By Ken Trainor
John Toomey Gallery, 818 North Blvd. in Oak Park, will auction more than 200 pieces from the saloon's collection on Saturday, March 4. A selection of items from the Robert E. "Butch" McGuire Collection will be available. It has been 11 years this May since Butch passed away at the age of 76, but his name, through the eponymous saloon, Butch McGuire's at 20 W. Division St. in Chicago, continues to live on. Some of you may have a (hazy) recollection of being there. The items in the upcoming auction are being retired from their rotation.
The collection's diverse offerings include: framed art, prints and posters, nautical and maritime objects, antique English pub signs, breweriana and advertising mirrors, steins and mugs, Waterford crystal, carved wood elements and architectural hardware, sports memorabilia, and more.
McGuire has been described as "an avid and savvy collector of everything bar or nautical related and decorated his bar extensively." He founded Butch McGuire's Saloon in 1961, after borrowing $1,500 from his mother. The bar, popular since its opening, has over the years become a Chicago institution.
His son now runs the 56-year-old establishment.
The auction begins this Saturday at 10 a.m. An open preview leading up to the auction will be held through March 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. In addition, there will be an extended evening preview on Thursday, March 2 from 5 to 7 p.m