JL Beers takes burgers to a new level

JL Beers

Eatery offers quirky take on typical burger joint




Burgers, fries and local brews—really, what could be better?

All three can be found at JL Beers on Phillips Avenue, an uptown spin on the classic burger joint. Though small in square footage (waiting is a given on weekends), JL Beers is big on authentic flavor. Pro tip: with alcoholic beverages taking center stage, only those 21 and up are allowed entry, sorry underclassmen.

That wide selection of beverages alone is worth navigating the downtown parking scene for a trip to JL Beers. With a rotating menu of tap, bottled and “beertail” offerings, it’s hard to know where to begin when ordering a drink. But that’s a good problem to have. The restaurant also boasts a selection of beer flights if you’re in the mood to try a cadre of flavors, sweeter ales and mixed brews. And for the traditionalist, anything from Miller Lite to Budweiser is permanently on tap.

Beer may be the star of the JL Beers show, but burgers are what give the restaurant its staying power.

Though not as wide-ranging as the drink list, the burger offerings are sure to satisfy any beef aficionado. Start with the classics—the original hamburger stand burger, the great American cheeseburger or the classic burger—and move on to more adventurous fare with the rajun cajun, Mt. Mushmore or the commander in beef. No one burger tops $7, and most are under $5. JL Beers also offers chicken sandwiches, and any hamburger patty can be substituted for a black bean burger with wild rice and quinoa for 99 cents.

Oh, and don’t forget about the fries.

Cut and fried in-house using cholesterol-free soybean oil, you can’t go wrong with a simple sea salt seasoning for $3.19. Cajun, cheddar, BBQ and parmesan garlic seasonings are also available for the same price, while buffalo BLU, BLT BLU and loaded fries will set you back into the $5 range.

A more city-center bar than traditional burger stand, the interior of JL Beers is a haven of high-top tables, big screen TVs and baskets upon baskets of burgers. The food comes quickly, but as previously mentioned, the wait to get a table might not. As the restaurant’s tagline says: “seating for 1,000 … 47 at a time.” If you’re in the 47 you’re one of the lucky ones. If not, it might be 47 more minutes before you taste that mouth-watering bovine patty.

On the upside, there’s no table required to order a drink. So pop a squat and chat with your pals, otherwise heading back on a weeknight is always an option, as the restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.

JL Beers isn’t just your typical sports bar. It’s quirkier than that. The downtown high-low vibe continues once you step inside the restaurant’s door. Adorned with exposed brick and old-fashioned brewing paraphernalia, the bar dominates the majority of the space. As it should. But so does a painting of a medieval knight conquering a keg and a display where you can send postcards asking friends to buy you a beer in German. It’s these hints of self-deprecation that show JL Beers is in on the joke, inviting patrons to laugh along.

So what’s better than beer, fries and local brews? Maybe an evening spent at JL Beers, with a postcard to prove it.

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