Clover Sports & Leisure
722 W. Grand Ave. 312-334-1934
Rating: 3 (out of four) Off to a good start
The scene: This new sports bar in the old Butterfly Social Club space has been open just a few weeks, and I won’t lie: When my friend and I arrived around 9 p.m. on a recent Saturday, it was dead. A small group dressed in business attire (who may very well have stopped in after dinner at Piccolo Sogno across the street) left soon after we arrived and until another pair of girls who lived nearby came in, we had the bar to ourselves. It's clean, but not overdone, with plenty of room at the bar and a few high tables. Flatscreens keep it sports-focused.
The drinks and food: Clover isn’t trying to be another upscale sports bar. They’ve got a simple menu of beers, but you’ll no doubt find something you like. I opted for a couple bottles of Brooklyn Lager, which cost me about $10. I thought it would pair nicely with the food my friend and I decided to order: three servings of sausage-and-pepperoni pizza rolls ($5 an order). Yes, I spend my Saturday night eating prepackaged pizza rolls, straight from the toaster oven behind the bar. We could have opted for a frozen pizza (they have a few choices) or just ordered delivery to the bar, but why bother? Pizza rolls are kind of awesome.
Bottom line: Looking for a no-frills but non-divey place to watch a game? Stop by. Don’t expect a bustling crowd yet, but with such a friendly staff, this is a solid neighborhood spot waiting to be discovered. And we did spot something on a sign in the bathroom about free hot dogs and chili during early March Madness games ...