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Uptown Lounge Says Red Line Renovation Hurting Business

By Adeshina Emmanuel | November 5, 2012 11:39am | Updated on November 24, 2012 1:40pm
 A bartender at Uptown Lounge enjoys a shot of Malort with a patron.
A bartender at Uptown Lounge enjoys a shot of Malort with a patron.
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DNAinfo/Adeshina Emmanuel

UPTOWN — Construction on the Red Line has thrown business off track at one uptown bar.

Fewer patrons have been making after-work pit stops at Uptown Lounge, a neighborhood staple, during renovation efforts at the Lawrence stop, which is scheduled to be closed until Nov. 30, according to the CTA.

In fact, only three people were at the bar one night last week, including the bartender and her friend.

"It has been less busy since the construction started — absolutely," said Jeremie Kabelis, a 32-year-old IT worker living in Ukrainian Village.

Bartender Heather Many, 34, of Uptown, said fewer folks have popped in after work.

"We get a lot of regulars who were on their way home from work who get off the train and stop in for a drink," said Many.

Even weekends have been less busy. Many said that she worked a bartending shift the day construction started on Oct. 19 during the bar's weekly house music night, and a smaller crowd than usual shuffled in.

Chamber for Uptown Executive Director Paula Barrington said that the bar's owners reached out to the organization after witnessing "a drop in their customer traffic" and urged people to not neglect what she said is a "longstanding business that has been supportive of the community."

"Don't assume that the business is closed just because you see construction signs," she said.

Both the Wilson Red Line stop and the Argyle stop are only a few minutes from the bar and are likely alternatives for passengers who cannot exit at Lawrence.

"They should definitely walk the extra block or two and come down," Many said.