Here's a peek into dive bar Lou Jones Inn's rebirth as Sycamore Den, the new Bells & Whistles-designed bar and lounge opening in Normal Heights on Friday.
In one corner sits "Ruth", an antique piano that owner Nick Zanoni had converted into a working player piano, though instead of old timey music from a paper piano roll, this one runs off an iPod and will play current stuff.
Wood, naugahyde and vintage replica (non-functioning) shotguns abound, and the space is dominated by a majestic floor-to-ceiling brass fireplace that separates the bar from a sunken seating area. There's room for 95 people in the bar, with seating for 56.
Fiddles, banjos and old tools are used as decoration, and selected dad photos from a recent contest adorn the bathroom; one wall there's stacked logs.
The cocktail program (13 drinks, all $8) was curated by Eric Johnson, who'll split his time between Sycamore Den and Noble Experiment; Johnson compares hanging out in the handsome space to "having a party in your dad's basement". The party starts at 5 p.m. this Friday; hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Friday and noon to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
· Sycamore Den [Facebook]
· All Eater Inside Coverage [~ESD~]