PILSEN — The Giant Penny Whistle, a new Pilsen tavern and music venue with a throwback vibe, is set to open later this summer.
Husband-and-wife duo Kacy and Bobby Middleton and partner Kevin Heisner of Heisler Hospitality will open the new spot in the old Tito’s Hacienda storefront at 1854 S. Blue Island Ave. The Giant Penny Whistle’s bar will open this summer or fall, with the live music venue to follow.
The tavern lounge, to open this first, will include the space’s original 1940s bar, booths, a pinball machine, a pool table and a photo booth.
The 2,400-square-foot concert hall, which includes a stage and the century-old bar from beloved McCuddy’s Tavern — one of Babe Ruth’s favorite hangout spots in Bridgeport— which closed down and was demolished in 1989 to make way for construction of the new Comiskey Park.
The Middletons, who own a metal fabrication company based in Pilsen, are eager to bring an eclectic mix of artists to the mid-size venue — both local musicians and touring bands across genres.
“On the North Side, they have all these smaller venues like Empty Bottle, the Hideout, and we really don’t have that down here,” Bobby Middleton said. “We have Thalia Hall but they are too big, and some bands can’t fill the place. There’s Honky Tonk, but they are a bit too small.”
Kacy Middleton previously told Block Club the team wants the Giant Penny Whistle to be a place where neighbors can discover new music and stay awhile.
The drink menu will offer a mix of beers and cocktails curated by general manager Brad Hoffman. Pilsner Urquell and Pacifico Clara will be served up on draft alongside a rotating selection of beers from Chicago’s Off Color and Hopewell breweries.
Although the spot will not serve food, guests are allowed to bring in snacks from the neighborhood’s many restaurants.
“We want it to be ‘the friendly local tavern,’” Hoffman said.
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