LINCOLN SQUARE — The Old Town School of Folk Music’s plan to reopen The Grafton Irish Pub and Grill under a new name is not moving forward because another buyer has decided to purchase the property, school officials said.
Grafton owners Malcolm and Andrea Molloy closed the bar, 4530 N. Lincoln Ave., in August after nearly 20 years in the neighborhood.
In January, the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., announced plans to buy the pub in order to reopen it as a restaurant and performance venue.
But those plans are off after the school’s leadership found out another buyer signed a contract for the property, CEO Jim Newcomb told Block Club in a statement.
“After a couple of weeks of trying to get the deal done, we have come to the conclusion that it is unlikely to go through. We have paused any and all activity on the Grafton until we know if the building will go to the other buyer or not,” Newcomb said. “We are in limbo, technically, but we do not believe that it’s going to go through at this point. Obviously, it is a huge disappointment.”
The three-story building that housed The Grafton is “under contract” in an online listing.
It is not immediately clear who the buyer is. Messages left with Grafton owner Andrea Molloy and realtors Marcus Sullivan and Tim Rasmussen were not immediately returned.
Under the Molloys’ ownership, The Grafton served as an unofficial extension of the Old Town School because of how many teachers and students popped in before and after classes to grab a pint and bite to eat or perform at the pub, former regulars said.
Had the plan moved forward, the nonprofit school wanted to open a restaurant with a stage to continue the Grafton’s tradition of being one of the first venues its students perform at after taking classes, Newcomb previously said.
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