River West Map
Find Parking | Menu

The 1890-era building that houses Emmit's is situated on a triangular lot. During Prohibition it was the Italian Savings and Trust, a bank reputed to be a haven for the Mob. The large vault is now Emmit's wine cellar. Years later, the building became a bar called O'Sullivan's, a favorite hangout of judges and firefighters, and notorious for its dwarf-tossing contests. Scenes from the movies, "Uncle Buck" and "Backdraft," the latter a film about Chicago firemen, were shot here. It's a casual place that still gets its share of judges from the O'Sullivan's days, plus downtown businesspeople. In addition to pepper and egg sandwiches, filets, shrimp scampi and some lighter fare, Emmit's offers Irish specialties such as shepherd's pie and Irish stew. It highlights local microbrews, plus a nice selection of scotches. Emmit's is a nice space, a little more airy than the traditional corner pub, with large windows fronting Milwaukee Avenue. Inside, dark wood and forest green are the primary color tones, with a lighter tile floor and brick walls. Two televisions are suspended on either side of the mahogany back bar, with two more hung from a central wooden pillar. The decor is an amalgam of sports stuff, Irish flavor and law enforcement bric-a-brac. A small library looks to be culled in large part from the partners' police curriculum texts. There is also a player piano.