After being dark for 40 years, Heisler Hospitality is around two months away from breathing new life into a long-dead Division Street tavern. Queen Mary, the forthcoming "rambunctious sailor's tavern" from the people behind Sportsman's Club, Trenchermen and their latest successful concept Pub Royale, is "45-60 days" away from opening on the Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village border (2125 W. Division), and adding what could be another refined hotspot to an area increasingly flooded with sports bars.
To rehash, Matt Eisler and company took over a neighborhood tavern more than two years ago that shuttered in 1975 following the previous owner's murder. The owner's wife ("Queen Mary") immediately closed up following the traumatic event, becoming a neighborhood fixture while the bar sat dormant for four decades.
Heisler company beverage directors Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue's concept is inspired by the British Royal Navy, and includes classic gin martinis, a "daily grog," a navy-strength old fashioned, and just two English beers on tap that can be blended into black and tans. The company has since hired Dan Smith (Barrelhouse Flat) and Mony Bunni (Sable) as co-head bartenders. What the food component will be—if any—is still under wraps.
The nautical-themed space is nearly finished, reps say, and the opening is in the home stretch. Expect the renewed tavern to set sail sometime in November.