Comic Book Store Damaged by Bar Crawl Revelers Wants TBOX to Pay Up
LAKEVIEW — The owner of a comic book store damaged by a man landing face-first in his storefront window during a holiday pub crawl wants crawl organizers to pay for the damages, he said Thursday.
Two men fighting Saturday in front of Chicago Comics, 3244 N. Clark St., during the Twelve Bars of Christmas pub crawl led to one man breaking the entire right window and damaging a neon sign.
The cost to replace the window and repair the sign — more than $1,000 — represents an estimated 5 percent rise in this month's business costs, said Eric Kirsammer, the store's owner.
The insurance deductible is $1,000, meaning Kirsammer would have to cover the bulk of the cost if he files a claim. And if he does, his premiums will rise.
"It's a big expense," Kirsammer said. "Bookstores are not high-margin businesses."
Kirsammer said he wants Festa Parties, the organizers of TBOX, to help cover the costs. But calls to Festa Parties from Kirsammer, Ald. Tom Tunney's office and DNAinfo.com Chicago have not been returned.
The event drew more than 40,000 people, according to Chicago Police Sgt. Angelo Hitiris, the Belmont District's entertainment officer, who said he was told 25,000 tickets were sold. Tunney's spokeswoman, Erin Duffy, said Festa Parties promised to cap registration at 18,000 people.
At $40 a ticket, Festa Parties stood to make as much as $1 million on ticket sales alone. And costs are likely to be low, with no space rental fees and many cleanup costs covered by the bars, said Gus Isacson, executive director of Central Lake View Merchants.
"If I were a [TBOX party] promoter, I'd keep doing it," he said.
Violence also erupted Saturday when Gregg Greaves of Uptown allegedly stabbed another man with a broken beer bottle.
After hearing about the violence and receiving complaints from neighborhood residents, Tunney wants to regulate pub crawls the same way parades are regulated.
Kirsammer does not have a problem with pub crawls or with regulation, as long as the rules are reasonable, he said.
TBOX "seemed like a really fun idea," he said. "It just got out of hand."