Last Call for Chicago Bar Cars

Transit company phasing out drinks service to make space for passengers
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2008 4:18 PM CDT
Chicago commuters will be able to buy alcohol in a Metra "bar car" for the last time this week as the company phases the service out.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Chicago’s last commuter-train watering holes will grind to a halt this week, disappointing the tight-knit community of “bar car” regulars, the Tribune reports. The Metra system has been phasing out the traveling taverns in an effort to make more room for passengers, but for many the change feels like the end of a friendlier era, some say.

“We're all upset. It's like cutting off a limb,” says one rider, whose commuting companions organize 90-person excursions to Cubs games at Wrigley Field. Drinking will still be permitted in the cars, but that just won’t be the same—it’s the socializing, not the boozing, that counts. “Some people go to happy hour,” another says. “We go to the bar car.”