WEST LOOP — After rent hikes forced beloved West Loop restaurant Wishbone to relocate from its longtime home, the space could soon be turned into a lively jazz venue paying homage to Jerry Garcia, the late guitarist of the Grateful Dead.
Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro has been in talks to bring a Jerry Garcia-themed jazz venue to the vacant restaurant space at 1001 W. Washington Blvd., according to multiple sources familiar with the project.
The West Loop venue will be themed around Garcia, who died in 1995 at age 53, and will be a seated, traditional jazz club, a source said. The venue will also feature an accompanying restaurant.
On Friday, Amplify magazine, a news service covering the live music industry, reported that Shapiro is working in partnership with Garcia’s estate to open “a seated jazz and jam venue in the heart of the West Loop.”
The magazine story didn’t say where the venue would be located in the booming neighborhood.
Ald. Danny Solis (25th) previously told Block Club Chicago on multiple occasions that a jazz venue aimed to replace the former Wishbone restaurant. In late 2018, the now-embattled alderman called the music venue, which won’t include bowling, “a perfect fit.”
Owners also met with some nearby condo owners months ago to discuss plans for a jazz club, sources said.
For nearly 30 years, the corner of Morgan Street and Washington Boulevard was home to Wishbone restaurant and its well-known facade. But since the Nickson family relocated the restaurant last fall, rumors of its replacement have swirled through the neighborhood.
Owners of the venue have not yet applied for a Public Place of Amusement license, a city liquor license that is required for a business that offers amusement or entertainment with a capacity of 100 or more patrons.
Shapiro initially aimed to open a Brooklyn Bowl at 832 W. Fulton St. in 2014. But that deal later fell through, and Denver-based Punch Bowl Social opened a 28,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and bowling alley in the space instead.
Bowling and live music venue Brooklyn Bowl’s first location in Brooklyn, N.Y., opened in 2009.
Garcia’s estate did not return a request for comment.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.