New Bar Brings a Bit of Britain to the North Shore
Three Lions Pub boasts a cozy atmosphere, kitchen and plans to open near the end of January.
The Brits are coming, the Brits are coming — to Shorewood that is.
The British-style tavern, Three Lions Pub, is under construction with plans to host a grand opening near the end of January. It will occupy North Star American Bistro's former space at 4515 N. Oakland Ave.
The pub, of course, will feature broadcast soccer matches and fish 'n' chips, but the owners hope it will also be something more.
"A good British pub is the focal point of the community where everyone interacts with their neighbors," co-owner David Price said. "We want to be that place where people feel cozy, like an extension to their living room."
Part of the atmosphere is feeling cozy. In the new bar's living room, patrons will be greeted by Victorianesque lights, a roaring fireplace and what Price refers to as "gastropub" cuisine.
"A gastropub is a good traditional pub, nothing hoighty-toighty, but it serves fine, quality food at bar prices," Price said.
Jim Plaisted, executive director of the Shorewood Business Improvement District, is optimistic about the business' chance for success and is excited to see a vacant space filled.
"They have such energy and enthusiasm, and a very passionate idea on their hands," Plaisted said. "If they execute it, I'm sure they'll be successful."
Price and business partner Christopher "Tink" Tinker talk openly about that passion, referring to how they "can't wait, can't wait" until it's finished. For them, the opening is the culmination of a years-long dream.
"It's something we've always wanted to do," Tinker said. "Bring a piece of home over here, you know."
"Home" is northwest England, where Tinker and Price grew up within miles of one another. Both came to the area to play soccer for Cardinal Stritch University and bartended in Shorewood's Brit Inn. The inn burned down in May 2009 and left the area without a British establishment.
"I think that now there is a good opportunity to open a place for working professionals and neighborhood folk," Tinker said. "With the inn gone, there was a bit of a void.
Three Lions aims to fill that void. The owners hope their business will become a gathering place and an anchor in what is becoming a growing entertainment district in the Oakland Avenue and Kensington Boulevard neighborhood.
"People can come to the north side of Shorewood and do the rounds," Price said. "Pop in for a drink there and have a meal here, or reverse. Seems like we've all struck a nice balance."