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Hamilton's Bar Closing After Sale to Loyola

By Benjamin Woodard | October 15, 2012 2:36pm

EDGEWATER — To the dismay of Loyola University students and alumni, Hamilton's Bar — or "Hammies," as it's called by many college-aged patrons — plans to close its doors after 80 years.

Rumors spread quickly on campus and online that Loyola had purchased the property, said Kevin Sisler, a Loyola junior who frequents Hamilton's. Everyone is "devastated," he said.

Summur Roberts, a Loyola spokeswoman, said the university was on track to complete its purchase of the property at 6341 N. Broadway by the end of October.

"If everything continues to go as it has been, the sale will probably go through," she said.

Alderman Joe Moore (49th) posted on the message board website EveryBlock that Hamilton's had been struggling financially and looking for a buyer.

Residents and Loyola students are wondering what will become of the beloved neighborhood institution.

Roberts said there were several possibilities for the use of the property, including an indoor track, if Loyola could pick up some of the surrounding buildings on North Broadway, most of which were vacant.

"There's so much more that could be done with that strip," Roberts said. "Loyola would love to be a part of that."

Loyola University's Lake Shore Campus, located in Rogers Park and Edgewater, has been steadily expanding.

This summer the school began constructing several apartment buildings on Albion Avenue in Rogers Park. And it is preparing to build another apartment complex less than a block away as part of the Loyola "El" station reconstruction, set to be completed by August 2013. At the beginning of this summer, Loyola finished the rehabilitation of a long-vacant apartment building on Sheridan Road, converting it to student dorms.

Hamilton's owners broke the news of the bar's closing on its Facebook page, saying that its last day would be on Oct. 27

"After 80 years, Chicago's legendary Hamilton's Bar and Grill is closing...Until the final drink is poured, the final food item is served, we invite you - our family and friends, current and former regulars, Loyola Alumni and community characters - TO COME REMINISCE , CELEBRATE AND SAY GOODBYE to this institution in Rogers Park, this historic landmark of a bar, for the past 80 years.

"We look forward to partying with you one last time," the message concluded.