Longman & Eagle
2657 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago
Designers: Cody Hudson and Robert McAdams
An artist, carpenter, concert promoter, and venue owner walk into a bar. This is not the start to a bad joke. It’s the collaborative partnership behind Logan Square’s newest corner pub, Longman & Eagle. Situated in the heart of the neighborhood, across from the Logan Square subway entrance, Longman is a fresh approach to the old-school—and quite possibly extinct—Chicago inn and pub. All of the traditional elements are available, food, stiff drinks, and rooms for rent, but updated with solid craftsmanship and subtle, thoughtful design.
The design is the brainchild of artist and graphic designer Cody Hudson of Struggle Inc. and Robert McAdams of Mode Carpentry. (The other business partners include Bruce Finkelman and Peter Creig Toalson of the Empty Bottle, a venerable Chicago music venue.) “We were friends who wanted to collaborate on a project together, something going back to a traditional Chicago neighborhood gathering place, but a contemporary interpretation,” Hudson said.
The space is divided into a more traditional front bar and open kitchen and a separate rear dining area. McAdams built out the existing bar in the front room, extending it to carve out space for a DJ and installed a handsome wide-planked ceiling. Complimenting the classic front décor, the rear dining room is topped out by Hudson’s sculpture installation, wood scraps from his studio cut and painstakingly installed by hand to the ceiling. Anchoring the rooms are a combination of old and new: custom hickory tables and a hodgepodge of wooden dining chairs found on Craigslist, strengthened and painted black.
Hudson’s graphics can be found everywhere, from the menus, to the posters, the signage, and even the bathroom wallpaper. The latter is composed of pages from Hudson’s new art-filled journal/zine created for and distributed at Longman. With each new addition, pages will be pasted to the walls, creating a constantly varying collage. “Little bits of art will pop up—never a gallery or exhibition space—creating an ever-changing presence of different objects and different people,” he said.
Work is still underway on the six pension-like rooms available for rent on the second floor. The rooms will provide a convenient resting place just a small stumble away from the bar.