CHICAGO (CBS) — The Lakeview neighborhood’s Elbo Room bar and concert venue announced Wednesday that it will be changing ownership and management next month – and could not say whether it would stay open.
In an announcement posted Wednesday, the Elbo Room said: “After 29 years of bringing live entertainment to the Lakeview Neighborhood, the Elbo Room will be under new ownership/management starting December 9th. We want to thank all of the bands, patrons, and the community for keeping the Elbo Room rocking for nearly three decades.”
The announcement advised, “Come in and enjoy the room that brought many together!”
When asked in a comment on the post if the new management was planning to keep the Elbo Room open as a venue, the Elbo Room replied, “We do not know but we wish them the best of luck!”
The announcement came a day after a Block Club Chicago report saying the Elbo Room, at 2871 N. Lincoln Ave. at the intersection with Lakewood Avenue and George Street, reported that regulars had said the venue would close in December and the building was being sold.
The building was put up for sale sometime ago. Listing agency Kamberos Associates is asking $1.299 million, calling it a “great solid building with lots of potential.” The listing noted that the building houses the long time established Elbo Room bar plus 2 large apartments,” and said business, liquor, and entertainment licenses would have to be negotiated separately. The listing said a sale was “pending.”
The Elbo Room has been in operation since 1989. It houses a lounge area upstairs with a main stage downstairs.
Numerous other live music venues and storied nightclubs in Chicago have closed in recent years.
In February 2017, the Double Door – an iconic Wicker Park music venue that hosted acts as prestigious as The Rolling Stones – was evicted from its longtime home at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. at the intersection with North and Damen avenues.
The Double Door announced plans last December to reopen in the old Wilson Avenue Theater, at 1050 W. Wilson Ave. in the Uptown neighborhood, but the opening has yet to go ahead. Meanwhile, the famous “Double Door Liquors” neon sign that had once graced the side of the Wicker Park building was taken down to much disappointment this past June.
In the summer of 2015, the famous nightclub Neo – which did not host live music, but had been famous since 1979 for its dance floor; DJs spinning goth, punk, and new wave selections; and counterculture clientele – closed its doors at 2350 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park. Neo Thursdays continued as an event at the Debonair Social Club in Wicker Park, though the club’s website now brands that event as New Wave Thursdays.
Meanwhile, the old nightclub – which had briefly counted David Bowie as a regular when he spent a month in Chicago in 1980 – has given way to an expansion of the L&L Academy and Preschool that had occupied the front of the Clark Street building.
In 2018, Neo and its history were the subject of the documentary “2350 Last Call: The Neo Story.”