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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fulton Market venue the Mid announces its pending closure

Posted By on 10.04.18 at 02:45 PM

The Mid in happier times - COURTESY OF THE MID
  • Courtesy of the Mid
  • The Mid in happier times

Fulton Market nightclub the Mid will close for good in February 2019. Nightlife entrepreneurs Lucas King and Nick Karounos opened the club in 2010, and according to a press release, they're closing it due to the rapid development in the neighborhood. I imagine there are other complications, though: the Mid opened during the boom of EDM, and catered to its exploding fan base as it rocketed to dominance in the dance-music world. EDM poster boy Skrillex played his first Chicago show at the Mid.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Logan Square record store Logan Hardware closes down

Posted By on 05.07.18 at 10:40 AM

Logan Hardware sits closed on Sunday afternoon. - LEOR GALIL
  • Leor Galil
  • Logan Hardware sits closed on Sunday afternoon.

After nearly a decade selling music in Logan Square, Logan Hardware quietly said good-bye last month. After a big sale the weekend of Record Store Day, according to owner John Ciba, "We didn't open back up again." Before abandoning its space on 2532 W. Fullerton, the store will host one final blowout sale on Sunday, May 20, followed by a pop-up sale at nearby Logan Arcade on Wednesday, May 30. When Ciba decribes his decision to close the store, he invokes Lee "Scratch" Perry, who burned his legendary Black Ark studio in 1979 because it had "bad energy." "The only thing he could do was burn it down," Ciba says. "That's kind of where we're at."

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How Gene Siskel Film Center will screen movies while they’re closed for renovations

Posted By on 11.29.17 at 02:30 PM

The Film Center will present Arturo Ripstein's Time to Die at the Instituto Cervantes on Monday.
  • The Film Center will present Arturo Ripstein's Time to Die at the Instituto Cervantes on Monday.

Starting Friday, the Gene Siskel Film Center will close its doors for a month to renovate its two theaters. This effort marks the organization's first extensive renovation since it started operating at its State Street location in 2001. All the seats in the two theaters will be replaced, as will the wiring; the latter renovation is to improve hearing for patrons with cochlear implants. The carpeting between the two theaters will also be replaced. Per executive director Jean de St. Aubin, these changes won't impact the Film Center's ticket prices, which will remain $11 for general admission, $7 for students and children, $6 for Film Center members, and $5 Art Institute of Chicago staff and SAIC faculty, staff and students when the theaters reopen on January 5.

The Film Center is still showing movies in December. During the next two weeks, they'll present repeat screenings of films shown earlier in the year at four partnering locations. The tonal, stylistic, and geographic range of the selections speak to the diversity of the Film Center's programming, which showcases a broad range of perspectives all year. Between such annual events as the Black Harvest Film Festival, a showcase of movies from Iran, and the Palestinian film series (not to mention the ongoing Panorama Latinx series, devoted to movies from all over the Spanish-speaking world), the Film Center is also a center of multicultural interaction. I believe my understanding of the world has been enriched by attending the works they present.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What will the closure of Permanent Records’ Chicago store mean for the local music community?

Posted By on 07.25.17 at 01:36 PM

Permanent Records on Monday, July 24 - PORTER MCLEOD
  • Porter McLeod
  • Permanent Records on Monday, July 24

The weekly e-mail newsletters from Permanent Records are a treat for collectors of obscure and out-there rock records—particularly if you're eager to find out which new arrivals pique the interest of the knowledgable and enthusiastic staff. But yesterday morning co-owner Lance Barresi sent a sad message to the store's e-mail list: Permanent Records will close its Chicago shop in September. Barresi and co-owner Liz Tooley launched Permanent Records in its Ukrainian Village storefront in October 2006, and they've slowly expanded the store's cultural footprint since. In 2007 they launched an in-house label, which has released stellar records from noisy contemporary bands (Cacaw, Running) and archival recordings of forgotten local acts (the Chicago Triangle, Bad Axe, VCSR). In summer 2011 Barresi and Tooley decamped to LA to open a second Permanent location, and they've since set up two additional LA stores. This summer, things came to a head for the Chicago outlet. "It's very difficult to run a business from afar," Barresi says.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Gapers Block is going on hiatus, possibly closing

Posted By on 12.18.15 at 04:48 PM


As if he couldn't bear to type the words, the editor, publisher, and cofounder of Gapers Block—Andrew Huff—all but said flat-out Friday that his 12-year-old website is shutting down. It goes on "hiatus" on January 1, allowed Huff in his statement. The site won't go dark that day, but across the masthead a black banner will offer this message:

"As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block is on indefinite hiatus. The site will remain up in archive form while we evaluate our options, which may include a redesign or sale. Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years."

Huff offered no reason to hope the "hiatus" will ever end. "Staffers may be able to post last little bits for a couple of days after the 1st," Huff went on, "but I hope that all activity ceases by Jan. 7. I'll keep funding hosting for the site for the forseeable future, so the articles will remain online."

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

So long, Rapid Transit Cycle Shop

Posted By on 11.10.15 at 01:30 PM

Rapid Transit's owners announced that they plan to close the pair of shops in the next two months. - JULIA THIEL
  • Julia Thiel
  • Rapid Transit's owners announced that they plan to close the pair of shops in the next two months.

At the end of last week local bike shop Rapid Transit, a 21-year-old industry veteran, announced on its website and Facebook page that it will close its doors soon. In an excellent piece on Streetsblog Chicago, John Greenfield reports that Rapid Transit has been struggling since the economic crash in 2008, and owners Chris Stodder and Justyna Frank say they don't have enough cash to make it through the winter. Both locations (the original one in Wicker Park, and a second one in University Village), will close within the next two months.

I was sadder to hear of its closing than I expected, considering that it hasn't been my local bike shop since I moved out of Wicker Park about three years ago. But it was my go-to spot for repairs and biking equipment for about five years before that, and the first bike store I ever went to when I first moved to Chicago. It's also where I learned how my bike worked; sometime around 2009 I took a three-part evening class Rapid Transit offered on how to tune up your own bike. The idea was that over the course of three weeks, the bike shop's mechanics would show participants how to overhaul their bikes. At the end of the class you'd have a completely tuned-up bike and know how to do the work yourself.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Photos from the final Sheer Magic soul night at Danny's Tavern

Posted By on 11.06.15 at 01:00 PM

Sheer Magic was so much fun that everybody who wanted some couldn't fit inside Danny's at once. - MATT JENCIK
  • Matt Jencik
  • Sheer Magic was so much fun that everybody who wanted some couldn't fit inside Danny's at once.

As the Reader has already reported, the future of beloved Bucktown bar Danny's looks bleak thanks to a dispute with the building owner and landlord. This week two of the regular DJ events hosted by Danny's have tolled their own death knells, entreating their fans to come out one last time: Clark Street Jams and Sheer Magic. Courtland Green and Scott Craig founded the latter in 1997, and back then the monthly shindig was simply called "soul night." The following year Craig left town, and eventually Dante Carfagna, a true scholar of the genre, stepped in as Green's DJ partner. On Wednesday they hosted their final monthly party.

Over the years I only caught a couple of their nights, but I'll never forget them. I remember one in February when the packed bar was hotter and more humid than a Chicago day in August. The blasting music hit our bodies with exhilarating physicality, and each track—not one of which I'd ever heard before—was better and more propulsive than the last. 

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

After nearly 30 years in Bucktown, the future of Danny's Tavern is uncertain

Posted By on 11.03.15 at 03:32 PM

Danny's Tavern
  • Danny's Tavern

The beloved bar and nightclub Danny's Tavern may close at the end of the month after nearly 30 years in Bucktown, according to managing owner Kevin Stacy. 

"We’ve been served eviction papers from landlords of the building," says Stacy, who's worked for 18 years at Danny's, which operates out of a former two-flat residence at 1951 W. Dickens. "It’s not a done deal yet but it’s getting close. It’s a distinct possibility." 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

After 36 years, Neo leaves a changing Lincoln Park

Posted By on 07.28.15 at 03:00 PM

  • Seth Anderson/Flickr

When Callin Fortis took over Neo in 1982, Lincoln Park had no Gaps, no pet boutiques, and no day cares. It was a nightlife hub, with cheap rents and 4 AM bars and 24-hour diners—"like New York," says Fortis. His own nightclub, one of the last of its generation in the area, is now sandwiched between a preschool and an Urban Outfitters in an alley on Clark Street, just south of Fullerton Avenue, less than a mile west of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Neo had been open for just two years when Fortis moved in, and at the end of July, it will close its doors after 36 years in operation. The preschool that occupies the storefront of the same building will move into the space that has served as a late-night hangout for Chicago's misfits since 1979.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

On Riot Fest's final day, pretty much everybody had an opinion about Weezer

Posted By on 09.15.14 at 02:30 PM

Leor Galil: Thirty minutes into the Cure's set, people began to peel off and move east en masse—it was kind of like the way birds fly south for the winter, but instead of seeking warmer weather, these flocks were going to hear Weezer play their self-titled 1994 debut, aka the Blue Album. The band didn't seem quite ready for an audience, though: they flubbed the first part of the 2001 single "Island in the Sun" while playing a selection of favorites that led backward in time to the main event. Fortunately by the time they got to the Blue Album, they'd worked out the kinks.

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