In the eighth grade, my class went on a field trip to New Salem, Illinois, the reconstructed village where a young Abraham Lincoln lived for a while. It was here he had worked in a store and famously walked miles to return three cents to a customer he had accidentally overcharged. It was here he had been postmaster. But the building that made the biggest impression on me was the Rutledge Tavern.
Our tour guide conjured up images of stagecoaches pulling up outside and disgorging tired, dusty passengers. In the tavern, they would be fed a meal cooked in the fireplace and served something stronger than the sodas we eighth graders were able to buy at the souvenir stand. Then they would climb the stairs to pile into beds (often shared with strangers) for a night’s sleep before continuing their journeys the next day.
Now Longman & Eagle has updated and upgraded the time-honored roadside inn. The recently opened and already Michelin-starred Chicago restaurant and bar has just opened six stylishly funky rooms upstairs with such amenities as free Wi-Fi and beds you only have to share if you want to, presumably with someone you know.
Room rates start at just $75 a night. And in keeping with Longman & Eagle’s saloon roots, instead of a chocolate on your pillow, you’ll find a token good for a whiskey downstairs. For more about the restaurant, bar and newly opened inn, check out my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog.