Thalia Hall Owners Seek New Licenses, Could Open Music Venue 'Soon'

By Chloe Riley | March 17, 2014 1:52pm 

PILSEN — Thalia Hall — the restaurant and bar concept from Empty Bottle owners Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden — is moving closer to debuting its restored theater and music venue.

The theater space is located at 1807 S. Allport St. is located on the second floor of the multi-use building, which also contains the much-touted restaurant and lounge spaces, Dusek's Board and Beer and Punch House, which opened in the fall.

Finkelman and Golden, who also own the Empty Bottle, applied for the theater's liquor and entertainment licenses on Feb. 13, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. While city officials couldn't immediately say how long the approval process would take, Thalia Hall's Facebook page said to "look out for some news in early summer" on a grand opening.

On Saturday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel dropped by Thalia Hall to check out the progress so far, according to a Thalia Hall twitter post with the hashtag, #theaterintherahm.

The post featured a photo of the mayor standing in an opera box overlooking the theater space.

"Thank you Mayor Rahm for eating some food and touring the hall. Come back soon for some music," the post said.

Reached Monday, Finkelman, who also owns Longman & Eagle in Logan Square, said he came up with the Rahm hashtag.

"We gave [Emanuel] the tour and it was awesome to see how excited he was. He said it was great, he thought it was beautiful," said Finkelman. As far as an early summer opening, he said, "That's up to the city, but we're working hard. We're really excited to be working with the community and working to restore this beautiful property," he said.

Thalia Hall was built starting in 1890 and housed a theater that closed years ago. The theater sat in disrepair for years; previous owners had made attempts at restoring it but never finished.

St. Procopius Parish is located across the street from Thalia Hall at 1641 S. Allport St. Pastor Sean O'Sullivan said last week that while he had not yet received notice of the license applications, several of his parishioners have already been mailed notices regarding Thalia's new applications for the space.