We opened the Map Room in November 1992 with a travelers’ theme. We began fleshing out our theme with maps, National Geographics, travel books, and beers from all over the world.
Thank goodness we met brewer Greg Browne and members of the Chicago Beer Society! Without their guidance, we never would have been able to build a beer selection that did justice to the great brewing nations.
Still, a great beer selection does not a great place make. But it’s a good start, beer being the great democratic beverage, the great leveler, everyman’s drink.
We read a book called The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg. It bemoaned the lack of “third” places in America, places where people go for social nourishment, places outside of home and work. We were inspired to make our bar a third place, to create an environment that fostered community. We aim to be a place where people from all walks of life come together, hoist a pint, and make friends.