Chicago Love Stories: The White Oak Tavern


Exploring the love behind our favorite Chicago small businesses.

Next up in our Chicago Love Stories series is John and Lynn, owners of The White Oak Tavern in Lincoln Park. Here’s 5 things you didn’t know the owners of this longtime Lincoln Park landmark.

  1. They fell in love over a bowl of oatmeal.
    “We met at the original John’s Place located where White Oak Tavern & Inn is now. I would come in every weekend and eat his deliciously sinful oatmeal…and the oatmeal turned into a long lasting love affair. Apparently, I was his favorite customer.  Incidentally, since 1996 the oatmeal has been re-named Lynn’s Oatmeal.”
  2. They live by the phrase divide and conquer.
    “We each do separate things so we are never stepping over each other.  He does more of the heavy lifting at work and I do most of the heavy lifting at home with our 2 teenage boys. As partners, we have the same goals, motivations and implicit trust so that makes it kind of special and safe.”
  3. They love having a case of the Mondays.
    “We cherish Mondays where both restaurants are closed. We love dining, traveling, drinking wine, watching films and playing family games with our 2 boys. Charades is one of our favorites!”
  4. They’ve been in the food service industry since they were teenagers.
    “John has been and owner/operator for over 20 years, it’s just been in his blood. Prior to being an owner, John has been in the industry since he’s been 15. I began in this industry by working for Lettuce Entertain You in catering/sales.”
  5. They’re favorite place in all of Chicago is their back yard.
    “We love trying new restaurants. But some of the best and most relaxing times are on our back deck where we can breathe and just be in the moment. We feel grateful for every day.  Life can be tough and full of roadblocks so we don’t take joy for granted. It really is the simple things in life that can make all the difference.”
White Oak Lincoln Park brunch at White Oak White Oak Owners Chicago Flowers for Dreams at White Oak

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