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Buck's Saloon to Close, Will Be Replaced by Bar-Retro Arcade

By Serena Dai | April 11, 2013 1:34pm | Updated on April 11, 2013 4:37pm
 Buck's Saloon will soon close to be replaced by Replay, a retro arcade game bar with an extensive craft beer selection.
Buck's Saloon will soon close to be replaced by Replay, a retro arcade game bar with an extensive craft beer selection.
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BOYSTOWN— Say goodbye to gay beer garden bar Buck's Saloon and hello to Replay, a retro arcade game bar that will soon open in the space.

The bar, 3439 N. Halsted St., will be renovated and reopened by late May as Replay, according to Northalsted Business Alliance spokeswoman Jennifer Gordon. 

Mark Liberson, owner of Halsted's Bar and Grill, Hydrate and Elixir, has been working to purchase the space from Buck's since late February. The sale finalized on Thursday.

Liberson said Buck's is the first bar he's ever wanted to buy — the neighborhood feel has always appealed to him, he said. The bar is in need of a facelift, and he wants the new bar Replay to "salute the history that Buck's has," he said.

"It's a small cute bar that I've always thought had such potential," he said.

The new bar will feature more than 20 vintage arcade games, including Ms. Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong, to go along with the pool and darts that already exist in the bar, Liberson said — though Headquarters Beercade, the other retro arcade bar in Lakeview will not be collaborating with Replay. 

Liberson is good friends with a partner at Headquarters Beercade, and previously, Gordon said the two were collaborating. But Liberson said that arcade games was just casually discussed a concept that would play well in Boystown. 

He hopes both "beer geeks" and neighborhood patrons alike will enjoy Replay's offerings: bourbon, more than 25 craft beers and a cocktail menu by Elixir's Danny Quinn.

"It should remain a small, neighborhood bar," Liberson said. "It’s just a great place and has a long tradition."

Buck's has known since late February that it would be shutting its doors, according to a Facebook post. Those looking for a last hurrah at the bar have through the weekend before renovations begin on Monday.

On Friday night, the bar will host a VIP free open bar from 6-8 p.m., which people can sign up for by emailing vip@buckschicago.com, said the former general manager Jimmy Bissonnette.

On Saturday, Buck's will offer $10 domestic draft pitchers, and on Sunday, final Buck's visitors can eat at a buffet and buy $1 Kool-Aid shots.