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NBC 'Chicago Fire' Films Portions of Episode 21 in Bucktown, Wicker Park

By Alisa Hauser | March 26, 2013 5:00pm

BUCKTOWN — NBC drama "Chicago Fire" was back in the neighborhood Tuesday, this time taking over portions of throughway streets such as North and Damen avenues in Wicker Park and Bucktown.

This show also filmed early Wednesday, between the Blue Line Damen "L" stop and The Violet Hour at 1520 N. Damen Ave.

Unlike previous scenes, which included a 'simulated emergency' in front of Bucktown's Lottie's Pub, a locations department representative who wished not to be named confirmed that there would be "No explosions, nothing major, only more of a medical issue possibly."

An ambulance for "Chicago Fire" was parked outside of a house on the 1600 block of North Wolcott Avenue earlier Tuesday morning.

The location manager said there are 24 episodes total in the season, and portions of episode 21 will be filmed in Bucktown and Wicker Park this week.

Shooting is expected to wrap up in May. Should the series get picked up for another season, filming will resume again in late summer, the locations manager said.

Tom Kleiner, general manager of Club Lucky, told DNAinfo.com Chicago that he arrived to work by 4:30 a.m. Tuesday to make sure he was ready to greet actors and film crews, who shot "a small dining scene" inside the Italian restaurant from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Unable to divulge further details on the scene, Kleiner reflected on the experience instead.

"Everybody, cast and crew are incredibly gracious and conscientious and really nice people," Kleiner said.

Michael Durante, manager of Chase Bank's Wicker Park branch at 1849 W. North Ave., said he is a fan of "Chicago Fire" and lives across from a building on the 1800 block of North Franklin Street in the West Loop where an opening scene from the pilot was filmed.

Peering around the massive truck parked in front of the bank branch, Durante said he "thinks it's funny they've followed me from home to work."

While Durante was enthused about the filming, some small area business owners expressed concerns.

Jon Cotay, owner of Akira Men at 1910 W. North Ave., said he'd just gotten back to the city from being in Los Angeles and was unaware of the filming, though his staff had received a notice Friday.

"I know [filming] it's big for the city, so I'm open to it because it brings a lot of benefits, though how it transitions all the way down to us, I am not sure," Cotay said.

Hong Lee, owner of Express Cleaners at 1850 W. North Ave., said that he is a fan of "Chicago Fire," though the fact the crew's trucks were scheduled to be parked in front of his dry cleaning business through the 6 p.m. rush hour is a concern.

"The police, the fire department, they all gave permission for them. I can't do anything about it and it's not so good for business. I hope my customers will be able to park somewhere tonight," Hong said.

Signs posted on area street poles warn residents of parking advisories in effect and suggest additional parking at St. Mary's of the Angels Church, 1850 N. Hermitage Ave.

Remaining parking restrictions include:

Tuesday, March 26, from 4 a.m. until Wednesday, March 27 at 1 a.m:

Both sides of Wolcott Avenue between North Avenue and 1617 N. Wolcott Ave.

Both sides of North Avenue between Winchester Avenue and Honore Street.

Additionally, there will be a full street closure on Wolcott between North Ave. and Wabansia between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday March 26 at 6 p.m. until Wednesday March 27 at 11 a.m.

Both sides of Damen Avenue between Pierce Avenue and Schiller Street.

Both sides of Pierce between Damen Avenue and the first alley west of Damen Avenue.