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posted: 2/21/2014 5:30 AM

Streamwood's Fireside Ale House off to a good start

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  • Bill and Karen Niemerg of Streamwood have drinks at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.

      Bill and Karen Niemerg of Streamwood have drinks at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Fireside Ale House opened in December in Streamwood.

      Fireside Ale House opened in December in Streamwood.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Bartender Lindsay Kamowski pours a beer at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.

      Bartender Lindsay Kamowski pours a beer at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Fireside Ale House's cocktails include the Fiery Blue Blaze, made with raspberry vodka, blue Curacao and lemonade.

      Fireside Ale House's cocktails include the Fiery Blue Blaze, made with raspberry vodka, blue Curacao and lemonade.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • A tequila sunrise offers an alternative to beer at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.

      A tequila sunrise offers an alternative to beer at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Co-owner Ryan Mellema shows off the nachos, left, and chicken wrap at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.

      Co-owner Ryan Mellema shows off the nachos, left, and chicken wrap at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Fireside Ale House's loaded nachos don't skimp on the toppings.

      Fireside Ale House's loaded nachos don't skimp on the toppings.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • A chicken wrap served with waffle fries is one of the choices at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.

      A chicken wrap served with waffle fries is one of the choices at Fireside Ale House in Streamwood.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
By Samantha Nelson
Daily Herald Correspondent

Since opening in December on Barrington Road, Streamwood's Fireside Ale House has been bringing out big crowds for dinner and sports games with its menu, beer selection and service. The family-friendly spot is hoping to keep growing by taking feedback to adapt the menu and adding extra entertainment.

Motif: The dining room boasts a giant projector screen on every wall and dark wood tables set with cushioned chairs. The bar area features large booths, a bank of six TVs over the bar, three dartboards and a digital jukebox. While there's a Bulleit bourbon bottle embedded in the wall and a few framed Stella posters, the rest of the decor is pretty bare.

Food: Pizza is one of the top picks here for a good reason. The crispy thin crust is still a little fluffy around the edges, and the restaurant is generous with toppings. Even a personal pie can be enough to share or provide leftovers. The ribs are also great -- fall-off-the-bone tender and served with crunchy coleslaw and a big bowl of baked beans seasoned with bacon and plenty of pepper. The signature appetizer is pork wings, a slightly charred and meaty cut of rib slathered in sauce and topped with sliced green onions.

Liquid consumption: Beer is the thing to order here, with 40 available by the bottle and 40 more on draft including Wild Onion Hop Slayer and Church Street's Heavenly Helles. Everything on tap can be ordered as part of a sampler of four brews served on a paddle, and all the servers receive beer training so they can give recommendations. A small martini menu offers options like the Fiery Frenchy made with vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice, and the Fiery Blue Blaze, a mix of raspberry vodka, blue Curacao and lemonade.

Crowd: The diverse crowd includes families with young kids and casually dressed groups of all ages. Families are especially common on Tuesdays, when kids eat free, but the young ones are all cleared out by 9 p.m., when the place takes on more of a lounge vibe with a 25-to-45 crowd.

Music: Fireside doesn't have an entertainment license yet, but it is pursuing one to add live music, DJs, country nights and karaoke.

Service: Our friendly server shared the popularity of various drinks and dishes. She made great recommendations and was happy to ask what was in a dish when we were curious.

Parking: There's plenty of parking in the spot's free lot.

Overall: Whether you're looking for an affordable place to have dinner with the kids or want to have a beer while watching a game, you'll feel right at home at Fireside Ale House.

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