By Maria Maxham
Forest Park has no shortage of bars, each offering a different environment and unique atmosphere. Lantern Haus, previously known as Murphy's, is planning to do the same after its grand re-opening on Oct. 10 under the new name. Lantern Haus' theme revolves around "sipping and being social" in a bright and clean atmosphere.
Owners Aubrey and Patrick Jacknow aren't new to Forest Park. Patrick's father Jerry Jacknow, a former village commissioner, has been selling real estate in town since 1967. He opened his own firm in 1985. Patrick joined his father in 2005, and his wife Aubrey became part of the business in 2017.
In January 2019, Aubrey and Patrick purchased Murphy's at 7414 Madison St. They had always wanted to own a bar, though not necessarily so soon. But the space seemed perfect, and they could picture their dream establishment there.
Their initial plan was to operate the bar as Murphy's until January 2020 and then relaunch as Lantern Haus, but plans changed.
"We wanted to keep the name Murphy's as we worked out kinks," said Aubrey. "But as the months passed and we slowly made changes, we decided to do our reopening with the new name and new events sooner."
She said they didn't want to lose any of the following they'd built since they took over the bar, so their original plans to close temporarily in January before the relaunch didn't seem like a great idea anymore.
"We've created a clean, bright ambiance," said Jacknow. Part of this involves things that sound simple, but as a realtor, she knows how important details are. "We clean and wash the floors every single day. We want it to feel comforting here."
They also clean their beer lines weekly. "We want people to actually taste the beer," she said. "We don't want it to taste old."
The new name, Lantern Haus, is intended to reflect the warm, inviting atmosphere the Jacknows are trying to create. And it also carries a German flair with a nod to the real estate aspect of their lives, i.e. selling houses.
Aside from the physical environment and name, it's the almost daily themed nights at Lantern Haus that are innovative, and Jacknow hopes they bring people together.
"We want to provide opportunities for people to be social," she said.
Monday nights she plans to run "Sip and Be Social," where patrons are invited to play games provided by the bar. "We'll have board games and card games, like Cards Against Humanity," she said.
Tuesdays will feature trivia. "We'll be partnering with local small businesses," said Jacknow. "Trivia winners will receive gift cards from local businesses as prizes."
On Wednesday evenings, local crafters or artists will run quick and easy workshops at a low cost to participants. For example, Creativita will host a night for people interested in designing Halloween lanterns. And a make-your-own coaster night is in the works.
On Thursdays, a wine fountain with one to three bottles of a customer's choice of wine available. Thursdays will unofficially be known as women's night out.
On Fridays, the Jacknows are planning to cater to different groups that come in throughout the day, such as an early evening group of professionals who want to relax after work and a younger crowd that comes out a night to party. She's considering having a DJ, live music or comedy acts perform on Fridays.
And on Sundays, Lantern Haus will host a "liquid brunch." Although there won't be formal dining (thus the "liquid" part), the Bloody Mary will be served with "a hefty skewer."
The Oct. 10 grand reopening celebration will feature beer vendors and tastings, a prosecco fountain, a selfie booth, fresh flowers and appetizers from Salerno's. The event starts at 7 p.m.