One of the more saddening aspects of researching taverns is that many of them, old and new, often succumb to greater powers that be. Whether it’s money, neighborhood change, or life and death, pubs often fall victims to plain ‘ol reality and are forced to close their doors forever.
Tonight is the last night that the Ravenswood Pub will be open for its trusty, loyal neighborhood patrons that have been calling this saloon their home away from home. I first learned about the pub while I was living in Andersonville back in the mid 1990s. I remember first squawking at the looks of it – why would I go in there? But then I went in and experienced it for myself, met the philanthropic owners, heard stories from the locals and soon my newly formed question – why wouldn’t I go there? The Ravenswood Pub is exactly what a good pub should be: basic, no bells or whistles, just a place to grab a beer (craft ones at that) and converse with those around you. Below you’ll find the history of the place – text I grabbed from the (former) entry in my iPhone/Android app. Give it a read and understand why I’ll miss this joint – especially because I’ve finally perfected my Rock, Paper, Scissors skills. Nuts.
This fun little pub is snuggled away on the outskirts of Andersonville. And if it weren’t for the sign out front, you would think it was just someone’s house. In the early 1900s, this small plot of land hosted a horse stable. In the 1930s, this location was home to an auto repair shop and later it served as a railroad storage facility – the railroad still runs alongside Ravenswood Ave. Mrs. Iverson purchased the property decades ago and opened up the Ravenswood Pub. Today, she is over 100 years old and still lives next door and occasionally stops in for a cocktail.
Neighbors Ken and Lisa Hancock purchased the bar and converted it into a tavern that has flawlessly intertwined with the community. They are notorious for hosting fun events such as a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournaments and the Adopt-a-Sailor event where they provide Christmas dinner for over 100 Navy personnel stationed at the nearby Great Lakes Naval Base. Pool leagues, trivia, bags, live Jeopardy, and the beer garden provide an atmosphere that make you think you’re at a friend’s party. I’m sure Billy Corgan from the former Smashing Pumkins can to attest to its charm since he was a regular here back when he lived in the ‘hood. And while you think this simple bar would serve simple drinks, their craft beer list is outstanding and the tequila options are impressive (over 50). And clearly with the motto of, “Time Flies When You’re Having Rum”, you know fun is on the horizon.