Over a recent weekend, two wedding parties used Evanston’s Celtic Knot Public House as one of the bases for their celebrations. Between dinners, receptions and tying the knot, it was back to 626 Church Street for food, drinks and hanging out.

The reason was simple – fond memories, for both couples met in the friendly confines of the Evanston favorite, now on the cusp of celebrating 10 years in business.

It was a stand out weekend for Evanston-based owners Liz Bartlow Breslin and Patrick Breslin (who met while working in a restaurant in London), and the team that they work with, but just a couple of days of many great ones over a decade since the Celtic Knot first opened its somewhat famous revolving doors back on January 10, 2005.

The vision that they had 10 years ago is still going strong and getting stronger day by day.

This is where people meet, greet, connect, tell stories, eat great food, drink good drinks, listen to music- live, local and free, three times a week – an authentic Irish public house.

The hard working staff, some there from the beginning, many for the best part of a decade, make sure The Knot is a truly comfortable venue for it’s regulars – including many faculty, students and employees of nearby Northwestern University – and visitors to Evanston.

It’s what Patrick, from County Down, Ireland, and Illinois native Liz talked about before those doors opened.

And back in the day they talked with, worked with and learnt from other people, not least Steve Prescott, the man behind a restaurant renaissance in Evanston beginning in the mid-eighties.

Never mind the public honors – most recently named by Time Out among the top five bars and restaurants in Evanston – this place has a serious word of mouth reputation…

… for its warm, efficient and knowledgeable people serving consistent and delicious food – just try the sausage roll for openers, then follow it with Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie or one of the weekly dinner specials created by long serving Head Chef Carlos Perez. Top it off with a dessert plate. It’s an unpretentious food haven on the North Shore that also serves an informal Afternoon Tea a couple of times a week.

… for its select whiskeys and top beers from the United States and Europe, including Ireland, offered in traditional Irish 20 oz pint glasses at reasonable prices ($6.25 for a 20oz Guinness).

… for its lack of televisions blaring in the bar, though one is definitely available if a group wants to get together to watch a game.

… for its Snug, a cozy private room where people can have a party or where they can come and listen to some of the best local, national and international storytellers.

 And to celebrate there will be a weekend of music and storytelling with Mad Bread (Newgrass) on Friday 9th, One of The Girls (Irish Folk) on Saturday 10th and Storyteller, Jim May on Sunday 11th. As always, never a cover.