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posted: 10/12/2011 6:00 AM

Mundelein's Blue 60 a catch for sports fans

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  • Dan Prass, left, Jeff Kruger and Evan Rullman of Vernon Hills hang out at Blue 60 sports bar in Mundelein.

       Dan Prass, left, Jeff Kruger and Evan Rullman of Vernon Hills hang out at Blue 60 sports bar in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Blue 60 in Mundelein celebrates sports history while spotlighting current games.

       Blue 60 in Mundelein celebrates sports history while spotlighting current games.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Bartender Jen Kirk pours a beer at Blue 60 sports bar in Mundelein.

       Bartender Jen Kirk pours a beer at Blue 60 sports bar in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Blue 60 pays tribute to historic sports moments and athletes.

       Blue 60 pays tribute to historic sports moments and athletes.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The Petrich and Cain families grab dinner at Blue 60 sports bar in Mundelein.

       The Petrich and Cain families grab dinner at Blue 60 sports bar in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Sports pictures adorn the tables at Blue 60.

       Sports pictures adorn the tables at Blue 60.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Blue 60 opened late this summer in Mundelein.

       Blue 60 opened late this summer in Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
By Samantha Nelson

Named for the color of its walls and location on Route 60, Blue 60 took over Fuel's former space Aug. 31. The lovely interior, coupled with good drinks and food, make it a sports bar worth visiting even if you're not interested in the game.

Motif: The large space features a central bar with high-backed chairs and a mix of small tables and booths arranged around it. Tables are topped with images of star athletes including Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, sometimes accompanied by images of documents like the trade agreement that sent the Bambino from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. An artist re-created sports photos on the walls, with murals featuring Walter Payton and Pat Tillman in the back. The 16 flat-screen TVs are tuned to sports, with the booths in the back having their own sets. The bar has golf, bowling and boxing video games and electronic darts, with a dart league in the works.

Crowd: Families tend to come in for dinner, with the crowd getting younger as the night gets later. Workers stop in for lunch. The bar sponsors several local sports teams, who hang out after their games.

Service: Our server was friendly and attentive. She checked back regularly and was good at offering drink recommendations. Owner Steve Itsines is a regular fixture, walking around the bar chatting with every group of customers and changing channels to put on requested games.

Liquid consumption: The large beer list features plenty of craft brews like Dogfish Head and Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, which disappointingly didn't taste much like vanilla. Blue 60 also offers a solid menu of signature cocktails. The Mr. Freeze is a fruity mix of vodka, Blue Curacao, blackberry schnapps, sour mix and 7-Up. The Rock Star, a bright red blend of tequila, raspberry liqueur, triple sec and sour mix, has a refreshing citrusy flavor that complements rather than masking the taste of the alcohol.

Food: Burgers and wings are the favorites. The half-pound burgers are cooked to order and served with fries, sweet potato fries, bleu cheese-mashed potatoes or Blue 60 chips, house-made chips covered with very good bleu cheese, bacon and scallions. Wings are served with one of five sauces, including buffalo, Parmesan garlic and mango-teriyaki. If you have a big group or just a big appetite, go for The Ultimate Tailgate, a sampler featuring wings, mozzarella sticks, Blue 60 chips and a soft pretzel.

The menu also offers some healthier options. Diners not interested in standard bar fare can order an ahi tuna salad or veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and goat cheese.

Music: The bar is still waiting on its entertainment license. The bar eventually wants to host karaoke and live blues and jazz bands.

Parking: There are plenty of spots in the bar's free lot.

Overall: Blue 60 is a shrine to sports history and a great new place to watch it unfold.

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