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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Quenchers Coming Back For One Month Only (Sort Of): The Native Bringing In Bartenders, Popcorn & Even The Tip Bell

"Hopefully we can keep the nostalgia going for a little longer," pop-up organizer Sam Edgin said.

(from left) After running the saloon for nearly 40 years, Quencher’s owner Earle Johnson said he was ready to retire this past spring. Now, the Native is hosting a Quenchers pop-up to pay tribute.
Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago; The Native/Instagram
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LOGAN SQUARE — Quenchers is back! Well, kind of.

The beloved neighborhood bar, which closed this past spring after nearly 40 years in business, is coming back in the form of a month-long pop-up.

The Native, the bar that took over the former Bonny’s at 2417 N. Milwaukee Ave., is putting on the pop-up to pay tribute to Quenchers, which was known for its unpretentious vibes, live music and lengthy craft and international beer list.

“So many people are going to miss Quenchers. It was such a staple,” said Sam Edgin, who worked at Quenchers before joining The Native team as manager and event coordinator.

“Unfortunately, in 20 years, no one will really remember it except for the people who were there. So hopefully we can keep the nostalgia going for a little longer.”

The pop-up, which will run Oct. 1 – 31, features a full calendar of events including spooky movie double features, comedy shows and local band DJ sets — all events Quenchers would regularly host.

For the duration of the pop-up, patrons can expect all of the details Quenchers was known for, too, including free popcorn, tons of European beer, the $5 Chicago handshake special (cheap beer and a shot of Malort) and even the famous tip bell.

The latter is a bell that was installed behind the bar that bartenders would hit if they got a good tip. Edgin said his fellow Quenchers employees used to make a drinking game out of it, and he plans to bring that to the pop-up as well.

Credit: Courtesy of Sam Edgin
Sam Edgin (left) with Quenchers owner Earle Johnson (back).

Quenchers regulars will also recognize their favorite bartenders at the pop-up – who are going to be taking shifts during the month. 

To top it all off, the pop-up will be decorated to look like Quenchers with concert posters dating back to the early ’80s, beer signs and other memorabilia the owners snagged at Quenchers’ three-day estate sale.

News of Quenchers’ closure surfaced this past April. Owner Earle Johnson said he was ready to retire at age 75. Though some people approached Johnson about keeping the saloon as-is, none of them followed through, and he ended up selling to new owners who plan to open a medical office on the site.

For a full calendar of events, visit the pop-up website.

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Credit: Courtesy of Sam Edgin
Some of the old event posters that will be up during the pop-up.