Owner of Chicago Pub “Kelly’s Pub” Passes Away
Guns N’ roses members Slash and Duff frequented Kelly’s Pub during the summer of 1989. The band was in Chicago working on the “Use Your Illusion” records. The obituary from the Chicago Tribune mentions Guns N’ Roses.
If anyone was ever part and parcel of the Lincoln Park community, it was John P. Kelly, a jovial city firefighter who was the longtime proprietor of the storied pub that bears his family name.
He lived his entire 82 years on the same block, just a short jaunt from Kelly’s Pub on Webster Avenue. But his reputation as a good-natured, quintessential Chicago archetype rippled across the city.
Kelly’s daughter, Megan Kelly Wolf, likes to tell the story about the time a trio of long-haired, tattooed men came into the pub, and some of the older regulars were talking about how the three men should be kicked out because they might cause trouble. But Megan recognized them as members of the Guns N’ Roses rock band and told her father.
“Just the biggest rock band on the planet, Dad,” she recalled saying. “No big deal.
“So he had bought them a shot of Jameson, Jameson 12 probably, and he goes through this whole spiel about how it’s this fancy Irish whiskey and you’re supposed to sip it, blah, blah, blah,” his daughter said. “And he says, ‘Cheers.’ And he just downed it. So they all thought that was very funny and they joined him, and they downed theirs as well.”