Skip to contents
Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

After Danny’s Tavern’s Iconic Sign Stolen From Closed Bucktown Pub, $1,000 Reward Offered For Its Return

The Bucktown building once home to the beloved dive bar was put up for sale this summer. The sign was officially reported stolen Aug. 1.

The Schlitz on Tap sign at Danny's Tavern, 1951 W. Dickens Ave., in 2006. The sign was stolen after the bar closed, police said.
Kumar McMillan/Flickr
  • Credibility:

BUCKTOWN — An anonymous person is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of a neon beer sign once affixed to Danny’s Tavern in Bucktown. 

The “Schlitz On Tap” sign was reported stolen Aug. 1 from the former bar, 1951 W. Dickens Ave., according to a police report obtained by Block Club. But a neighbor said the sign has been missing from the building since around the time Danny’s closed in fall 2020. 

Block Club reported in September that the building was for sale, and a person wishing to remain anonymous reached out to offer a reward for the missing sign. Anyone with information on the sign’s whereabouts can email jjades@protonmail.com — no questions asked.

Danny’s Tavern was opened in 1986 by Danny Cimaglio before being taken over in the 1990s by Michael Noone and Terry Alexander, who went on to start the One Off Hospitality group. 

One Off now owns The Publican, Big Star and other popular restaurants.

Danny’s closed in November 2020 after almost 35 years in business. 

The closure led to an outpouring of memories and nostalgia for the bar, known for its themed dance parties and candle-lit, living-room-style layout. 

In August, the building that housed Danny’s was put up for sale for $850,000. The price has since been lowered to $800,000.

Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Former home of Danny’s Tavern in Bucktown, 1951 W. Dickens Ave.

According to the police report, the Schlitz sign is insured for $40,000, but building owners don’t have “a receipt of purchase or any proof of ownership.” 

Jan Dragovich, who is related to the building’s owner, said the Schlitz sign was affixed to the building when her father purchased it in the early ’80s.

Barring updates, a detective requested the investigation be suspended, according to the report. 

Reached by phone last month, Danny’s owner Michael Noone said he doesn’t know what happened to the Schlitz sign. He declined to answer further questions. Noone did not respond to another request for comment Friday. 

The police report lists the theft’s “occurrence date” as sometime July 12-27. 

But Bucktown resident Austin Millet, who moved down the street from Danny’s in October 2020, noticed the sign was missing last year.

“I was like, ‘Oh, it looks like they removed the sign.’ I had heard rumblings about how it was closing, and shortly thereafter it was marked as ‘closed permanently’ on Google Maps, so I assumed ‘The owners probably took the sign down, so they could sell it or whatever,’” he said.

It’s quite possible the sign could have been taken down without anyone noticing because of the bar’s quiet location on Dickens just east of Damen Avenue, Millet said.

“It would definitely be an operation. You’d need the right ladder or whatever. But I could definitely see it being done. There are not that many eyes on the street in this section,” he said. 

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: