Miller’s Pub’s name is a little misleading. It sounds like they’d just have standard bar food and it’s your run-of-the-mill pub that’s on every corner in the city. Those familiar with this Chicago institution know better.
It was originally opened in 1935 by the Miller family and purchased by the Gallios brothers in 1950. The four young men couldn’t afford to change the sign, so it remained Miller’s. The restaurant is still owned by the family, and although only one of the brothers is still alive, he or one of the next generation is usually present.
The bar itself stretches the length of the north side of the building, with a row of booths across from it and barstools facing the street. Most of the time it’s filled with regulars, but the place gets really packed when there are conventions or festivals.
The restaurant is unpretentious. Unadorned dark wood tables in cushionless booths make you feel like you’re in a place with some history. Of course, that’s helped by the pictures of celebrities and sports figures dating back over 60 years! Two of them are Chicago sports legend Bill Veeck (who still has his own corner) and the venerable Frank Sinatra.
Miller’s menu has multiple personalities, with the sandwiches and wings you expect to find at a pub, and the fare of an Italian Steakhouse, plus eggs and many varieties of broiled fish. The creme de la creme, though, are their ribs. Those are what they’re really known for and are considered some of the best in town, in a city that has stiff competition in the BBQ arena. Just don’t expect a whole lot of frills. Their balsamic dressing is curiously similar to Italian. My server may have made a mistake, but I didn’t really care because, whatever it was, it was good! (Dieters should get it on the side because they positively drench the lettuce.) My salmon was a little overcooked, but my Texan friend said his butt steak was one of the best he’d ever had, and you know how Texans are about their meat.
Service is no-nonsense. Many of them have been there for more than a couple of decades, so they’ve seen it and heard it all, especially considering they’re one of the only places in the Loop that’s open until 4am, and serving food until 2am.
134 S Wabash
Hours: Daily 11am to 2am, Bar open until 4am