There's a new sign in town. It's a restored classic that is making a comeback. The Red Lion vintage neon sign will shine on Bridge Street again.

When Walt and Amy Gutowski decided to sell the property at 449 Bridge Street, there was one non negotiable and that was “We are keeping the Vintage Sign.” The vintage neon and popular restaurant was for the Red Lion.

Walt Gutowski Jr. said,

"We knew as soon as we took the neon down that we wanted to get it back up in the air. So others can continue to enjoy it - but first we thought, let’s restore it!”

The neon sign didn't work and it didn't work with the city sign ordinances.  Enter Swift Printing Co. President, Jes Gutowski-Slaydon. After many conversations with city officials, they decided it was time for a new amendment to the city signage ordinance to allow for vintage signs to be erected outside.

photo credit-redliongr

Krisitn Turkelson, City Planner, commented on the changed rule,

"This ordinance amendment provides us with a tool that can help preserve signs that have added iconic and historical character to our community."

The Red Lion vintage neon is the first approved vintage sign. The ordinance went into effect on September 9, 2021. Swift Printing’s hope is that this neon will once again become an iconic sight in a new way.

Jes Gutowski-Slaydon announced the return of the sign on YouTube. Watch it here:

The newly, restored working sign will be up next week on September 15, just in time for Art Prize. It will be an entry in Art Prize. Swift Printing's hope is that the sign will bring generations together. They say the sign represents community especially on the West Side.

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