LAKEVIEW — Four businesses near the Belmont Red Line that closed after a tanning bed fire more than two months ago may not open again until March, according to business owners.
Chicago Bagel Authority, clothing boutique Never Mind, Milios Hair Salon and Ultimate Exposure Tanning at the corner of West Belmont and North Sheffield have been closed since a tanning bed at Ultimate Exposure caught fire in late September.
Greg Gibbs, owner of CBA, and Dalia Awdisho, owner of Milios, said the insurance companies initially predicted the businesses could reopen by December. But now the reopening won't happen until at least January — and could be as late as March.
The problem: Lots of insurance companies means lots of coordinating, which takes lots of time, said Sam Hergott, of Newcastle Limited, the building's owner. At one point, the salon's insurance company even sued the tanning bed company, which went on to sue the lightbulb company, Gibbs said. The number of players involved extends the timeline, Hergott said.
The tanning bed in question was removed only a week or so ago, he said.
According to Awdisho, the ceiling and roof that Milios shared with the tanning salon are finally getting worked on now to repair smoke damage. Once that structural damage is repaired, Awdisho will have a better idea of when her shop will reopen.
If it turns out construction requires another city permit, that could extend the timeline, too, Awdisho said.
"We all walked in thinking we would reopen in two weeks, that we were just going to have to clean up the place and reopen," she said. "All of a sudden, insurance said there was a lot of internal damage, and it’s looking more like six months."
Regular customers have been able to schedule appointments with Milios stylists, who are working from other locations. CBA diners have been supportive by ordering delivery from the business' Armitage location.
But the bottom line for both businesses has suffered. Gibbs said he did not want to layoff workers.
"It's out of my control," Gibbs said. "We’re all ready to do the work ourselves, but nothing can be done until [all the insurance companies] sign off on it down the line."
Milios customers can call 773-549-1461 to schedule appointments, and CBA fans can go to the Armitage location at West Armitage and North Sheffield in Lincoln Park.
Ultimate Tanning Exposure and Never Mind boutique did not respond to messages.