Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 146 with Ricky Lee Barnes of Meeting House Tavern

Today David and Nate are joined by Ricky Lee Barnes, the Director of Marketing and Programming at Meeting House Tavern here in Andersonville. Meeting House Tavern is a unique, LGBTQIA+ gathering place that offers multiple types of interactive and passive entertainment as well as domestic beers, refreshing drinks, and great music. Ricky Lee Barnes played a key role in the reopening of Meeting House which successfully begins business July 1 at 5025 N Clark!

Listen to Episode 138 with Ricky Lee Barnes!

Top podcast highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

1:15 – Ricky begins by telling David and Nate about his background with marketing and social media and how he got to Meeting House Tavern. 

4:40 – Barnes discusses what Meeting House Tavern looks for when looking for entertainment. He explains the interactive events like trivia and karaoke but also tabletop and traditional games.

8:24 – Ricky reminisces about his favorite event prior to covid and the three fan-favorite events Meeting House Tavern plans to bring back!

10:30 – Listen in to hear Ricky talk about all the ways you can enjoy what Meeting House Tavern has to offer, especially post-pandemic. 

14:12 – Ricky explains his experience with Meeting House Tavern’s inspiring actions of providing warm meals for service members during the Pandemic. 


“That, I think for me, was one of the turning points where I really understood what Meeting House Tavern is and what it could be.”

17:45 – Ricky shouts out Wil Velez and his Chicago-based group @allies_with_brushes that recognizes social justice issues through art.

18:30 – Ricky explains the thoughts behind the full-color spectrum painted on the stairs you can see from the street and while you are walking around the venue.

“I think there is something special about having a permanent reminder that you are welcome here.

21:30 – “We wanted to create a place to meet up with friends or make new ones that are designed as a social gathering place for the community. We wanted it to be a space that was an LGBTQIA+ space where everyone felt welcomed.”

23:00 – Ricky plugs Robert Retolla (Vibe Daddy) and shouts out his hard work behind the scene creating the perfect music and vibe for Meeting House.

25:24 – Ricky explains what additions were added throughout the Meeting House to recognize the pandemic precautions so that customers will feel and be safe.

26:27 – Nate asks about what goals or events that Meeting House is looking forward to! Tune in to listen to Ricky’s exciting response.

29:03 – Ricky explains the new CBD seltzers now available at Meeting House Tavern! He continues to explain more alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options now available!

29:50 – Barnes even goes into detail about the drinks he is excited about bringing back both signature house drinks to your classic drinks.

35:30 – Ricky explains the opening date of July 1 at 5:00 PM and what Meeting House has in store all weekend long!

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“I think there’s going to be a line, I’ll be in the line! Just kidding, I have keys I’ll be in there”

36:52 – Tune in to hear our rapid fire questions to wrap up the podcast! Questions include: What is your favorite game to play at Meeting House and what style of game? What is your favorite character to play while you were in quarantine? (Check our Ricky Lee Barnes’ videos on Facebook!) Will you be bringing any of these characters to Meeting House? Do you prefer acting, modeling, or money? What was your last acting experience? Who’s on your Spotify playlist right now? What are you most excited about for this summer in Andersonville and in the city of Chicago? What’s your favorite weekly drink special? Do you have Malort on tap? Do you prefer Malort with or without an orange juice chaser?”

“I just want to say that some of us never quit working and we worked really really hard over the past year and a half to create something special. Now that it’s here I hope people are genuinely excited as we are to come back because I think we really honed in on something and creating something special” 

Don’t forget, Meeting House Tavern opens this Thursday, July 1 at 5 PM! Check out their opening weekend events here!

Connect with Ricky Lee Barnes and Meeting House Tavern on the following platforms:
Facebook: @meetinghousechi
Instagram: @meetinghousetavernchi
Ricky’s Facebook: Ricky Lee Barnes
Ricky’s Instagram: @rickyleebarnes