Barstool Chicago Bar In River North Will Be Open To The Public This Weekend, Per Dave Portnoy

Written By Joe Boozell on January 6, 2022
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Barstool River North, a Barstool sports bar, will be open to the public in Chicago on Saturday, according to Dave Portnoy.

Portnoy is in Chicago for the launch and announced the news on The Dave Portnoy Show. The bar will technically open on an invite-only basis on Friday.

You will need to be vaccinated in order to enter, as the city of Chicago implemented an indoor vaccine mandate effective Jan. 3.

And for those wondering, no, you will not be able to register for a Barstool Sportsbook account at the bar. That is only possible at Hollywood Casino Aurora.

However, the bar will have a retail sportsbook feel with several TV screens, drinks and food. Those who already have Barstool downloaded on their phone can bet on the app there, but those who do not will be out of luck for the time being.

In-person registration goes away on March 5. Then, it will be possible to register for any online sportsbook in Illinois from a mobile device.

The bar will be located at the old Henry’s at 18 W Hubbard StRiver North sees plenty of foot traffic, so one would expect this spot to be a hit.

Penn National Gaming President and CEO Jay Snowden said near the end of 2021:

“We anticipate launching the first two stand-alone Barstool-branded sports bars in the coming months in Philadelphia and Chicago, which will represent an extension of our omni-channel strategy to more targeted, flexible, and highly valued locations.”

The new Barstool Chicago office, which Portnoy visited for the first time this week, is located in Lakeview.

Barstool in Illinois thus far

Barstool launched in Illinois last March while there was still online registration. A few weeks later, Gov. Pritzker brought back in-person registration.

The decision hurt Barstool more than any other live operator, as it only had three weeks to register new users. With that said, had Barstool been prepared to launch earlier, it would currently post better numbers in the Land of Lincoln.

Still, Barstool is faring decently in IL. It was the No. 4 operator by handle in October, the latest revenue report. It trails DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers in handle on a monthly basis.

And for reference, DraftKings posted more than four times the handle that Barstool did in October.

Though once online registration is back, expect Barstool to surge up the rankings. And until the DraftKings Sportsbook opens at Wrigley Field, it will have the only intentional place to bet (even if it’s not an official sportsbook) in downtown Chicago.

A bar is also coming to Philadelphia

As Snowden mentioned, a Barstool Bar is also headed to the City of Brotherly Love.

Portnoy also referenced the Philadelphia bar on his podcast.

That will be located at the former Brickwall Tavern at1213 Sansom Street. It should launch not too long after the Chicago opening.

Photo by AP Photo/G-Jun Yam
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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