Drinks Over Dearborn Closing | Bleader

Monday, November 29, 2010

Drinks Over Dearborn Closing

Posted By on 11.29.10 at 12:52 PM

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Kyle McHugh, the owner of River North liquor store Drinks Over Dearborn, has announced that he's closing the store on December 31. His lease is up soon, he says, and he hasn't been able to find a partner, so he feels his only choice is to shut down. Earlier this year he launched a "500 Benjamins or Bust" campaign in which customers gave $100 or more that they could use as for store credit; the cash infusion shored up the store in the short term but wasn't enough to save it in the long run.

I'll personally be sad to see Drinks Over Dearborn go; I first wrote about McHugh when he was still in the process of opening it, and a little later chronicled his struggles to get a liquor license. The store was Philip Montoro's pick for Best Customer Service at a Liquor Store in the Reader's Best Of issue this year, and it's always been a good place to find rare booze. McHugh told me that he's about to send an announcement to his newsletter distribution list; the full text is after the jump.

Dear Beloved Customers of DoD:

It pains my heart deeply to officially announce that we will be closing our doors on December 31, 2010.

Our lease for this location runs out very soon, and we have to exercise our option to renew by 11/30/10. After failing to find someone to partner with me on DoD through many discussions these last few months, I feel that my only remaining choice is to close our doors here at the end of the busy holiday season.

This said, we will be open all through December, and we need one final month of your support as badly as ever. Our landlord, who is understandably not happy with our decision, has called for all remaining money due him in our contract, leaving us with three rent payments to make this month instead of one. As such, look for two special “pay the rent” parties we have scheduled in December to help make these payments on time, in addition to our regular schedule of events and classes.

If you have an outstanding house account with us, or have passes/charity donations/etc. for events, please contact us to redeem them ASAP. We will work with you to the best of our ability to make right by you, and will honor all events we have scheduled through the end of the year with no problems.

I have been asked many times already, “what next?” That is a VERY good question. I can tell you that I have taken steps to make sure Reid, Gallit, and our General Manager Chris all are in great positions around town, and will let everyone know where to find them once we are done here. As for me… well, in all honesty, I’m not sure. But, I will remain in my adopted home of Chicago that I love so much, and you can rest assured that just because I don’t have my own bricks-and-mortar place to call home, at least for now, I can be found somewhere that good beer, wine, and/or spirits are being poured sometime very soon.

We have survived 1) the 2nd worst economy in our country’s 200+ year history, and 2) our 2nd floor “unique” location up a flight of stairs, behind a locked door, with inadequate signage for more than two years thanks only to you. Many of you were there for us in February for our Benjamins campaign; many more supported us in countless other ways even as you were feeling the effects of the economy yourselves. From collecting our business cards to pass out to friends faster than we could print them, to bringing so many new faces to us who appreciated what we do, in my humble opinion, better than anyone else in Chicago — you have proven that the work we did was appreciated by some of the best customers and friends a guy could ever ask for. Thank you so much for your support, dedication, and love.

Yours truly,


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