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After Pandemic Delays, Jerry Garcia-Inspired Venue In West Loop ‘Moving Forward,’ Owner Says

Plans call for a seated music venue that will feature “broad musical genres in a layout similar to a traditional jazz club.”

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WEST LOOP — A plan to create a venue dedicated to Jerry Garcia at the former Wishbone restaurant in the West Loop still is on track after a delay by the pandemic.

Peter Shapiro, who owns the music venue and restaurant Brooklyn Bowl in New York, on Tuesday told Block Club Chicago the West Loop project was still moving forward. The venue will pay homage to Garcia, the late guitarist and vocalist of the Grateful Dead.

It will be called Garcia. First announced in 2019, it was expected to open at 1001 W. Washington Blvd. in 2020. Shapiro said an updated timeline for the opening will be announced at a later date.

Plans call for a seated music venue that will feature “broad musical genres in a layout similar to a traditional jazz club,” Shapiro said.

On the corner of Morgan Street and Washington Boulevard, the former restaurant space is covered with butcher paper. No work was being done when a Block Club Chicago visited the space on Tuesday afternoon.

In February 2019, Block Club Chicago confirmed plans for the venue after Amplify magazine reported Shapiro was working in partnership with Garcia’s estate to open “a seated jazz and jam venue in the heart of the West Loop.”

Related: Jerry Garcia-Themed Jazz Venue Could Come To West Loop’s Old Wishbone Thanks To Brooklyn Bowl Owner

Garcia died in 1995 at age 53.

Shapiro founded jam fest Lock’n Festival and owns an intimate venue called Garcia’s inside the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. That project is a partnership with Garcia’s estate.

Shapiro also produced the “Fare Thee Well” Grateful Dead reunion concerts, including three shows at Solider Field in July 2015. Garcia played his last concert in 1995, also at Soldier Field.

Shapiro initially wanted to open a Brooklyn Bowl at 832 W. Fulton St. in 2014. But that deal fell through, and Denver-based Punch Bowl Social opened a 28,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and bowling alley in the space instead.

Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
Owner Peter Shapiro says a venue paying homage to Jerry Garcia is still in the works after being delayed because the coronavirus pandemic.

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