Maximum Overdrive

A no-frills watering hole opens in West Town

From the suds slinger behind Matilda, this West Town watering hole got its moniker not only from the building's former occupant (a gas station and auto shop), but as a reference to coming through in the you-know-what.

Clutch's no-frills decor offers fun reminders of the venue's past, like an antique gas pump that now serves as the base of the bar's beer taps, and giant garage doors that open out to a compact garden surrounded by oxidized metal railings.

As for the menu, expect upscale turns on fast food faves, such as deep-fried hot dogs topped with a special mustard sauce and the "Clutcheasy," which boasts a beef patty steamed under a hubcap (yes, really) and slathered with a half-pound of cheddar cheese.

Wash it all down with a straightforward selection of beers (Bell's Oberon, PBR, Point and Beamish among them), plus a tightly edited wine list and classic cocktails.

This industrial-lite part of town is also home to Twisted Spoke, the biker-chic bar located just north of Clutch ... so we might detect a gearhead theme developing here.

459 N. Ogden Ave., at Grand; West Town; 312-526-3450

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