Best Artist-Created and -Maintained Bar

John Preus's Red Flags Salon

Critics' Picks

John Preus likes to find value in the discarded. Last fall he and artist-carpenter Kevin Reiswig created an eight-by-twelve-foot pub inside a formerly empty Hyde Park mansion owned by the First Unitarian Church. The pub, called Red Flags, was part of the Southside Hub of Production, an ongoing, community-based arts project that's also housed in the mansion. Red Flags served beer from local breweries and hosted artist talks, installations, open mikes, and such. Like much of Preus's work, it involved a creative reuse of scrap materials, including abandoned wooden benches, signs, and living-room rugs. Red Flags may have been an ephemeral project in an ad-hoc space, but it felt like a community staple rich in tradition.