WEST LOOP — Residents with children are concerned that a proposed bar on Madison Street will mean more Wrigleyville, less West Loop.
The Chicago Tap House, 1140 W. Madison St., would take up the first and fifth floors of a five-story commercial building, with a rooftop deck that owner Daniel Deutscher said would seat about 50 people.
Potential noise from that rooftop had several residents concerned at a community meeting Thursday.
“I can already hear people talking on their cellphones at CrossRoads [bar] while I’m putting my daughter’s pacifier back in,” said Charles Stephens, a 39-year-old Zipcar manager who lives across from the proposed bar.
“And you’re exactly why we love this neighborhood,” said Deutscher, 30, who described Tap House as a refined rustic sports bar. “This is where we want to have our children. We’re moving here whether this happens or not.”
Madison Street is already lined with bars between Ashland Boulevard and Halsted Street, including CrossRoads Bar and Grill, 1120 W. Madison St., WestEnd, 1326 W. Madison St., and Third Rail Tavern, 1133 W. Madison St.
But several residents from the Block X Condo Association said the neighborhood demographics are changing and so should the bar scene.
Shannon Stevens, a stay-at-home mom who lives in the condos directly behind the proposed Tap House, said she would rather see a more kid-friendly business like a Trader Joe’s or ice cream shop come into the neighborhood.
“In that space, the moms and I, we were like, that would be the best children’s place,” she said.
But Deutscher said the bar would be family-friendly. He wants to do a monthly rooftop movie night and a weekend brunch, and said he is very open to suggestions and community input.
“We’re not building Wrigleyville,” he said.
Neighbor Kate Stephens, a 35-year-old lawyer, said while she liked the idea of the restaurant, she wasn’t as sold on the bar’s sports focus.
The Tap Room is the first for Deutscher, who worked in the service industry for almost 13 years at Morgan’s on Maxwell, 1325 S. Halsted St.
Deutscher said he plans to be a hands-on owner, and his experience at Morgan’s has more than prepared him to deal with issues that come with having a neighborhood bar.
Deutscher’s wife, Brooke, who worked with him at Morgan’s, said many in the service industry have already come out to support her husband, and she hopes the community will ultimately follow suit.
“It’s his dream, his passion. This is where we want to settle our family,” she said.