Patrons enjoy music, conversation and libations at the Celtic Knot, which is celebration its 10th anniversary in business.                                                    Submitted photo                      

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

The reason was simple – fond memories – for both couples met in the cozy confines of the Evanston favorite, now 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 their team. But the weekend was just a couple of days among many great ones over the decade since the Celtic Knot first opened its revolving doors back on Jan. 10, 2005.

The vision the Breslins had 10 years ago is still clear and getting stronger day by day, they say.

The Knot is where people meet, greet, connect, tell stories, eat great food, drink good drinks and listen to music three times a week that is live, local and free. It is, in other words, an authentic Irish public house.

The hardworking staff – some there from the beginning and many for the best part of a decade – make sure the Knot is a comfortable haven for regulars, who include faculty, students and employees of nearby Northwestern University as well as visitors to Evanston.

This is what Patrick Breslin, from County Down, Ireland, and Illinois native Liz Breslin talked about before those doors opened. Back in the day, they talked with, worked with and learned from other people, not the least of them Steve Prescott, the man behind a restaurant renaissance in Evanston beginning in the mid-’80s.

Never mind the public honors, most recently its naming by Time Out as one of the top five bars and restaurants in Evanston. This place has a serious word-of-mouth reputation.

… for the people who serve its consistent and delicious food – the sausage roll, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, one of the weekly dinner specials created by long-serving head chef Carlos Perez or the unpretentious, informal tea a couple of afternoons a week.

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

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

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

The Celtic Knot celebrated 10 years with a weekend of music and storytelling Jan. 9-11 with Mad Bread (Newgrass), One of The Girls (Irish Folk) and storyteller Jim May.

All this, and as always, no cover.