Finn McCool's Irish Sports Pub

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The third installment of Finn McCool's (the others in Schaumburg and on Rush St.) brings a winning sports bar/restaurant concept to historic downtown Crystal Lake. McCool's pub is a riot of television (more than 60 -- even in some of the rest rooms), plus a nimble and knowing waitstaff sashaying through the crowds. The tasty pub food will never break the bank, even though the eatery is located in the building known as the Home State Bank, circa 1916. It's a good-looking Irishman with dark woods, stained glass and a colossal bar as centerpiece of the space. Comfort-hunters start with appetizers like a kettle of creamy mac 'n' cheese, just-made potato chips served with bacon and cheddar dipping sauce, Kobe sliders and addictive zucchini spears dipped in panko breadcrumbs, fried and teased with garlic butter and Parmesan. One would expect corned beef on rye and Reubens at a place called McCool's, but the 50-plus item menu include a pot roast sandwich, tender and expertly sauced baby back ribs, exceptional burgers and a Lake perch dinner that rivals any Wisconsin fish fry. You can't go wrong with any of the daily specials from the kitchen (a homemade roast chicken dinner for around six bucks?) or the bar. The onslaught of televised athletic events is tempered by karaoke for prizes at 9 p.m. Thursday and DJ taking requests Friday and Saturday nights. But you won't miss a thing sports fans -- just request tabletop speakers, which can be tuned to each individual table's game of choice to hear the play-by-play.