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Butch McGuire's Saloon Decorations to be auctioned
Highlights from the sale.

OAK PARK, IL.- Treadway Toomey Auctions announced they will be offering a selection of items from the Robert E. “Butch” McGuire Collection on March 4th at John Toomey Gallery, located in Oak Park, IL. It will be 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 West Division Street in Chicago, continues to live on. Much of Butch’s collection will continue on display at the landmark bar, but the items in the upcoming auction are being retired from their rotation.

“This will be an opportunity for lovers of the Butch McGuire legacy, in Chicago and beyond, to own a piece of Chicago history,” said John Walcher, who is heading the sale with Joe Stanfield, both of John Toomey Gallery. There are more than 200 lots in the auction, titled The Butch McGuire’s Collection: Selected Property from the Estate of Robert E. “Butch” McGuire and the Iconic Chicago Saloon. 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.

“It doesn’t take long to notice Butch McGuire’s is not your average bar and has a charm to it that most bars never achieve,” Walcher stated. “Butch was an avid and savvy collector of everything bar or nautical related and decorated his bar extensively.” On his travels to Europe, Butch would acquire antique pub signs and decorations to bring back to Chicago. He bid at auctions and purchased items from dealers all over the country. Patrons of the bar included prominent Chicago artists[MT1] LeRoy Neiman, Bill Olendorf, George Velich, and others. Joe Stanfield learned and recalled, “A great part of the history is that these artists became good friends with Butch and would trade their art for drinks, to settle a tab.”

Butch McGuire was born on Chicago’s South Side and graduated from the University of Michigan. 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.

Robert “Bobby” McGuire, Butch’s son, carries on the tradition and now runs the 56-year-old establishment and oversees the transitions of the items on display: from the varietal bar and nautical decor from years past, to the green spectacle that is St. Patrick’s Day, to the much anticipated Christmas decorations with excessive lights and fully functional trains throughout the saloon. Due to the volume of Butch McGuire’s collection, Bobby has decided to permanently retire many items from the rotation and offer them for sale at auction.

The auction will take place at John Toomey Gallery, located at 818 North Boulevard in Oak Park, IL, on Saturday, March 4th starting at 10am. An open preview leading up to the auction will begin Saturday, February 25th from 10am-3pm and will continue Monday, February 27th through Friday, March 3rd from 10am-5pm each day. In addition, there will be an extended evening preview on Thursday, March 2nd from 5pm-7pm.

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