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Already Miss Uncle Fatty's? Buy the Sign at Tiki Bar's Farewell Party

By Serena Dai | May 6, 2013 10:03am
 Uncle Fatty's Rum Resort, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., is closing its doors, but fans can buy signature  paraphernalia at a final party on Tuesday, May 7. 
Uncle Fatty's to Auction Off Signature Items
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LAKEVIEW — True lovers of the soon-to-shutter Uncle Fatty's may have some recourse.

The spring break-themed bar is holding a silent auction at its farewell party Tuesday night for some signature items — four-gallon fish bowls, custom Corona coolers, Uncle Fatty's signs and the saddle meant for partiers to take upside down margarita shots, said owner Brian Galati.

"We weren’t going to do it in the beginning," he said. "We didn’t anticipate the attachment and value and loyalty."

Uncle Fatty's, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., is shutting down Wednesday, and the space will be revamped to be an extension of nearby Headquarters Beercade, a bar with retro arcade games. The five-year-old tiki bar was doing well, Galati said, but the city asked the Capacity Bar Group that runs both spaces to choose one concept.

The newer Headquarters Beercase won out, but many people felt enough attachment to Uncle Fatty's to ask for everything from the signs to the saddle. Cover bands that had gotten their start at Uncle Fatty's requested items to put in their rehearsal space. One 22-year-old man even said he wanted a sign for his living room, Galati said.

"I’m not sure why you want an Uncle Fatty’s sign behind your couch," he said with a laugh, "but okay buddy."

Several bars requested pricing on the approximately five-feet-high saddle on wheels, which has hosted many upside down margarita shots. Customers sit on the saddle, lean back and a beer girl pours sour mix and tequila into the mouth, Galati explained.

He'll be starting the auction off on the saddle at $200.

"You get it all over your face," he said. "It’s kind of an iconic Uncle Fatty’s item."

The signs will start at $100 for smaller ones and $200 for bigger ones. Smaller Uncle Fatty's paraphernalia like the 40-ounce fish bowls will be given away for free to the first customers who show up for Tuesday's party, which will start at 7 p.m. and feature $3 beers, $4 cocktails and cover bands.

Uncle Fatty was inspired by Galati's deceased uncle who always wore bermuda shorts, was the life of the party and never quite fit in wherever he went, Galati said. For a while, Galati even tricked customers and staff into thinking Uncle Fatty was a real, live owner who waltzed into the bar unnoticed to watch people.

"He was like Santa Claus," Galati said. "We had all these stories about this Uncle Fatty character. It really drove the train for us in the first year."

As the tiki bar sets to close, fans are not the only ones who have been getting sentimental for Uncle Fatty's items. Galati, a self-declared "sentimental pack rat," has his own library of history — the first menu, the line-up for the first winter music festival, the first ad.

"I’m excited about the concept of rolling out Headquarters," he said. "But I’m extremely sad to see our baby close."