Former Station 211 reopens as Red Lion
CHAMPAIGN – The Red Lion has roared again.
On Friday evening, the Campustown bar formerly known as Station 211 reopened with a new look and a name that evokes the building's past as a live music hub for Champaign-Urbana.
The bar, at 211 E. Green St., opened its doors after several months of renovation. Its name, Red Lion, recalls the Red Lion Inn bar that stood on the same corner and was a popular spot for local bands from roughly 1968 to 1980. Dan Fogelberg and REO Speedwagon, among others, played there.
"I was going for something a little more upscale, more of a nice, clean environment," he said of the new Red Lion. Bar patrons, he said, tend to take care of places when the interior looks nicer. The bar closed in mid-July and has been undergoing the renovation since then.
Inside, the table tops are designed to look like shields. Artwork, including tapestries, depict medieval scenes. The new maple and oak bar has lion heads on its corners. Wood salvaged from a house and barn also brings a rustic look to the interior.
"We wanted to give it a different look," he said. "And we're trying to be very diverse."
Several televisions in the bar will show football games and other sports events, and the bar will open early on game days.
A private room called "the dragon room" in the rear of the bar can hold up to 100 people.
The bar just serves drinks; however, private parties can have food catered in.