Melanie Brandy doesn't like to think of her bar, which she runs with her husband, Kevin Scullin, as a dive. When she thinks "dive," she thinks a dark, dirty place that serves warmed up frozen food and well mixers, and that's not how she and Scullin roll.
Rather, the food's scratch-made, the drinks are bright and tingly (there's a juicer on the counter that gets used pretty much every time a drink is made) and, with a little gaming arcade, there's plenty to keep you busy besides that drink in front of you. That said, Brandy thinks the Foggy Notion's more of a "gastrodive," although she says the word that best sums the joint up is, simply, "joint."
Now about that arcade. If four classic arcade games and two pinball machines sound good to you, then you're in luck — it's got 'em. But Foggy Notion also has something that most bars don't have: a pair of skee ball lanes that'll run you just a quarter per match. Sometimes, Brandy says, guests who've scored particularly well will ask her where their prizes are, à la Chuck E. Cheese's, but the real prize is that you can actually play this game at classic 1980s arcade prices.
Skee ball tournaments, though, aren't unheard of, and they happen fairly frequently. That's when she does award prizes, mostly in the form of gift certificates. Any time is the best time to play skee ball, but the best best time is either on Monday or Tuesday nights: That's when the Foggy Notion serves Scullin's cult-favorite pierogies as a treat for its regulars. Just make sure you go early and often. Scullin makes them on Monday before the doors open, and he only makes 20 orders
The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard St., 503.240.0249