CHICAGO — Iconic punk shop The Alley is closing.
The store and cafe at 3221 N. Clark St. is expected to close around Halloween, said owner Mark Thomas. Its merchandise will be on sale starting immediately, and he plans to continue selling Alley items online even after the closure.
“It is still a very hands-on daily business that I found to be too challenging,” Thomas wrote in an email announcing the closure.
Thomas has suffered from health problems in recent years, necessitating the close, he said. He wants to one day find a “younger, healthier” partner to carry on Alley’s “strong, loved” tradition in a brick-and-mortar business.
The Alley has been a mainstay for Chicago’s punk community since it opened more than 40 years ago. Thomas closed the original store in early 2016, but by August 2017 he’d relaunched his business as The Alley 1776 with a coffee shop on the first floor and a store on the second.
The store has been profitable and the cafe was on its way to profitability under a new staff, Thomas said.
Thomas’ other businesses, including Taboo Tabou and the Music Factory, will remain open.