With a series of bars recently shuttering their doors in Boystown, the neighborhood's partiers are about to see some noticeable changes on North Halsted Street, according to the Northalsted Business Alliance.
The futures of three bars— Cocktail, Bucks Saloon and Circuit Nightclub—are all in negations. But with real estate blazing hot on Halsted, business alliance spokesperson Jen Gordon says to get ready for a few new places to party during Pridefest.
“In terms of Bucks, that business is in the process of being sold,” Gordon said. “There is going to be an entirely new concept announced in that place by the end of February. But since the deal hasn’t closed yet, the party that’s buying the property doesn’t want to jinx anything.”
There are rumors Bucks, located at 3439 N. Halsted St., is being sold to the owners of Hydrate Nightclub just across the street. It also sits directly next to Halsted’s Bar & Grill.
And while Bucks may be getting a complete conceptual overhaul, Circuit is in the process of a potential behind-the-scenes overhaul. The nightclub at 3641 N. Halsted St. closed abruptly after a series of mishaps between co-owners. Although the Abbey Bar of West Hollywood was rumored to be eyeing up the space, Gordon says that isn’t true.
“I do know that (Circuit) is in the process of trying to reopen,” Gordon said. “That’s good news. It’s another great spot on the street. Right now, there’s momentum for them to reopen, and there might be some new partners involved this time. They don’t have a date or anything yet because they still have to go through the various city requirements.”
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Even more shocking was the Jan. 18 closure of Cocktail when a notice was placed in the window letting both residents and the owner know all the property was being seized.
The bar filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Aug. 12, according to ChicagoPride.com. But when owner John "Geno" Zaharakis didn’t follow the court’s orders, the case and its protections were dismissed Jan. 8.
That’s when the owner of the building, which sits on the corner of North Halsted and Roscoe Street, put up a notice in the window notifying Zaharakis he was seizing the business for more than $85,000 in back rent.
“Cocktail—the only thing we know is there’s been ongoing legal issues, and they’ve been going on for years now,” Gordon said. “We have not been told if anyone is purchasing it, and we haven’t been made aware of anything new going in there.”
Regardless of the closures, Gordon says real estate like Cocktail’s former location will move quickly, especially in preparation for Pridefest. Located on the same block as nightlife favorites such as Roscoe’s Tavern and Sidetrack, the vacant corner is not expected to be vacant for long.
“Obviously it’s a highly desirable space, so I would imagine someone will be snapping it up soon,” Gordon said. “… Overall I think the business climate is very healthy. It is an entertainment destination, even outside of Pride and Market Days.”