Yard House Rant

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October 15, 2009 at 8:39 am

Last weekend, my brother was in town from Dallas. He insisted on watching the Cowboys, who were nearly embarrassed by narrowly eking out a victory over the hapless, winless Kansas City Chiefs. He was staying in Glenview, and the only place I knew of in that area that had all NFL games was the Yard House, in the Glen.

The Glen is that part of Glenview that used to be a Naval Air Station, and might have been Chicago’s third airport (a whole lot more convenient than Peotone), but instead turned into a Disney-esque version of a town dotted by golf courses, chain restaurants and McMansions.

Despite that, I was looking forward to going to the Yard House. Yard House, as a chain, claims to have the “World’s Largest Selection of Draft Beers.” But while there are well over 100 selections on tap, I have to wonder who’s doing the selecting. Certainly it’s not someone who has any idea about the local beer scene.

To be fair, there are a few nods to local brews … but very few. A few Goose Islands and Bells, and one or two Three Floyds (including Gumballhead, incorrectly classified as a “White Ale” …a la Hoegaarden. It’s not a White Ale. It’s an American Wheat beer.) New Holland is represented only once – by one of their less interesting, and less representative brews (Full Circle Blonde Ale … New Holland’s offering for BudMillCoors drinkers. New Holland is known for its big beers … none of which made it to the Yard House menu.)

Where was the Half Acre? Where was the Flossmoor Station? Where were the Two Brothers? Where were Dynamo Copper Lager, Flywheel Bright Lager, and Krankshaft Kölsch?

Do the managers at Glenview’s Yard House not have the bullocks to stand up to the corporate office, to replace their slower-moving, European brews (which occasionally don’t travel well) with fresh stuff, produced locally? Or do they just not care?

I don’t have a clue. But if anyone out there does, let me know.

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2 Comments

  1. And yet, let’s give a suburban restaurant credit for taking any sort of risk at all with as large a selection as they DO have. When I first walked in there shortly after they opened several years ago, they had twice as many beers as they offer now. But they were out of the first six I requested. When I was there two months ago, at least everything on the menu was in stock.

  2. Tom Keith says:

    Yard House, like almost all the restaurants in the Glen Town Center is part of a chain (20+ other locations across the country), so I think it’s safe to say it’s a relatively proven concept – offer 100+ beers on tap in a sports bar atmosphere. While there’s some risk, it’s not as great as if an independent opened with that kind of a beer list. When I was there, I noticed at least three or four taps marked “out,” but it was a Sunday, so they probably didn’t get any deliveries earlier in the day.

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