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Albany Park

Nighthawk Can Serve Liquor Again After Bar Patrons Pay Off Nearly $10,000 In City Fines Through GoFundMe

The Albany Park bar had to stop selling booze after racking up steep fines from the city. But its fans stepped up to bail them out.

Nighthawk at 4744 N. Kimball Ave. can serve alcohol again.
Alex v. hernandez/block club chicago
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ALBANY PARK — The booze is about to start flowing again at Nighthawk in Albany Park.

After nearly two months in the penalty box with the city, the bar at 4744 N. Kimball Ave. announced it’s been cleared to serve cocktails beginning Friday.

A new digital sign out front of the bar also trumpeted the news: “Cocktails All Night.” 

Nighthawk had its ability to serve liquor put on hold on June 28 after racking up fees and fines for serving alcohol without a proper license.

Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/BLock CLub Chicago
On Thursday Nighthawk, 4744 N. Kimball Ave., had a new sign announcing the return of “Cocktails All Night.”

Brendan Phillips, one of Nighthawk’s co-owners, said the business got behind in filing its corporate tax returns after its accountant died, which led to the license being put on hold. 

During that stretch, city inspectors would only let the business open as a coffee shop. Nighthawk’s owners said Thursday they’d be able to serve alcohol again thanks to the support they got from fans. 

“With the help of so many great customers and friends in and around the Albany Park community, our GoFundMe campaign was a success,” Howard Windmiller said. “We are open for cocktails starting tomorrow night.”

Phillips and Windmiller launched a “Save The Nighthawk” GoFundMe on July 3 to help cover the cost of their “pretty deep financial hole.” As of Thursday, the campaign had raised $9,400 from 131 people.

There were incentives to support the cause: $50 got you 2 cocktails, $100 got two cocktails and a Nighthawk shirt and $250 brought 4 cocktails, a t-shirt and a chance to paint at the bar’s “Bob Ross Night.”

The city approved the renewal of Nighthawk’s liquor license after it got paid on July 28, setting Aug. 20 at the date the license would go back into effect, according to the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Nighthawk’s owners also announced the return of their Bob Ross, Film Noir, End of the Line Comedy and the Come Up Pop-up events in a Facebook post on Thursday. 

“And you bet we’ll be honoring all those free drinks for our generous donors,” the post said. 

After Racking Up Fines For Operating Without A Liquor License, Nighthawk Asks Fans For Help With GoFundMe

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