Friday night, after a short rainfall earlier in the evening, the patio of Edgewater’s Moody’s Pub on Broadway near Thorndale is densely occupied with the late-dinner crowd. It’s a great bar in the summer, but the outdoor area doesn’t hint at the dark, dark, darkness that is Moody’s the rest of the year. Fifteen giant maple trees stretch from the cement ground towards the darkening sky, where the branches arch and reach towards each other, covering the patio like a canopy. The trees were planted when the owner, John M. Kahoun (the “M” stands for Moody) moved the pub to its current location in 1969. Originally located at North and Wells, the pub moved to a location on Larrabee when rent in that area got too expensive, and finally to its currently location on Broadway after being destroyed in a fire. The tree-branch roof is a faulty ceiling though, as there are puddles amongst all the tables. It’s as if everyone sitting at the plastic fake-wooden tables and green picnic benches, dimly lit by orange restaurant-supply candles, has just taken a shower. On either side of the patio is a strange sort of fountain, red light shining down a stream of water that falls behind a wooden curved structure. The water flows into a pond, bordered by brick.
“The patio is an escape from the city,” says John “Jake” M. Kahoun, the owner’s son, and “owner in training.” “I mean, you feel you’re either out picnicking or camping.”
The pub, in existence for nearly fifty years, attracts an eclectic crowd. It’s the kind of bar that can’t really be categorized. “I love the summertime sitting outside, especially with a group of friends, there’s nothing better. The nice thing about Moody’s is that we get all types of people, all ethnicities and all ages,” says Kahoun. It’s true: middle-aged neighborhood regulars, older patrons who have made it their summer spot for decades, Loyola students looking for something outside of the monotonous Rogers Park college bar scene—no one is out of place at the pub. “Once somebody tries it,” says Kahoun, “they are hooked.”
The pub’s selection of beer and food (which changes by the season) is not particularly expansive, though the Moody’s blue-cheese burger is delicious enough to let that slide.
“I came here for my twenty-first birthday. In was really nice, May, beginning of summer,” says a twenty-something enjoying the patio as he refills his glass from a pitcher of Anchor Steam. “A very drunk Russian man was talking to us, and hitting on all my female friends. For some reason he kept telling me how American I was.” He pulls out a cigarette—the back of the patio at Moody’s is reserved for smoking. “Then, somehow he found out it was my birthday,” he lights up, “and stumbling towards me, in a Slavic slur he says, ‘Happy Birthday, American-you!’” (Stephanie Ratanas)
Moody’s Pub, 5910 North Broadway, (773)275-2696