The Bottle Store:
11am-2am Sunday – Friday
3pm-2am Monday – Thursday
5pm-midnight Tuesday – Thursday
5pm-am Friday and Saturday
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar has been operating in Bridgeport since 1986 as a classic slashie – half liquor store, half neighborhood tavern. It was formerly known as Kaplan’s Liquors in homage to the original owners who founded it in 1939. But everyone in the neighborhood calls it Maria’s, named after its owner, Mrs. Marszewski. In the summer of 2010 Maria handed over the reins of the business to her two sons, Ed and Mike, who have worked the counter and stick with her these past two decades. They reopened the bar and officially dubbed it Maria’s to honor their mother (who is known as the Peggy Guggenheim of Bridgeport and called ‘mom’ by many of the locals).
The DIY redo of Maria’s was overseen by Mike Marszewski. The bar showcases recycled and reclaimed hardwood flooring back benches designed and made by local architect, Charlie Vinz, chandeliers made of bomber bottles created by Rachael Marszewski, a refurbished art deco style cooler that once lay hidden in 7 layers of paint, butcher block table tops and other handmade fixtures and assorted hardware made by artist friends and family. Our design guru Michael Freimuth created the re-branding of the establishment making all our identity pieces. Maria’s is the only beer/liquor store in the neighborhood that focuses specifically on offering artisanal and craft beers and spirits for sale. And our offerings change weekly. We carry hundreds of craft beers in bottles, cans and on tap. In fact we may serve the largest selection of craft beer in the city (we currently have over 450 different beers on our menu). The bar also features traditional and remixed classic cocktails as well as many liquors, spirits and beverages distilled and brewed locally and regionally.
Maria’s will always be a work in progress. We always rotate our wine program featuring small family vineyards from around the world. Our cocktail menu is updated to provide some advanced seasonal concoctions for distinguished palettes . We also have some of the best musical programming in the city. Our critically acclaimed Music Director, Joe Bryl, curates our nightly DJ line-up. You will never see one of our DJs pander to the lowest common denominator. But most of all Maria’s is committed to our neighborhood and the communities it supports. Our business sponsors: a myriad of local media projects like Lumpen, Proximity and Matériel Magazine, Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal; numerous artist projects and festivals, like Mash Tun Fest and Version Festival; visual art is curated by local art impresario, Aron Gent; and Maria’s runs and occasional think tank for envisioning the community of the future. We also created the Community Bar Art Fund–a program where we donate funds as a quarterly artist / community organization grant.
Maria’s just completed an expansion to the original building. It features a new “Warped Space Beer Hall”, a front and back patio, and Maria’s new kitchen project, Kimski.
Kimski is a Korean Polish Street Food joint that is counter service oriented. You can order food and eat in the limited seating in the front of the addition or the food will be brought to you in the Maria’s bar, beer hall or patio areas.
The Kimski and Maria’s branding and identity were designed by Michael Freimuth and Company at Franklyn
The Design and Build of the addition of Maria’s is by Norsman Architects
We are excited to present our newly revamped beverage program. We added 24 more drafts to our original 21, bringing our total draft beers and cocktails to 48. We created a new wine program to match our cocktail and beer offerings and added a “Maria’s Basement” beer cellar/ cooler featuring whales and rare beers.
Since we have opened Maria’s has become known as one of the best places in Chicago to enjoy craft beer and cocktails. Please come and join us for a drink or some delicious food at Kimski. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us what you want to see happen here in the Community of the Future. We’d like to help.
email us if you have questions at communitybar (at) gmail.com or contact Joe Bryl at joebryl54 ( at) gmail.com .