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Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Elbo Room Expected To Close In December After 30 Years In Lakeview, Regulars Say

The music venue and bar has been keeping sporadic hours recently and the building is under contract to be bought.

A sale of the building that houses the Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., is pending.
Alex v. hernandez/block club chicago
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LAKEVIEW — After 30 years in Lakeview, the Elbo Room is expected to close this winter, according to regulars who frequent the bar.

In recent weeks, hours at the dive bar and music venue at 2871 N. Lincoln Ave. have become more sporadic, and regulars say they were told it would close this December since the building is being sold.

Elbo Room management would not comment on the future of the venue, but a real estate listing shows that a sale of the property is pending.

Theodore Kamberos, a listing agent for the property, said some things still need to be “ironed out” and would not comment on the future of the Elbo Room.

“I just want to make sure everything is signed, sealed and delivered,” he said. “Nothing is finalized yet.”

But regulars have seen the writing on the wall.

Thomas Perry is a cook at Left Coast, 2878 N. Lincoln Ave., across the street from Elbo Room. He also plays in a band called the Windy Too and has been going to venue for the past three years.

“It’s a great late night, open mic spot. A really cool dive,” Perry said. “I feel like there’s not a lot of places in Chicago like the Elbo Room.”

Credit: alex v. hernandez/block club chicago
The doors were locked to the Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

He’s helped to organize shows at the venue in the past, but when he was in last week he was told it would close on Dec. 8.

“My buddies were all sad to see it go. We’re not really sure what we can do about it. I know we’d like to see it stay open with the new owners,” he said.

The Lincoln Avenue building went up for sale in the spring with a $1,299,000 price tag.

“Chance to buy a piece of Chicago History — long time established Elbo Room bar plus two large apartments,” the listing reads. “Price includes real estate only. Business, liquor, and entertainment license negotiated separately.”

Employees at nearby businesses said they’ve seen the venue open for business over the last week, but that the hours have become more sporadic.

At 7:30 p.m. Monday, when the Elbo Room’s website says the venue is open, the doors were locked and the lights were off inside.

The Elbo Room opened in 1989 and is known for its live music and Wednesday open mic nights.

The three story building and basement was originally built in 1930, according to the listing.

On Tuesday morning, a talent buyer with Elbo Room would not answer Block Club’s questions about the reported closure, but said a press release would be issued at some point.

In addition to the Elbo Room, the second floor of the building houses Maypole Studios Photography. Messages left with a photography studio were also not returned.

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