Fire Bar can be a busy place on weekend nights, with bands scheduled to play most Friday nights this summer.
It has 32 large LCD TV screens and four huge ones, if you are looking watch a game. I was looking to try out the food, so we stopped in just before noon on a weekday to check out what was on the menu.
Located in a strip mall just off Randall Road in Crystal Lake (not far from where it becomes Lake in the Hills), the entrance is on the corner of the building facing Carlemont Drive.
As soon as you enter, you realize how expansive the interior really is, with a large bar surrounded by TVs in the back and high-top tables setup everywhere between the entrance and the bar. The stage area is to the right of the entrance, and a party room was closed off just beyond the stage.
It was a pretty quiet afternoon, and as we arrived, one person was eating on the small porch area out front and a few diners scattered throughout. If you have kids, there's a kids menu available before the bar becomes 21 and over at 9:30 p.m.
Fire Bar has an expansive beer menu for pretty much any taste. On this day, I was in more of a darker beer mood, so I ordered Revolution's Eugene porter, a hat tip to Eugene V. Debs, who led the union in the 1894 Pullman Railroad strike. My fellow diner selected Imperial Stout of Impending Doom from creative Schiller Park brewery Short Fuse. It was a large can, a dark yet somewhat sweet brew and definitely something you won't find in a lot of spots.
We started out with the spinach artichoke dip ($8.49). It came out hot, with pita chips. And it was all sitting on a faux newspaper wrap of the basketball, which is worth a thumbs up in my book.
It was a Wednesday and the special was 1/2 off a large pizza, but we were more in a sandwich and wrap mood.
I've heard good things about the wings too, and if you stop by on a Monday there is a deal for $7.99 for a basket of 10 wings and sides. The regular price is $11.49 or $9.99 for 10 boneless. Or you could order 50 regular wings for $52.99. As you would expect from a place called Fire Bar, they have some firey sauces, one marked super hot and dubbed Fire911.
There are seven burger options on the menu and I picked the Chipotle Burger ($10.49). It has pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, fried onion petals, and spicy chipotle-ranch sauce. I chose to have a side a tater tots with, and was both choices were satisfying. After filling up on the appetizer, I took half my burger home to enjoy later.
My fellow diner had the buffalo chicken wrap ($9.99). The mild sauce was spicy enough for them, and they copied my choice of tater tots on the side. Half of their meal was taken home as well.
After seeing a few of the other tables and the delicious looking pizzas they ordered, maybe next time we'll make it a weeknight out for some pizza, and if we make it a Tuesday, a little karaoke.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.
WHAT: Fire Bar
WHERE: 435 Angela Ln Unit 4 Crystal Lake IL 60014
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
INFORMATION: 815-459-FIRE (3473) or firebarparty.com