Cherished local drinking institution Guthries Tavern is slated to reopen under new ownership nearly a year after it closed its doors in Wrigleyville, much to the surprise and delight of the bar’s many fans.
New owner Matt Baldino, also behind Commonwealth Tavern in Roscoe Village, sparked fervent social media chatter this month when he announced the change in ownership and told the public to “stay tuned” on the Guthries website, first reported by Block Club Chicago. At that point his name wasn’t yet attached to the 34-year-old fixture on Addison Street, but the Tribune has since connected the dots and reported a June 1 reopening date.
Baldino promises to preserve the furnishings and quirky culture that distinguished it from neighboring sports bars and made Chicagoans fall in love with Guthries in the first place.
Board games will remain a focus, with plans to arrange trivia nights and gaming leagues, and patrons can expect plenty of beer and classic cocktails like martinis and Manhattans. Rogers Park-based pizzeria Candlelite will supply frozen pizzas, and ownership aims to someday add a food truck for a broader range of dining options. There will be a handful of pandemic-era changes, such as a 40-seat outdoor patio, front windows that open, and a new ventilation system.
The tavern’s many fans were heartbroken when Leith announced last July that he was closing the bar, ostensibly for good. Many descended upon the bar to say goodbye and wax poetic about the friends and lovers they met there.
Guthries isn’t the only local icon felled by the pandemic that could return in the coming months. History bar and bowling alley Southport Lanes is now in limbo more than six months after ownership announced last September that it would permanently close after nearly a century. Block Club in January reported a possible spring reopening, but the property is still listed for lease on a commercial real estate website. Owner Steve Soble (District Brew Yards) isn’t committing to anything, telling eater that he’s still evaluating his options and won’t make a decision until Chicago bars are allowed to open at full capacity.
- New Guthries Tavern Owner Promises To Preserve Beloved Wrigleyville Bar: ‘I’m Buying Guthries To Keep It Guthries’ [Block Club]
- The rumors are true: Guthrie’s Tavern in Lakeview is reopening after sale to owner of Roscoe Village bar [Tribune]
And in other news…
— Chicagoans are mourning the death of Jerry Ranalli, founder of local Italian restaurant mini-chain Ranalli’s, who died of cancer on April 15 at age 83. A charming and stylish host, Ranalli also operated Cafe Hamburg and the Ultimate Sports Bar & Grill in Lincoln Park. The Sun-Times has more on Ranalli’s life and legacy.
— At 18 years old, Jonathan Macedo could be Chicago’s youngest restaurant owner after his parents last November signed over their Mexican spot, Peke’s Pozole, in Archer Heights near Midway International Airport, to him. Many parents may have trouble imagining handing over their livelihood to a high school senior, but Macedo is by all accounts an unusual young man who was already taking care of everything at the restaurant anyway. The Tribune has more on this story.
— Andersonville’s neighborhood farmers market is slated to resume on May 12 on Catalpa Avenue between Clark Street and Ashland Avenue, according to Block Club. The market will allow walk-up sales, online orders, and contactless pickup, and patrons should expect to wear masks and socially distance. The first 30 minutes of every market event is reserved for customers 60 and older as well as other vulnerable shoppers. Markets are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through October 20.