Cal's Bar Closing Its Doors After 65 Years With New Year's Bash

By Lizzie Schiffman Tufano on December 27, 2012 6:45pm 

 Beloved South Loop dive bar Cal's Liquors has announced that it's closing its doors after 65 years of serving up cheap booze and weekend gigs. It's hosting a joint New Year's Eve/closing party, for free, with performances by Mercy Mercy, Demerits, and the Larroquettes.
Beloved South Loop dive bar Cal's Liquors has announced that it's closing its doors after 65 years of serving up cheap booze and weekend gigs. It's hosting a joint New Year's Eve/closing party, for free, with performances by Mercy Mercy, Demerits, and the Larroquettes.
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Flickr/swanksalot

SOUTH LOOP — It's last call for Cal's.

Fans of cheap beer, loud music and familial service should cancel their New Year's plans now, because it's the last chance they'll get to party at Cal's Bar for free.

The venue announced plans to shut down operations on New Year's Day in a post on its Facebook page Dec. 16 after more than six decades of slinging shots.

"Sorry to say after 65 years your favorite s---ty dive bar is closing it's [sic] doors at the end of the month," the post read. "For reasons I can explain, and for some I will never know, our last night will be a New Years Eve show."

The plug's being pulled by the owners, who are planning to retire along with the bar, manager Mike Feirstein said.

When Feirstein learned the owners planned to close the joint, "I thought, why not just go out with a bang, and make a party out of it?" he said.

The bar's last hurrah will be a three-band show, featuring performances by Mercy Mercy, The Demerits and The Laroquettes.

"They're all pretty good and entertaining," Feirstein said of the bands. "Drinks are really cheap, and I think it'll be really crowded, and I think it'll be fun, a good time. It's our last night open, so the people that have memories of this place will want to experience one more time."

There won't be a cover charge for the event, but bar staff will be accepting donations at the door.  Thirsty patrons can crack open a Pabst Blue Ribbon for $2.50 and domestic beers for $3.  There will also likely be champagne at midnight, staffers said.

Cal's has been a South Loop standby since it opened in 1947, recently carving out space for itself as a bike messenger hangout and a punk rock venue on weekends.

Cal's made headlines in September when suburban teen Adel Daoud attempted to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside the bar.

In fact, Daoud had been communicating with undercover agents from the FBI, who had given him a decoy bomb.

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