Community gathering spot with a grand facade
In 1892, immigrant entrepreneur saloonkeeper John Dusek and architects Faber & Pagels created a community hall, tavern and residential space for living, eating and gathering to appreciate culture for the blue-collar, then-predominately Czech community.
Stone by stone
The building, with its cut-stone front made of Bedford limestone and rock-faced masonry, is notable on the corner of an otherwise less-ornate block, inspired as it is by the grand style of the Prague Opera House. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 1989.
Dusek’s Board and Beer is named after John Dusek, the first saloonkeeper. The building has changed hands quite a bit over the last century, but in 2013, hospitality collective 16” on Center’s Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden completed a renovation with the goal of keeping the soul and architectural legacy of the building in place. Check out the ceiling tiles shown here at Dusek’s.
Original archways were also preserved during the renovation. Upscale pub grub is the order of the day here, with snacks like a sourdough pretzel with housemade butter, caraway, parmesan and pickled mustard, which can be found at both Dusek’s and the Punch Room.
Beer for the community
At Dusek’s, the beer selection is mega — and meaningful. Through Dusek’s Cause Beer program, $1 from select monthly beer purchases will go to a local non-profit organization in the community. Recently, the organization was El Hogar del Nino, a Pilsen-based organization focused on children and families.
The vibe at Punch House is the basement of your Midwestern grandpa who fished on the Great Lakes, and it makes for a surprisingly cool setting, complete with wall-mounted fish and a big fish tank.
Punch House’s namesake beverage is available in several versions, including Across the Midwest, a cauldron of Templeton rye, orange spice tea, pineapple shrub and orange bitters.
Oysters ‘n Schlitz
The high and the low meet up at Punch House.
As the Midwestern seasons shift again to warm weather, snow cones will be back and ready to chill with customers.
Bar carts are retro luxury at its best at Punch House.
Blue crab dip
Sophisticated small plates pair perfectly with all the punch and champagne.
Punch House’s curated collection of knick-knacks makes for interesting conversation.
The fish tank provides moody atmosphere in Punch House.
The Tack Room
The Tack Room
Another hidden treasure inside Thalia Hall
Stay for the show
The theater portion of the building — also pure architectural eye candy — has been restored into an award-winning music venue, regularly hosting such musical acts as Yo La Tengo and The Hush Sound.