BarsOnLine - Chicago Bar Openings and Closings


Last Updated: October 7, 2000
Check here regularly for the latest news about new bar openings, name changes, and bar closings.

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OPENINGS
Duffy's
This old hangout on Diversey near Sheridan is reopened by the folks behind McGee's with a terrific remodeling.
Copa
Space that used to house the run-down Bluebird Lounge on Clybourn reopens with a hipper motif.
Sauce
Located in the old Bigsby's/Trocadero space on Clark near LaSalle, getting good review so far.
Le Passage/Yow Bar
Another upscale nightclub/restaurant, related to Le Colonial, in the Oak/State area.
Transit
Hip new nightclub on Lake in the West Loop, opened by the former owner of Shelter.
Castaways
The rework of the North Avenue Beach building included a rooftop, lakefront restaurant and bar that has live music on weekend afternoons.
Johnny O'Hagan's
Opened the first week in June, one of those built-in-Ireland pub concepts, very well designed with friendly staff, good beer selection, nice atmosphere. Located at the corner of Clark and Roscoe.
John Barleycorn Wrigleyville
Not officially opened as of this writing, but it is going to be a good one. Had a look inside at two levels, top-quality finish, and big space on Clark north of Roscoe.
Zella
The old Moran's space on Clybourn at Racine has finally been reopened, and the great beer garden is primed for the summer.
Bar Chicago
The Chicago entry from this chain that has locations around the country opened recently on Division in a space that has turned over frequently. We wish these guys better luck.
Wiseguys
A little ethnic restaurant on Halsted just north of Wrightwood has been transformed into a little bar with food, cigars, and occasional live music.
State Room
Trendy restaurant/lounge opens on State just north of Division.
Fuel
Billed as a "Restaubar" and located on Clark right beside Metro.
The Black Duck
Nicely-finished pub opens at Halsted & Willow, from the folks who own Gin Mill.
J. Patrick's Irish Bar & Grill
The name gives it away. Located at 1367 W. Erie.
T. Mellon's Hye Bar
New place with a cool feel opens on Southport just north of Addison.
The Long Room
New addition to the Irving Park/Ashland corner features (what else?) a long bar....
Encore
Upscale on Randolph trying to draw post-theater crowd.
Rive Gauche
French-themed nightclub on Halsted near Fulton.
Fifth Floor
Co-located with 'rednofive' on Halsted.


NAME/FORMAT CHANGES
Baja Beach Club
Ho-hum, another name change in River North.
----> Volasati
Great Beer Palace
Here we thought the Great Beer Palace was closing down to make room for new condos, but it seems it was just changing names and formats..
----> Corbin's
Plush
Tried to go lounge, now going back to their roots as the best post-college frat party on Lincoln Avenue.
----> The Big Nasty
Faces
Club that was located inside Magnum's Steakhouse changes format slightly, going for a younger crowd.
----> White Star
Last Act
Old-time pub across the street from Second City reopens as new-style Irish pub, run by the same folks who pour the best Guinness in town at Vaughan's Pub.
----> Corcoran's
Sidelines
Sports-themed bar with live music space in back remodeled by most recent owners into Irish drinking house.
----> Coyle's Tippling House
Tonic 661
Trendy bar/restaurant is now a burger-themed bar.
----> Doc's River North
El Jardin
Thanks to James for letting us know about this change. In his words, it is "2 Levels of state of the art Video sound and lights."
----> Club Eden
Deacon Brodie's
Great job in transforming run-down Deacon Brodie's into a more upscale space.
----> Goodbar
Reminiscent Bar & Grill
This only recently reopened on Damen just north of Addison and now it has quickly changed it's name.
----> Black Rock
O'Leary's Cow Bar
Locals' hangout on North west of Wells changes name and appeal.
----> The Well
Oinkers
Neighborhood spot with beer garden becomes spruced up Irish pub on Elston north of Belmont.
----> Chief O'Neill's
Convent
Change in theme but not in crowd and atmosphere.
----> Zafire
The Garage
Interesting transformation from a bar with a healthy menu to a dance club.
----> Rapture
Menage
Menage didn't last long on the second floor beside Clark St. Ale House, so its anyone's guess how the redone Fuse will do.
----> Fuse
Adagio
Adagio was closed for a while before this new club opened up in the space, and they had trouble with the name before finally settling on 'Zentra.'
----> Zentra
Howard's
We're crushed by this news and hope the new owners don't change a thing, but Howard's family finally decided to sell the place.
----> O'Neil's


CLOSINGS
Ruby Slipper
Another victim of the wrecker's ball taking down the block on Dearborn that used to also house Trader Todd's Adventure Bar and Ranalli's Off Rush.
Art Bar
High concept but apparently low attendance.
Great Scott
Cool place in Old Town done in by "bad business decisions," according to our anonymous tipster.
River West Brewery
Tough location on West Chicago finally did this in.
Bluebird Lounge
Small but funky room on Clybourn, with occasional great live music, closed earlier this spring.
N.V.
Well that didn't last long. Oh-so-hip nightclub with velvet ropes and a back entrance couldn't make it work in a tough space on Division Street. Rumor has it the place is being gutted so it may reopen soon under another name.
Trader Todd's Adventure Bar
With the whole block on Dearborn between Division and Elm being torn down for condos, Trader Todd's had to close, but it may yet resurface in another location - let's hope so!
Monkey Bar
Tough corner at Wrightwood and Racine. "This location is now available."
Club 950
Will it or won't it? Long-time club with dark theme at Wrightwood and Lincoln finally closes.
Lounge Ax
Chicago's home for indie-rock on Lincoln Ave. forced to close.
Zum Deutschen Eck
German bar/restaurant on Southport closed suddenly.
Maxtavern
We know it closed over five years ago, but not a day goes by that we don't miss it. And that's still true.



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