Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Reo Town Pub Receives A Whole New Look

Written by  Aimee West
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Everyone has that local bar that makes you feel welcome just by walking in the door. Reo Town Pub is that bar for me. Recently, the Beer Hound offices were just a spiral staircase away. On bad days, or just days we decided to close up shop early and have a beer, you could find us talking to owner Roxanne and either Jack or Sarah while they bartended.

Sometimes those talks were about what Roxanne would like to do with the bar and improvements she would like to see. Sometimes I would throw in an idea or two. I mean, I watch those make over shows, I am practically an expert.

Earlier this month Roxanne decided she was tired of talking and started to make the changes before winter hits. With a plan in place, and lots of help and support from the community, she planned a week to get everything done! A single week! If any of you caught the videos Roxanne shared of them working, you know they were working triple time to get it all done. Many of the regulars, friends and family came in to work twelve and fourteen hour days just to get it all done in time. I stopped in a few times and even helped out Friday before the big reveal. It was exciting to be part of something so fun and life changing. Let’s talk about the changes from top to bottom.

First, they tore down the old drop ceiling and finished off the vintage tin ceiling, painting it a rich black color, making the space seem wider and taller. I was especially glad to see they kept the original tin ceiling because it is such a unique feature. They also painted walls and created accent walls with corrugated steel creating a modern industrial look to the bar.

The modern industrial theme is replicated on the front of the bar top. The bar top was an old sign donated from The Riverside Church remodel. When they remodeled the space down the street, from the old bowling alley in The Cadillac Club, they kept the Lansing Recreation sign for a future project. Riverside church felt this was a wonderful use of the old sign, and boy does it look good as bar top. You will also notice the beautiful new bar back area, Sarah and Roxanne were practically vibrating with excitement when this was going in. They were also pleaesd to show off the new tap system. Now they have nineteen beers on tap including two nitro taps. 

Ryan Wert of the REO Town Commercial Association created custom tops for the old tables with historical images from the Reo Town area. He was especially pleased when the Forest Park Library and Archives were able to locate on original image of the bar from the 1940s. Ryan had this to say about the bar remodel, “The Reo Town Pub is a second home for me and many of the people who live in this area. This remodel was definitely a labor of love for the community.”

A labor of love. Ryan couldn’t have said truer words. I know many people donated their time and knowledge to get this remodel done on time and on budget, an important feat when you are a local, family owned bar. Stop in soon and see all the great changes the Reo Town Pub has undergone.

They have a few upcoming events, Flappers and Fedoras MDA fundraiser on Nov. 6 and every Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m. is Steak Night.

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.