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Guthries Tavern
Photograph: Martha Williams

Wrigleyville bar Guthries Tavern is reopening under new ownership

An update on the business's website suggests that the beloved board game bar is coming back from the dead

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

For fans of drinking beer and playing board games, no Chicago restaurant and bar permanent closure was more painful than the demise of Wrigleyville institution Guthries Tavern. Management announced the bar's closure via an Instagram post last July, noting that with "ongoing COVID restrictions, we don't see a way we can survive." The bar served its final pints on July 23 before the 34-year-old tavern was shuttered for good.

But it's hard to kill a legend, and Guthries Tavern seems to being coming back from the dead. Block Club Chicago was the first to report a message posted on the bar's website, announcing "Guthries is now under new management. Stay tuned..." Another banner on the website reads, "Stay tuned for the reopening of Guthrie’s Tavern!" According the Chicago Tribune, the new owner of the bar is Matt Baldino, who also owns Roscoe Village bar Commonwealth Tavern—and he's aiming to welcome back customers on June 1.

The reopening is great news for anyone who has ever cherished an evening spent in the Wrigleyville haunt playing Scrabble while sipping a beer from local breweries like Half Acre or Dovetail. And the reopening will hopefully set a precedent for the revival of other gone-too-soon local businesses. If places like Guthries, California Clipper and Crown Liquors can find new ownership willing to revive them, why not Fountainhead, Danny's Tavern or Jeri's Grill?

Here's hoping that the new owners of Guthries Tavern keep the expansive collection of board games, the great selection of local beer, the ivy that blankets the building's facade and the coffee can crammed with menus from nearby restaurants. We're looking forward to having a drink and showing off our Boggle skills inside the tavern someday soon.

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