Ticket to CraftCrawl, Saturday, May 18, 2013.

I ended up with 6 “Passes” to CraftCrawl in the River North area of Chicago, which took place from noon to 9 p.m. today.

The roof Grand Opening was today, May 18, 2013 at John Barleycorn’s location on Kinzie Street in River North, Chicago.

We began the journey at John Barleycorn’s, which was planning on opening its new sky roof for the first time.

It was 83 degrees out and did not rain—a beautiful day, so this stop, which lasted for close to 2 hours and involved 5 of us, was definitely the best. I love the ambiance of the place, and the beers were $4 while the Gentleman Jack (7&7, basically), which are usually $11, were only $5. We ended up eating onion rings, small beef tenderloin and hamburger sliders and enjoying ourselves until approximately 4:30 p.m. when we moved next door to Moe’s Cantina.

Manager Emmett Kelly (left) and owner Sam Sanchez (right) at John Barleycorn’s (also a force in Moe’s Cantina and 4 other bars, with other investors).

Both restaurants feature beautiful Chicago brick and woody paneling with big booths. Emmett Kelly is the General Manager of John Barleycorn’s and is pictured with one of the owners, Sam Sanchez. We also enjoyed Moe’s, which was far less crowded, as the brand new roof was all the rage and the Eurovision competition was on the big screen, with one table waving flags from the UK, Sweden and Germany.

Looking down on the crowd at John Barleycorn’s from the steps leading to the roof.

After these 2 stops, we moved on to English, which is nearby. The sign needs work. Some of the neon was not lighting, and it was small and crowded. We watched the Preakness on the TV set there, and I was rooting for “It’sMyLuckyDay”, which finished second, and the horse ridden by Rosie, the female jocket (Lute5?) which finished third.

Moe’s Cantina, right next door to John Barleycorn’s at 149 W. Kinzie St. in River North, Chicago.

We left English and journeyed to Mercer 113 (which one group of young people told us had closed; it hadn’t), the Bull and Bear and the Hubbard Inn. The Hubbard Inn was interesting. It was very dark and the rest rooms were extremely cold. Still, it had an interesting aura of its own and we met a friendly couple from England with ties to Australia who now live in the suburbs. Sandra from London was lovely and, after we learned we would all be going to see the Rolling Stones on the same night (May 28th), we took our leave and headed out to find Rock It Bar and Grill, American Junkie and Public House.

I have to be honest and say that the first two at 149 W. Kinzie St. right next door to one another were the very best of the bunch, although I would consider the outdoor seating of some others during summer.

Entry for the Celebrity Cruise give-away, e-mailed in.

We then came home, had to take pictures of ourselves with our “stamped passports” and mail them to [email protected] and post on our Facebook pages and that of CraftCrawl. I was successful with mine. Not sure if I got my spouse’s up or not, but tried.

Craig hopes his stamped passport is a winner in the Celebrity Cruise drawing.

We then grabbed a cab for my digs near the Field Museum and attempted renting the movie “Gangster Squad” from the paid DirectTV service. It cost $5.99 and only showed at certain times. Basically, you taped it and played it when you wanted. It was a first for me in 8 years.

A very beautiful day.

My feet hurt.