Moody's Pub

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The splendid beer garden is why folks flock to this old-time Edgewater pub in the spring and summer. The two-tiered space has scores of tables and benches, three waterfalls, wall-crawling ivy, and bit of moonlight peeking through giant silver maple trees towering above. It's romantic here. And tables are large enough to fit groups of friends or families.

Beer choices, which include Beck's and Budweiser, aren't big here, but nobody seems to care because they're more concerned with getting their hands on a half-pound burger, king of the Moody's menu. How widespread is the reputation of the half-pound Moodyburger? "I'd say from Joliet on the south to just this side of the Arctic Circle," says owner John Moody. Other food faves are the steak and pork chop dinners during the winter months. Share what the bar calls "the biggest salad in town," which is served on a silver platter.

Inside, it's dark, really dark. The wood-paneled bar has rusty rifles and cow skulls nailed up behind it. The snug dining area has wooden tables, each with its own bowl of peanuts.

Fireplaces burn in the winter, and every table has its own bowl of peanuts. "The basic idea of Moody's is it's a place where people go not to be seen, but just to have conversation," Moody says. Why is the bar so dark? "I don't know if anybody can be romantic under a strobe light or spotlight."