Poor Phil's Bar & Grill

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The pub with the biggest beer menu in Oak Park — boutique brews by the bottle and on draft, snakebites galore, black and tans — is also one of the kid-friendliest spots in town, like pubs in the old country. 


That's all thanks to Dennis Murphy, known by many as the dean of Oak Park restaurateurs. Murphy, who opened his first place here in 1975, calls himself instead the father of a flock of kids. And rather than talking about how diners at Poor Phil's differ, he turns conversation to what they share: Every table has a centerpiece anchored with an American flag. 

 

Poor Phil's Bar & Grill is Murphy's second restaurant at the Carleton Hotel, and his third dining establishment in Oak Park. The original owner of Philander's, Murphy also had an earlier place: a sandwich shop just north of Lake Street on Marion. It was called Murphy's Off the Mall, and Dear Old Oak Parkers still rave about its burgers, grilled cheese, and hot chocolate. A flashback to the sandwich shop surfaces on Poor Phil's lunch and dinner menus. Amid all the seafood choices, there's this beefy celebration: Ya' Gotta Luv' a Murphyburger — a third-pound cheeseburger topped with grilled onions and an American flag.

 

Signatures at Poor Phil's come in multiples: late-night hours — one of a few Oak Park restaurant kitchens open after 10 p.m. six nights a week; early-morning hours — a full breakfast menu, including an egg dish with snow crab; popcorn — baskets of it, everywhere, and all free; the outdoor cafe — its mid-April opening defines spring in Oak Park. And Murphy himself — hopping atop the bar for a photo session, only after changing into his barkeep uniform: a red cocktail shirt.

Reader Comments

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Tommy  

Posted: June 25th, 2014 10:22 PM

Do they still serve Eggs Benedict for breakfast there? Best I ever had. Haven't been there for a few years.

Just look at OPRFFB Posts  

Posted: January 29th, 2014 1:22 PM

Just check any restaurant recommendation on this site. OPRFFB will jump in and tell us all how wonderful Kevil's is. I have tried the place. The first time it was good (but $$$$). The second time it sucked (but still $$$$). No need to get bit a third time! It's ashame; Set Back No. was such a good place to eat back in the day. Kevil's not so much.

Frankie McMahon from River Forest  

Posted: January 29th, 2014 12:28 PM

@ Letteman: Kevils? Methinks you earned your OPRF letter because you played with out a helmet.

Richard from FP  

Posted: January 29th, 2014 10:48 AM

Kevil's? You're kidding, Right? Rodney Dangerfield and Milton Berle, I say more like Alan Fundt or Jerry Lewis, no so funny. The first thing Kevil's needs to figure out is are they a bar or Butt Steak House, just change the name to that. And then if its such a great joint, why is it for sale? Also, stopped by there before it opened and the water disconnect notice was stapled to the front door. You know its rolling down hill when they aren't paying the utilitys for 3 month stretches. Avoid.

Observer  

Posted: January 28th, 2014 7:26 PM

Aside from "Kevils" ;) one of my favorite spots in the area, love it! Hacker Pschorr & shrimp!

OPRFFB Letterman 1964 from River Forest  

Posted: January 28th, 2014 6:51 PM

On a 1 to 10 scale it is at best a 5. For a real great dining experience I suggest you try Kevils. This local steakhouse offers a butt steak that is to die for. Try the secret recipe has browns for a real treat. Friendly staff and they know how to make a killer Manhattan. The owner does schtick, funnier than all get out. I would say a cross between Rodney Dangerfield and Milton Berle. Great wine selection and wonderful value. The owners wife is a real gas, if you get my drift.

Troy from Edwardsville, IL  

Posted: February 12th, 2013 1:55 PM

Best food in town! And another customer actually covered our bill. Thanks, Margaret!

Mrs Margaret Clowne from River Forest, Il  

Posted: November 3rd, 2012 12:50 PM

I took my friend there for lunch and my credit card number was solen there according to the credit card company I will not return to a dishonest place I hope the waitstaff enjoys his new luggage

Matt from OP from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2011 3:04 PM

Poor Phil's is my hangout of choice in OP. They have an excellent beer selection. I can always try a new craft beer from their daily menu. Love their hot wings and sweet potato fries and you can't beat free popcorn!

John  

Posted: November 4th, 2010 3:18 PM

My favorite hamburger place in Oak Park, and I love the sides. My wife loves the fish. Good food, pleasant wait staff, and a "good time" place for casual eats.