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Punk Club Exit Shut Down By City For ‘Dangerous And Hazardous’ Conditions — But It’s Not Closed For Good, Club Says

Exit has been home to Chicago's punk music scene since the '80s, but it can't reopen until owners fix the club's unsafe conditions.

Exit, located at 1315 W. North Ave.
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GOOSE ISLAND — Exit, a dive bar that’s been home to Chicago’s punk music scene since the ’80s, was shut down by the city last week due to allegedly “dangerous and hazardous” conditions inside the club.

Investigators from the city’s Department of Buildings’ Strategic Task Force inspected Exit, 1315 W. North Ave., on Aug. 6 and immediately shut down the club with an emergency closure order, according to Mimi Simon, a spokesperson for the department.

Conditions inside the bar included “obstructed egress areas, expired fire extinguishers, lack of fire resistant materials in certain areas, improperly stored gas tanks, exposed electrical wiring and unsanitary conditions throughout the property,” Simon said.

Exit will remain closed until the building owner remediates all violations, Simon said.

Representatives for Exit did not return requests for comment, but the club posted on Facebook that it is in the middle of remodeling.

“Exit is not selling any merchandise at this time if someone contacts you regarding any merchandise it is not sanctioned by Exit,” the post reads. “And Exit is not shutting down they’re just remodeling at this time. Stay tuned for more details.”

When asked about the rumors circulating about the club’s closure, the Facebook page administrator said “the owner will have a more detailed statement later.”

Exit opened in Lincoln Park on Wells Street in 1981. In 1995, it moved to its current location on North Avenue.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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