Hotel Lincoln
Hotel Lincoln's popular rooftop bar would be expanded under a current proposal. Credit: Hotel Lincoln/Instagram

OLD TOWN — An Old Town rooftop bar where a fatal shooting happened last weekend says it will remain closed for now, but a report claims it was open Thursday night.

The shooting stemmed from a fight that happened at the J. Parker Rooftop Bar of the Hotel Lincoln, 1816 N. Clark St., police said.

About 1:20 a.m. Sunday, Allen Cordayl, 35, got in a fight with another man, who fired a shot that hit Cordayl in his chest, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Cordayl was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

In an email newsletter to his constituents Thursday afternoon, Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43rd) said the rooftop bar would “remain closed for the time being.” But a report from CWB Chicago claims the bar was open Thursday night when its reporter visited to get a cocktail.

Dan White, general manager of the Hotel Lincoln, did not comment on the bar being open Thursday night. But he did say the hotel’s leadership has been in daily communication with the 18th District’s sergeant liaison and that the bar is closed to the general public, but limiting access to private events and hotel guests.

“We have a strong security presence at the hotel, including the rooftop,” White said.

Knudsen’s office Friday afternoon released a statement saying the bar will be closed through the weekend.

“After speaking with CPD and hotel management, Hotel Lincoln’s rooftop bar will remain closed to the general public through the weekend at Ald. Knudsen’s request. The alderman has been in constant communication with 18th District Commander Jon Hein, will continue to share updates as they become available, and remains dedicated to further conversations between the community and hotel management to address further issues.”

A few dozen Old Town neighbors attended a community safety meeting Monday. Credit: Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago

Neighbors discussed the bar during an Old Town safety meeting Monday night, where they said complaints surrounding the bar have stemmed from before the shooting happened.

Some neighbors said they felt vindicated in their opposition to Hotel Lincoln’s plans to expand its rooftop bar, which were presented during a community meeting last month but have since been scrapped.

“It makes us feel even more that we were absolutely right with being concerned about their expansion,” said Susan Boggie, president of the condominium association for a building directly west of the Hotel Lincoln. “What happened Saturday night is unbelievably sad and tragic, and I feel so sorry for the families involved. But we knew that the direction this bar has been going that there was potential for a lot of threats to our safety.”

Issues with the bar ranged from loud music to rowdy customers and bright, neon lights, Boggie said.

Neighbors said they want the bar to come up with a plan of operation — something that would have been required if it hadn’t pulled its special-use permit application for the expanded rooftop — that would address their concerns about noise, rowdy customers and community safety.

“They may not be expanding the roof, but they’re still going to have the rooftop, and we’re still going to have all those issues,” said neighbor Shannon Waterfield.

Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43rd) and Chicago Police Sgt. Chris Schenk speak during Monday’s Old Town community safety meeting. Credit: Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago

During Monday’s meeting, Knudsen said he would ask Hotel Lincoln’s owners to meet with neighbors gain and discuss strategies to address their concerns.

“Things like soundproofing were brought up in the meeting [last month] in a really productive way, [but] that plan of operation is no more because the project is no more,” Knudsen said. “So I’m hearing from you that we want to have the conversation with them to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

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