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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Innertown Pub Shut Down By City Over Extensive Code Violations, But Owner Vows To Reopen

The popular Ukrainian Village dive bar had raw sewage leaking into its basement and hazardous electrical conditions, an inspection found. Its owner says it will reopen “as soon as possible.”

The Innertown Pub, 1935 W. Thomas St. in Ukrainian Village
Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
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UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — The Innertown Pub has been shut down by the city after inspectors discovered a laundry list of building code violations at the popular dive bar. 

The citations for Innertown, 1935 W. Thomas St., range from raw sewage leaking in the bar’s basement to hazardous electrical conditions, according to city inspection records.

“There is so much extension cord wiring in the basment and 1st floor bar that it is, in fact, the primarly mode of electrical wiring in this building,” the inspection report said. “Many of these extension cords are crimped as they are routed from outlet to device(s). This is an Extremely Dangerous and hazardous codition. The bar has been closed and a ComEd disconnect has been ordered.”

A city closure notice posted on the bar’s door is dated Sept. 25. 

Reached by phone Wednesday, Innertown owner Denis Fogarty declined to comment beyond a post made in a neighborhood Facebook group. 

“The [Innertown Pub] is addressing the issues and will be reopening as soon as possible. We’ll be back better than ever,” it said. 

Fogarty did not respond to a question about how soon the bar could reopen. 

Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
A city closure order on the exterior of The Innertown Pub, 1935 W. Thomas St. in Ukrainian Village

Innertown Pub has for decades been a dive bar staple in Ukrainian Village, known for its Elvis memorabilia, pool table and stained glass windows and art displays. 

Operating several blocks from nearby commercial districts, the bar was grandfathered in to a zoning code that no longer allows bars to exist within dense residential areas. 

The city also cited the bar this week for having an expired patio license. 

Last summer, Innertown was initially rejected for a permit to install a beer garden in its back patio. 

The permit was ultimately granted after neighborhood leaders and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) allowed it to go through. The patio was still in operation as recently as late last week. 

The bar was also cited by the city for defective switches and outlets, a missing exit sign and “exposed, live electrical wiring,” among other issues. 

Credit: Brandon Pool / Provided
A temporary patio is ready to open at Innertown Pub, 1935 W. Thomas St. — but first the bar needs a permit.

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