The Sportsman’s Lounge is reopening today after being closed since the beginning of the year. The longtime neighborhood restaurant and tavern was purchased in March by four local investors, Greg Sronce, Matthew Davlin, Zach Washko and Dan Moja. They purchased the business at 229 W. Mason from Ralph “Pat” Patkus, who had operated the tavern since 2008.
The new owners originally hoped to quickly reopen the business following some cosmetic updates, but Greg Sronce said, “It turned into a restoration more than anything.” Extensive renovation work was required for both the inside and outside of the building, and “supply chain issues, construction needed, finding people to do the work, a little bit of everything” led to multiple delays in reopening, he said. “It was in really rough shape, but now we’ve gotten all the approvals from the city and Public Health.”
The building dates to the late 1800s, and Sronce said the owners have done a “complete, comprehensive history on it.” Beer bottles from American Brewing Company in Pekin were found during the renovations, and they will be on display along with other old photos and memorabilia.
Originally used as a livery stable, the property has been a neighborhood bar operating under various names since 1935. Sronce said he’s talked to many people who have memories of being there with parents or grandparents. “I think people are really going to like what we’ve done with it. I hope they’ll come on down and tell us an old story about the place.”
Initially, Sportsman’s Lounge will be open for bar service from 11 a.m.-9 p.m, seven days a week. Sronce said food service will be added within the next few weeks.