Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home Away From Home

The displaced and faithful have been gathering on the 6th floor, Skyline Lounge of Lincoln Square's historic, DANK-Haus, German Cultural Center. Pulling up to the bar for a pint of beer, RL patrons have been greeted by Joe Heinen, co-owner and bartender extraordinaire of the Red Lion. Meet Ups are every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.

Copyright Christine Aquila 2008

Where: DANK-Haus, 4740 North Western Avenue, Chicago
6th Floor Skyline Lounge
When: 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 7pm-1.30am


Monday, October 20, 2008


It's here! It's a go! It's the new Red Lion front elevation for all to see.

After months of planning, meetings with the city, alderman, neighborhood groups, architect, green builders and contractors, the plans are in! So, a drum roll please! Announcing, the unveiling of the new Red Lion Pub! 2446 North Lincoln Avenue, will see a new "green" greystone building with two floors of restaurant, traditional pub with a larger, increased seating bar, cozy gas fireplace in the dining area, along with quiet drinking and dining snugs on the lower level. Upstairs, two distinct separate, traditional dining areas.

The traditional, red telephone booth, stained glass, brass fireplace and fireplace mantel along with the old, oak bar front will still grace the downstairs pub.

The second floor will feature another gas fireplace, built in bookshelves, antiques and acid etched mirrors from the old Red Lion.

We have kept the same basic configuration of the old restaurant and have added much needed updates from the 1880 original building. Bathrooms? Increased, new, wheelchair and women friendly!

The menu? Still wonderful, traditional pub grub downstairs and up. Fish 'n Chips, Shepherd's Pie, Ploughman's Lunch, Irish Stew, Sausage Rolls and Beef Guinness look forward to making their way back on the menu. We will have a larger, more upscale menu with increased wine selections on the second floor.

Remember when our kitchen closed at 11pm? With the new Red Lion Pub, we will be able to offer many items for the late nighter still wanting food at our downstairs bar. Devonshire spread, Cheese and Fruit plate along with our Irish Stew and Shepherd's Pie will be a late night staple and available for our patrons even after the kitchen closes.

So, this is just a look at the new Red Lion Pub. More details and views to come in the next few weeks.

For those of you wish to keep updated, please keep checking back to this blog or join us for continued Red Lion meet-ups at The Skyline Lounge, 6th Floor, DANK-Haus Chicago, 4740 North Western Avenue. The DANK-Haus has been very generous in allowing Red Lion regulars to "meet-up" in their wonderful, Lincoln Square building. The "regulars meet-up" is every second and fourth Wednesday evening. Pull up a bar stool, view the gorgeous views and sunsets from the sixth floor of the DANK-Haus and meet up with some great people!

Keep you posted and thank you for all your support over the years.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another Bar Quote

Yes. Hard hitting journalism here.

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
-Winston Churchill

Oh my! Did he really say that?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What is the Red Lion You Say?

This sceptred isle
This pub, built by nature herself
This happy breed of misogynistic men
This little world, this precious bar set in a silver sea
Which serves in it the office of the wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house
Against the envy of less happier bars
This blessed plot, this pub, this RED LION!

These my friends, are the words Shakespeare intended to write.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Bar Is Like Sacred Soil

You do a lot of thinking and reminising when you pack things up to be moved. From the everyday dishes, to the glassware, there is something about wrapping them up individually and placing them in boxes to be sealed and opened again in a new setting. You can't help but get a little misty-eyed at things that you see on a daily basis, now taken down, bubble wrapped and placed unceremoniously along the wall to be carted off in the U-Haul, to a numbered dimensional slot in a storage unit. I find that I am thinking on things that I haven't thought of in years; running over the first drink that I had at the Red Lion, where I sat, what I had to eat and even with whom I met on that particular evening. I see the faces of all the patrons over the years, some who have moved, some who have married, some who now have children of their own and that generation now new Red Lion patrons. I even think on the bittersweet memories of some who are no longer with us; their faces and voices and especially their laughter. I know that in the few days to come, I will have to help dismantle the front bar of the Red Lion. I have this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that the bar itself will let out groan at the first nail plank pulled back. The old bar has a life of its own and has seen and heard more than life itself in the 24 years that it has been up! 38 wedding celebrations, countless birthdays and anniversaries, first dates and divorces, proposals and a few indiscretions, mortgage burnings, christenings, promotions, going away parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, TV premieres, theatre performances, literary readings, art exhibitions, celebrities, (Ah, yes, the celebrities!)protests, political parties, and numerous musical performances. The list goes on and on!

Yes, a bar is like sacred soil. It is as if we need to call in someone to lay it temporarily to rest, to say a prayer over; a shaman called in to hold the voices within the wood. It needs to be able to be placed carefully to rest like a revered family member, somewhere safe, somewhere quiet, some place very much in focus. For the bar itself will once again be gently laid out, shined and polished, placed carefully back together, resurrected if you will, front and center in the new structure of the Red Lion Pub, to be able to hear the new voices, greet the new and old patrons and to provide once again, the life essence of the pub.

The physical and spiritual bar will once again be erected to hear the celebration of glasses raised; toasting to life, to happiness, to success, to new beginnings!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Drinking Quote of the Day

Drink today, and drown all sorrow;

You shall perhaps not do it tomorrow;

Best, while you have it, use your breath;

There is no drinking after death.

-Ben Johnson, English Dramatist and Poet, 1572-1637