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Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park Plans Summer Expansion, Owners Say

By Alisa Hauser | April 2, 2013 6:34am

WICKER PARK —  There's good news on the summer horizon for gamers and drinkers.

Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park will be expanding to an adjacent storefront at 1368 N. Milwaukee Ave "hopefully by June," its co-owner said Sunday.

"The biggest complaint we get is that it's too packed here and there's not enough space for people to just hang out," Danny Marks said.

Danny Marks and his brother, Doug Marks, opened Emporium Arcade Bar in June in a storefront owned by pharmacist Barry Golin, who owns Barry Drugs, a second-generation, family-run business at 1370 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Danny Marks said that the additional space will enable Emporium to "about double in size" and offer another bar along with more games and space for private events, which he said he is often unable to be accommodate.

In addition, a movie projector screen will be added to the new space. 

Marks hinted at "other surprises" but was unwilling to divulge.

The space adjacent to Emporium Arcade Bar has been used for the past 39 years by Dr. Francisco Ricuarte, a family physician who operates a walk-in medical clinic.

Rose Duprey, manager of Barry Drugs, said that Ricuarte relocated Saturday to a newly remodeled office in the back of Barry Drugs.

The planned expansion will be the third in recent months for popular, independently-owned Wicker Park businesses.

Last week, Smoke Daddy at 1804 W. Division St. unveiled its new addition as the city mailed out postcards to neighbors living within 250 feet of Big Star at 1531 N. Damen Ave. to notify them of the taqueria's plans to expand.

Discussing Emporium's planned expansion, Matt Bailey, a spokesman for Ald. Joe Moreno (1st),  said, "Similar to what's going on over at Big Star, they have a unique concept for our unique neighborhood and think it's awesome they are able to expand so quickly."