point of showing off these well-honed poker skills at staff poker night. This year, though, the staff also came to play. After a long and uphill battle of chips and wits, it was not Ray but our Manager, Kelly who came out victorious. It was truly epic, y'all. I'm sure Ray is already looking for a rematch.

That poker game wasn't the only competition of the night. Pre-poker, we had a Taco Showdown. First, we ordered beef tacos from every taco joint within a 3/4 radius (that's six places!). Then, we took notes and voted on the quality of tacos, and yes, I finished all six. The winners are as follows:

Aurturo's Tacos, Western Ave. Good meat/ onion balance, great salsa.
Las Asadas, Western Ave. Great beef.
Flash Taco, Damen Ave. A hipster favorite.

And, if we've inspired you to either play poker or get into the Latin-American spirit, here's some inspiration for ya:

1. National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, Humbolt Park. The only museum focused solely on Puerto Rican Culture in the US, free parking and admission, and close to Ray's, surely the making of a lovely afternoon.

2. Pilsen Murals, Pilsen. This walk of mosaic and mural, established by the Chicago Urban Art society, makes for a lovely outing in an eclectic neighborhood.

C3PO, 1452 W. 16th Street, 20133. National Museum of Mexican Art, Pilsen. With one of the largest collections of Mexican Art in the US, this awe-inspiring museum is a can't miss.


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4. Horseshoe Hammond Casino, Hammond, IN. If you're looking for a real casino experience, the drive out of Chicago is certainly worth it!

5. Gamblers, Albany Park. Darts, Poker, Pool, drink specials, what more could you ask for?