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Vernon Hills Zanies Closed After Almost 20 Years

Zanies

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VERNON HILLS, Ill. (STMW) — After nearly 20 years of comedy in the north suburbs, the Vernon Hills location of Zanies has closed, reportedly due to a lease dispute. The Zanies comedy clubs in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood and St. Charles remain open.

The last night for Zanies Vernon Hills was Saturday, with Chicago comedy veteran Dobie Maxwell as its final headliner. Maxwell was also the club’s first act when it opened at the Hawthorn Village Commons Plaza in 1992.

“It was very bittersweet, but mostly sweet,” Maxwell said. “It was a full house and the crowd was electric. It was like my comedy life flashed before my eyes.”

Zanies spokesman Rick Gieser said they’re now eyeing locations in Rosemont and Evanston.

“Business was going strong. But sometimes the landlords want more than a business is willing,” said Gieser. “We were hopeful to come to terms with the landlord up to the deadline.”

Calls to Inland Real Estate Group were not returned.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Zanies — its founder, Rick Uchwat, died May 11 after a battle with lung cancer. Uchwat opened Zanies at its original Old Town location in 1978.

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