Big Joe's

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This Ravenswood neighborhood joint may look like your typical dive bar with a modest, brick exterior, wooden walls, carpeted floors and cheap drinks, but on most weeknights, the place gets hopping with a diverse crowd--from bikers to college students and people from their 20s to 60s--playing pool or old-school, steel-tipped darts. The weekends are no different. On Friday nights, regulars flock to the scene for the popular live turtle races. That's right: Interested participants buy drinks for raffle tickets, and if picked, race their assigned turtle on the bar's pool table upstairs. Even those who come in dead last win a free drink. Not your, uh, speed? Once in a while, bands come in to play live music.