The Red Lion Pub Is Reborn as Chicago’s Finest British Bar

The resurrection of the old haunt has plenty of beer, vaulted ceilings, and quite possibly the perfect bartender for the place.

Bar at the Red Lion Pub   Photo: Peter Ranvestel

The resurrected Red Lion Pub (2446 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park, 773-883-2422), a beloved Chicago spot that closed in 2008, is the ideal imitation of a British bar.

First off, it’s gorgeous inside, with a vaulted wood-beamed ceiling, cozy fireplaces, and plenty of iron fixtures. The walls are lined with bookshelves, and each room of the place has a different theme for its book collection—the main bar area focuses on English history, another emphasizes World War II, and the whole place has that inviting old-library smell. With nice lighting and quiet music, it’s the kind of bar that’s made for having a long conversation as you toast a few pints.

While you talk, work through a beer selection that’s heavy on U.K. options, like Marston’s Pedigree and Spitfire Kentish Ale. And if your conversation needs help, you may hear from owner and sometime bartender Colin Cordwell. The son of the original Red Lion owner, Cordwell cracked jokes with the guests on the night we visited—and, as an aside, delivered a detailed explanation of the Boer Wars.

Here’s what else we saw when we swung by.

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