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Goose Island Claims Negotiations Ongoing, but Landlord Says Pub is Out

By Paul Biasco | June 20, 2013 6:40am | Updated on June 20, 2013 12:37pm
 Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
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LINCOLN PARK — The owner of the Lincoln Park building where Goose Island Brewery got its start announced the brewery would be relocating in 2014 — but Goose Island claims it is still negotiating its lease.

Goose Island Brewery opened at that location 25 years ago.

CRM Properties Group announced this week it regretted the brewery's move from the location due to a lease dispute, and even offered to help brew pub owner John Hall use their contacts to "find a new suitable location."

Thursday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Hall said a final decision had not been made and that negotiations were ongoing.

"It's not a done deal. It's in the best interest of everyone to stay here," said Kathleen Gray, representing Hall. "We are still working diligently with them."

The senior vice president of CRM, Chris Siavelis, stood by the company's statement Thursday afternoon and said that negotiations have ended.

"I can't be responsible for what anyone else says," Siavelis said. "I don’t know who he is in negotiation with, but maybe he is negotiating with himself, because I haven’t heard from him for weeks."

The Goose Island brewing company was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2011, but Hall still operates the original brewpub at 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.

In 2008 Goose Island and CRM agreed to an unspecified reduction in rent for a five-year continuation of the lease during the economic downturn, according to Siavelis.

Hall, the founder of Goose Island, requested a 30 percent reduction in rent and hundreds of thousands of dollars for brewery improvements for the new lease, but CRM declined, according to Siavelis.

"We appreciate Goose Island Brewery as a long-standing tenant and would like to have seen it stay on, but its request brings the proposed transaction far below that of market value, which has come back strongly in urban areas," Siavelis announced in a company statement.

The nonrenewal of the Lincoln Park location does not involve Goose Island's Wrigleyville and Fulton Street locations.

Goose Island celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Lincoln Park Clybourn location on May 19.

The commemorate that anniversary, the company released a special Anniversary Ale, which is now available at the brewpubs on draught and in six-pack bottles.

The Lincoln Park brewpub has a 10-barrel brewhouse and has more than 20 beers available daily.

The 12,500-square-foot space will be available in early 2014, according to CRM.

The company's Wrigleyville brewpub opened in 1999 a block from Wrigley Field. It has a 15-barrel brewhouse and will remain open.

* An earlier version of this story indicated that Goose Island and CRM agreed to a 30 percent reduction in rent in 2008. CRM did not confirm the amount of the reduction.*