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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Presidio To Close After 4 Years In Bucktown, Saturday Night Will Be ‘Last Call’

"Stop waiting until your favorite spot is on its last leg," Presidio's owner Patrick Cullen said.

Presidio in Bucktown is closing.
Alisa Hauser/ Block Club Chicago
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BUCKTOWN — Presidio — a neighborhood cocktails and dinner spot near a stretch of The 606 — is closing.

“It’s been an amazing four year journey for us; and, while it’s incredibly hard to say goodbye, it’s the right time to begin our next chapter,” the restaurant posted Tuesday on its Facebook page. 

Patrick Cullen, owner of Presidio, at 1749 N. Damen Ave. on the border of Bucktown and Wicker Park, said this Saturday will be Presidio’s “last call.” 

Replacing Bluebird, Presidio opened in March 2015, three months before the nearby elevated trail opened that following June.

“It wasn’t anything sudden, I reached a point. I’ve had [the space] on the market, with no buyer yet. We are closing doors on our own accord,” Cullen said.

A former attorney and first-time restaurateur, Cullen encouraged Chicagoans to support their neighborhood restaurants on a regular basis.

Credit: Provided
Presidio, 1749 N. Damen Ave., is closing.

“The message is, stop waiting until your favorite spot is on its last leg,” Cullen said.

He said a rash of shuttered retail storefronts on Damen Avenue, slow weekday foot traffic and a culture obsessed with trying out the newest hotspots were contributing factors to Presidio’s closure.

“As I take a break from the role of small business owner, I want to advocate for the types of bars and restaurants that have always been the backbone of Chicago — the City of Neighborhoods. While our local food media have become ever-more enchanted by heat maps, celebrity chefs, ‘restaurant rows,’ glitzy awards ceremonies, and big box restaurant groups, the neighborhood joint has suffered. There are a plethora of factors that impact small restaurants, certainly; however, I believe we’ve truly lost the thread of what has made us a world class restaurant city. Discovering that neighborhood gem and sharing it with dining companions is one of the true joys of going out in Chicago. So get out there, friends. Support local! Find that special bar or restaurant on your block and visit early, often, and with all of your friends before it’s too late!” Cullen wrote in an email to Block Club.

Credit: Alisa Hauser/DNAinfo Chicago
Patrick Cullen, owner of Presidio.

All of Presidio’s 20 workers, several of whom have been on the team since the beginning, got plenty of notice to look for new jobs, Cullen said.

Cullen described owning a restaurant as “the most impactful experience” of his life.

“I’ve learned so much about myself — my own abilities and limitations, how to be a strong leader and a good listener — in these past five years that will continue to make me a better business person; and, hopefully, a better man. What doesn’t break you makes you stronger,” he said. 

Presidio will be open all week through Saturday for its regular hours, starting at 5:30 p.m. until midnight Tuesday-Thursday and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

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