Black Door Pub took over McCue's former location in Aurora in June, offering locals a new place to watch sports and fights while enjoying some craft beers. With regular specials and DJs spinning all weekend long, the spot brings in regulars even when there's nothing exciting on TV.
Motif: A mix of brick and bright blue- and red-painted walls are decorated with UFC posters, beer signs and more eclectic ornamentation like utensils and an eye exam chart. Two projector screens in the dining room and more sets around the bar are typically tuned to sports.
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Black Door Pub255 E. Indian Trail, Aurora, (630) 264-5022
Hours: 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday
The bar regularly hosts UFC and boxing events, charging a $5 to $10 cover for boxing. Black Door also uses its pool table to host a league on Thursday nights.
Food: The quarter-pound Angus burgers served on pretzel buns with fresh-cut fries are popular, especially the signature burgers made with chorizo and avocado. Plenty of people stick to appetizers like potato skins or the nachos, which are a massive pile of chips, beef, red onion, shredded lettuce, jalapeņos and cheddar cheese. The $1 tacos on Wednesday are a great deal.
Liquid consumption: The bar's solid draft list includes Goose Island Green Line and multiple brews from Revolution, with the selection changing monthly. Drinkers also take advantage of the Jameson shot dispenser. Daily drink specials include $3 well drinks and domestic pitchers on Thursdays, $2 Rolling Rock on Sundays and $3 drafts on Tuesdays.
Crowd: Black Door Pub brings out a mostly 30-and-up local crowd that you'll find hanging around the bar with their eyes glued to the set during fight nights. Football season was very busy, with 200 people packing in during games. The space has been building a following for Blackhawks and Bulls games, with more families coming in to watch.
Service: We were quickly greeted by a friendly bartender who introduced himself and guided us through the draft list. He continued to check in regularly while we were there.
Music: DJs spin every Thursday through Sunday night, playing an eclectic mix of music, including house, old school hip-hop and Latin.
Parking: There are plenty of spots in the strip mall's free lot.
Overall: This casual spot's friendly service will make you feel at home while you enjoy a brew and some sports.