Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Celtic Knot Public House to reopen in June, aims to serve as community hub

Daily file photo by Gabe Bider
Co-owner Liz Breslin said she hopes the new location of the Celtic Knot Public House will serve as a community gathering spot, just like the original pub.

Evanston resident Rives Collins said the Celtic Knot Public House reminded him of the American sitcom “Cheers.”

“People would walk in the bar, and someone would call out their name to welcome them,” Collins said. “This was the kind of place where people knew your name and were friendly and welcoming.”

The Irish-style public house, located at 626 Church St., served as a community hub for 18 years, until it closed last April.

However, the beloved Evanston staple is set to return in June. Owners Liz and Patrick Breslin signed the lease for a new location at 2022 Central St. in February, Liz Breslin said.

The Breslins were forced to close at the Church Street location because business was not sustainable after the pandemic, Liz Breslin said. She added that the couple had already been looking for a smaller, cozier spot for their pub prior to the closing.

The new location is currently undergoing renovations, mainly for aesthetic purposes, she added.

The married couple has started a GoFundMe page to help finance these renovations. As of Thursday, they have raised $14,570 of their $30,000 goal.

According to the page, the funds will be used to install a welcome sign and a fireplace — both of which are essential elements of an Irish pub, Patrick Breslin said. The welcome sign is the first thing people see when they enter, and the fireplace is meant to be a spot for people to gather, tell stories and play music.

“It is a neighborhood gathering place where people feel welcome no matter where they’re from, and part of that is making it cozy and welcoming,” he said.

The couple also applied for grants to help with renovation costs but have not heard back about the status of their applications, Liz Breslin said.

Patrick Breslin said they turned to crowdsourcing — as banks don’t typically consider small businesses for loans — which proved successful due to the outpouring of support from the community.

“There were so many people that were asking, ‘Hey, how can we help get the Celtic Knot open again?’” he said. “After we looked at every other resource, we felt that that was the best way to go about it.”

The new Celtic Knot will feature a smaller menu and host similar storytelling and live music events, Liz Breslin said.

Collins said one of his favorite things about the pub was that it “celebrated” the arts. He said he is eager to attend such events at the new location.

The original Celtic Knot occasionally served as a place for local organizations to hold community meetings, something Liz Breslin said she hopes will continue at the new location. She said this is their way of giving back to the community that supports them.

Collins said the reopening will be “glorious” for new and old members of the Celtic Knot community.

“I think about all of the laughter and friendships and creative projects that have been born there, all of the great first dates that people have had,” he said. “I think it is so special and (I’m) really thrilled that this community center is coming back.”

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