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Added Feb 27 2012

This is the first I've heard of a city subsidizing a bar. But what really makes it interesting is that it is Evanston, a town that used to be so painstakingly dry.

Here is a link to the story, I know its not technically RP but it is only one lane of traffic away....

http://evanstonnow.com/story/government/bill-smith/2012-02-27/48171/city-plans-to-subsidize-new-bar-on-howard

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    Frances Willard is spinning in her grave.

  • Inactive user

    Nice find littleton. I like the name Ward 8 and its right next to their store front Police Station. Thats why I found it so odd that Howard was such a rundown/dead street, one side is EVANSTON! Evanston in general is a vibrant interesting BURB. Except for the extreme southern part. Which looks like os changing quickly.

    As it stands the city is making no money on this property.
    Wow if you get a decent bar and a nice theatre on this stretch of Howard, well, its a good beginnning.

  • Inactive user

    I also like your bird icon Littleton.

  • Inactive user

    Actually "Government Subsidized Bar" has a nice ring to it, why dont they just name it that?

  • Inactive user

    Regardless of where they get their funding, I will totally give this place my business, and I am looking forward to it opening! It'll be a great addition to the area, and with the theater opening there too, so exciting!

    It doesn't look like it says when it opens in the article, does anyone know?

  • Inactive user

    @Helen: Good

  • Littleton Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    @ Jeff O...Thanks...the bird is one of my paintings.

    What theater is opening up on Howard?

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    Well, it passed the Evanston City Council last night:

    http://evanston.suntimes.com/news/10926106-418/evanston-city-council-oks-wine-bar-lease-on-howard-street.html

    I predict it will be another of Ann Rainey's follies. This couple apparently has no business experience. Ah, Lawfin, looking back over the City Lit thread, I see they're your friends. I wish them luck but doubt that it will work there.

    Littleton, the theater thread is here:

    http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/jan31-edgewater-theatre-move-howard-street-lease-own-4705174/

    I find no evidence that the theater is a done deal yet.

  • Inactive user

    I live walking distance from this new bar. Helen, I think there's enough people west of Clark in RP that would be happy to have this place (unless the owners are just terrible at managing it). As it stands now there's really no place like this I can walk to....the closest is maybe Hop Haus, while it is a drinking establishment I don't think it's similar at all to this proposal, otherwise I'm basically stuck at Pointin Stil or heading all the way down to Morse.

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    I understand, knangreave, but I'm sure you know that most new businesses fail. I just think that it was very foolish of Evanston to use tax money to subsidize this. Then, too, as someone who never really hung out in bars (and am not going to start at my age), I don't quite get the whole bar scene.

  • Inactive user

    Knowing nothing of the plan other than what's been posted here, I'm not going to comment on whether it was a good move or not for Evanston to use tax money for it.

    I also know too little about the business plan to posit that it'll fail soon solely because most businesses do.

  • Inactive user

    And Littleton I also did like that silver head you took a picture of by the Majestic in Uptown.

    I will be living walking distance to the new bar on Howard as well and will definitely give it my business.

  • Littleton Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    @ Helen I am sure Frances Willard is doing backflips over this in her grave. If you told me 20 years ago Evanston would be subsidizing a bar I would think you've been in the heat too long. Even getting a simple liquor license was like arranging a private audience with the Pope.

    It says it will be a wine bar, I am more of a beer drinker myself not sure how those work. Best O luck to them, its a small place so not that big of a gamble.

    I almost forgot about the silver head Jeffo, they pulled a lot of crap out of that place. I hope it gets preserved in the Wilson renovation, its up in the air right now. The track above it will be replaced so one way or another its going to be involved.

    Early warning....I might be doing a small mural on that cinderblock wall between Majestic and the Uptown-Broadway Building.

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    Littleton, it was dry as a bone when I went to school in Evanston so I've watched the evolution. I think they must once again have to revise the liquor ordinance to make this place legal, but maybe they did that first.

  • Littleton Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    Here is a link to a follow-up post on Evanston Now. They look like a nice couple...I wish them the best....

    http://evanstonnow.com/story/government/bill-smith/2012-02-28/48204/aldermen-approve-city-aid-for-howard-street-bar#comment-16606

  • Inactive user

    Thanks for the warning Littleton! Cant wait to see the mural.
    I hope they preserve the Majestic as much as possible as well.

    I know why Evanston is finally doling out some liquor licenses.
    MONEY!!! Usually liquor licenses cost a good deal of dough and the businesses generate enough business to sustain higher property taxes.

  • Inactive user

    Okay so it looks like some people who arent corporations or billionaires or millionaires are being given a break AND being given a shot to run a business. Much worse things to be putting money into. Atleast the money will fix up a nice building that is just rotting away doing nothing right now and we are getting the ball rolling on SOMETHING happening on HOWARD!!!

    SOMETHING!!!

    Well the big money people arent interested in investing in Howard right now. Wonder why. Someone has to, and Im glad that Evanston is doing that. Its smart for a city to invest INTO ITSELF.
    Good. Many negative comments on the other page. Which is understandable. It will be interesting to see how it works out.
    EVEN if it fails, you get a an old building fixed up and something else will likely take its place afterwards.

  • Government subsidized? You may have to be "connected" to get in....

  • Inactive user

    @Lauri B Why don't you leave the cynicism and the casting of aspersions at home unless you have substantive knowledge, which you do not.

  • Littleton Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    I think its a risky bet, but the same can be said for any food or beverage operations. Even a Subway shop has its risks, smaller since they are so cheap to set-up.

    If this works out Evanston will get their money back in the long run and at least they are doing something to develop their half of Howard. If this was a national chain getting the same deal that would be tragic and unethical.

    People who are supporting this as a government-subsidized venture shouldn't be so hard on subsidized housing...that would be hypocritical eh?

  • Inactive user

    heh heh. As long as the subsidized housing people dont get drunk at the government subsidized bar and cause problems.

  • Littleton Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    @ JeffO

    Fair enough...this doesn't exactly look like its going to be a honky tonk bar by any measure.

  • Inactive user

    @ Littleton, I am not against subsidized housing completely, just unnatural concentrations of it.

    It is a beginning though, I would have loved someone with deep pockets putting something there. In Milwaukee though there is a cool bar that is a coop. Kinda goes with the theme. On howard we could have the ghetto 30 and over bar, the government subsidized bar and how about a coop bar? Personally I like the COOP idea the best. I havent joined that COOP bar in Milwaukee yet, but I really want to.

    http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/article-14410-riverwests-first-cooperative-bar-welcomes-members.html

  • Inactive user

    The bar is going to focus on higher end cocktails, small batch liquors, and small craft brews. Mix of bottle and tap. The couple are from In Fine Spirits in Andersonville which if anyone on here has been to has some of the better cocktails on the northside.

  • Inactive user

    If the bar is successful they will purchase the building from the city of Evanston, who will reap some return on their investment; not counting sales / excise tax revenue. Last time I checked subsidized housing never offers a return. In fact most of the residents of public housing are largely net debtors to the state. Costing far more in public beneifits than they contribute back to society at large. There really isn't any parallel at all between the arrangement here and subsidized housing other than off the cuff snide cheap knee slappers.

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    Lawfin, you're getting awfully defensive. Even you admit the possibility of failure when you write: "If the bar is successful..." And if it's not successful, then the city is on the hook, isn't it? And I believe the articles about this indicated the city will not get back its full investment, even if it is a successful venture.

  • Inactive user

    Helen said " Even you admit the possibility of failure when you write: "If the bar is successful..." And if it's not successful, then the city is on the hook, isn't it? And I believe the articles about this indicated the city will not get back its full investment, even if it is a successful venture"

    There is always a possibility of failure. That is no reason NOT to try something. Because right now a vacant store front is doing nothing for anyone. We need to try something at this location to START something. We all learn through failure. Im not so sure the city wont get back "its full investment" in the long term.
    Because they will get much higher property taxes in the future from a successful Bar there (this one or some other one in the future) and from the adjacent areas (buildings) as they improve. Bars in general are successful because people like alcohol. The oldest businesses in an area are usually bars and liquor stores.
    And right now there are very few decent bars in that area. Most people dont find "ghetto" bars that are thirty and over as cool places to go unless you are filming a noir movie.

    The city is on the hook right now anyways. Its trying to get off the hook. They dont want to be a landlord. But they are watching over these properties because they want them to be put to good use by someone else and then collect property taxes. And waiting around for a Mr Moneybags isnt working right now, I see nothing wrong with them trying this present proposal.

  • Littleton Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    It looks to me like everyone in Rogers Park thinks its a great idea and why not? No skin in the game. They are squabbling in Evanston but what else is new?

    I only brought up the subsidized housing as a friendly jab at Jeffo.

    Subsidizes housing does stabilize individuals and families, we can argue on and on about what is too much in a certain area fair enough. Before there was subsidized housing we had teeming slums beyond the pale of anything we see today in America.

    Its a complicated and multi-dimensional issue.....sorry I brought it up.

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Posted to Rogers Park

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