Wicker Parkers, meet your new spot for watching sports and getting sauced. Derek Gifford of D'Vine, the lounge that formerly rocked this address near the six corners formed by Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues, teamed up with wife Ariele to deliver on their dream of bringing the neighborhood what they felt it needed most: a dedicated sports bar. A massive projector screen behind the bar and 13 flat screens throughout can be indvidually tuned into everything from Euro soccer matchers to Big 10 tourneys to Blackhawks games. The eats are made from scratch, but unlike touting themselves as "upscale" with luxe furniture and finishes, the decor stays simple and straight-forward with hunter green walls, simple stools and a classic wood bar.
There's a decent lineup of beers by the bottle and on tap (plus a strong showing of flavored vodkas, "for the ladies," Ariele says). but it's on the pub grub menu that the "get sauced" concept actually comes in to play. Mix and match dippable apps (seasoned potato wedges, cheese sticks, tempura veggies, grilled chicken skewers) with snappy sauces (cheesy alfredo, cilantro-spiked ranch, wasabi ginger, honey barbecue) to amass your own gametime spread. Trios of sliders (from pulled pork on mini-pretzel buns to fried chicken on multigrain rolls) come sauced up, too. The dipping goes on through dessert, with mini-funnel cakes and doughnut holes with dulce de leche or coconut cream sauces to match.