Celtic Knot Public House

Jeff Banowetz
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If we’re to believe the movies, Ireland is filled with neighborhood pubs filled with good food, good music, great beer and entertaining characters. You’ll have to visit Ireland to find out if that’s indeed true, but we do know that the stereotype certainly applies to theCeltic Knot Public House in downtown Evanston.

The bar and restaurant looks like something taken out of a movie set and dropped on Church Street, complete with the owner with the authentic Irish brogue.

“We’re a traditional Irish Pub, with good food at reasonable prices and live local music and entertainment,” said co-owner Patrick Breslin. “We’re a good place for locals and a good place for university students… We are a neighborhood place, a comfortable place to be.”

Since first opening its doors in 2005, the restaurant has become a much-loved place for listening to live local music. You can also take advantage of the Snug, a private room available for parties or to listen great storytellers from around the world who have come to the Celtic Knot.

As far as food goes, you’ve got traditional pub fare, made from scratch in-house. If you want that authentic Irish pub experience, try the fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, lamb stew, or bangers and mash. But that’s not your only option. In fact, the Celtic Knot has an extensive menu that includes sandwiches, seafood, steak and great salads.

You might also be surprised to learn—although perhaps not in Evanston—that all the coffee is fair-trade, produce is grown locally, and the poultry is free-range and all natural.

“That’s very important to us,” Breslin said. “We use local products whenever possible.”

The Celtic Knot serves a great brunch on Sundays, and an afternoon tea is served on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Mondays means live bluegrass/roots music, and Tuesdays brings traditional Irish folks music. Local bands perform on Saturday night—and there’s never any cover charge.

Of course, you can’t have an Irish pub without Guinness on tap, and the Celtic Knot comes through there. There are also another dozen draught beers available, most from Ireland and Europe. In bottles you’ll find more choices from local breweries, including 5 Rabbit Blond Ale from Bedford Park, Ill., and the Revolution Anti-Hero IPA from Chicago. If you enjoy “the water of life,” you have plenty of Irish Whiskey  to choose from, as well as a solid wine menu.

Who needs to travel to Ireland to see if the stereotype is true? Just be happy the Celtic Knot lives up to expectations here in Evanston.


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