Inside the Remodeled Carol’s Pub, Uptown’s Reborn Late-Night Dive

Will customers will line up late night along Clark Street?

The bar’s now 100-percent Confederate Flag free

Venture into the remodeled Carol’s Pub — which opens on Thursday night after debuting on Tuesday and taking Wednesday off — and customers will notice the refinished bar, walls, and light fixtures all shine brighter. The walls are decorated with new country music photos and vintage signs showing customers that new ownership cares about the bar’s 45-year-old country legacy at 4659 N. Clark Street.

New ownership wants dancing, live music, and late-night shenanigans. And they’ve taken great effort into restoring the bar to keep fans happy. But one part of the bar’s history that has no place now is the Confederate Flag. Patrons at the old bar may have noticed a few trinkets with the symbol. While the flag holds a complicated identity, it’s come to symbolize Southern racism against African Americans.

Check out the new windows on the right.

Transportation writer John Greenfield tweeted on Wednesday about a 5-foot by 5-foot sign screwed into the wall that bothered him during his Tuesday visit. The sign was from the band Alabama and featured the battle flag. The sign was similar to this one. Though the band one was once proud of the imagery, they have since distanced itself and dropped its usage on merchandise. They’re not the only ones.

Greenfield posted an open letter to owner Ed Warm asking him to take the signs down. While supporters of the flag still claim Southern pride, Greenfield wrote that “any debate over the issue was settled” after the “[sic] Charleston, South Carolina church shooting perpetuated by a man who posed with the flag prior to murdering nine African-American churchgoers.”

Warm apologized in his own tweet and wrote he’d quickly take the sign down. He “didn’t even realize” that the sign included the flag; he just likes the band. By the time of Eater’s Wednesday afternoon photoshoot, the sign had been removed from the wall and was laying in the office. So, as far as the space’s design, Carol’s is now 100-percent free of Confederate flags.

(From left to right, clockwise) double Carol Burger (Merkt’s cheddar, Carol’s sauce, pickle, tomato, lettuce, red onions), fried bologna (white bread, mayo, hot English mustard, lettuce, American cheese, potato chips, fried Buffalo chicken sandwich (Carol’s sauce, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, red onion), fried chicken tenders (tossed in Carolina gold sauce with ranch)

The bar’s layout remains the same. There’s a new photo booth and pinball machine in the backroom where the pool table used to be. A new mural leads up to the bathroom painted by former Carol’s bartender Candice Johnson who has returned to her job. The kitchen’s been gutted. They’re also serving sandwiches served with fresh-cut fries. See the photos of the burger and fried bologna sandwich above.

Skeptics can check out the interior images and make their own judgements if the reborn Carol’s passes their tests. The legendary late-night dive bar promises more music in Uptown now that it’s reopened after two years.

Carol’s Pub, 4659 N. Clark Street, the hours will change, but for now opening at 4 p.m. most days, noon on Saturday; the bar will stay open until 4 a.m. daily, until 5 a.m. on Sunday.

The backroom once housed a pool table and now has a Cubs themed photo booth and pinball machine

Vintage photos and signs cover the walls.
Not only have the bathrooms been cleaned up, but the hallway the leads to them features a new mural.
The mural, painted by an old-school bartender who has returned to Carol’s, is a tribute to the bar’s infamous heritage.
This is the other side of the bar where the dancing happens.
The new sound booth’s on the left, and there’s a flatscreen TV on the wall next to the bar’s old windows which are now decorations.
It’s a new and larger stage for live acts.
Ownership said they’ll see how often they’ll remove the tables to allow dancing; some may just want to hear music while seated.

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