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Transistor Chicago Closes Andersonville Shop After 12 Years, But Owner Plans Comeback

"Andersonville is our goal, to continue to serve our community," the owner wrote to fans. "The plan is to reopen in the not-so-distant future."

Transistor Chicago closed its doors at 5224 N. Clark St. on Sept. 28.
Facebook/Transistor Chicago
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ANDERSONVILLE — A Clark Street staple has closed its doors, but its owner said he hopes the business can relaunch and keep serving Andersonville in the future.

Transistor Chicago closed its 5224 N. Clark St. shop Wednesday, ending a 12-year-run for the eclectic, arts-focused shop that got its start in Andersonville.

The shop opened in 2009 at 5045 N. Clark St., selling art, media and decor. It also offered a hangout spot on Clark Street and hosted live music and other performances and events.

After stints in North Center and Lakeview, Transistor moved back to Andersonville in 2016. But the coronavirus pandemic hurt the business, and owner Rafael Rivera started a fundraiser for the store during the period when retail businesses were forced to close.

“I’m very happy that I was even able to stay a year longer after that,” Rivera said in a social media post Wednesday. “Today is my last day. I just want to say thank you for making me feel very welcome here.”

Transistor offered more than local media and art. The business was also known for Transistor Radio, a webcast series of performances and interviews. Literary events, performances and film discussions were also held at the store.

The store moved to 3819 N. Lincoln Ave. in North Center in 2011. Two years later, Transistor moved to Lakeview, with then-owner Miles saying North Center wasn’t a good fit for the business.

The business saw an “upturn that comes from moving from a good location to a great location” when it returned to Andersonville, management said on Instagram at the time.

Rivera, who bought the business from store founder Andy Miles in 2018, vowed to make a comeback. Rivera said pop-ups with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce are in the works, and the business will still be active on Instagram and other platforms.

“This is not goodbye,” Rivera said. “This is just a see you later. I hope to definitely see everybody in the future.”

Rivera could not be reached for comment, but he said in a note on the shop’s door the business wont be away from Andersonville for long.

“Andersonville is our goal, to continue to serve our community,” the note reads. “The plan is to reopen in the not-so-distant future.”

To keep up with Transistor Chicago’s next steps, follow its Instagram account.

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