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Chicago Tap House: Residents Gather Signatures to Block Madison Street Bar

By Chloe Riley | June 25, 2013 7:32am
 Block X Condo Association residents have gathered over 100 signatures to prevent a new upscale sports bar from moving onto Madison Street. A group of residents met with Chicago Tap House owner Daniel Deutscher Thursday to voice their concerns.
Block X Residents and the Chicago Tap House
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WEST LOOP — Residents from a West Loop condo association say they’re going to push for a liquor moratorium in their neighborhood as yet another sports bar tries to make its way into the area.

Residents from the Block X Condo Association have lined up with Ald. Danny Solis (25th) in opposition to the Chicago Tap House, an upscale sports bar that owner Daniel Deutscher has been trying to open at 1140 W. Madison St. for the better part of a year.

Since initially expressing concerns about the bar in March, several Block X residents have gathered more than 100 signatures protesting the noise, late night drunks and crime they say will be brought in by the bar, located a half block south from their complex between May and Racine streets.

Solis spokeswoman Stacy Raker confirmed the alderman’s opposition to the tap house, but also said that any moratorium discussion was still just talk. The neighborhood, sandwiched between the United Center and the Loop, features a number of bars and restaurants.

Owner Daniel Deutscher said he’s been more than willing to compromise with the community, even going so far as removing a rooftop deck — one of the main sources of the community's noise concerns — from his blueprints.

“The fact is, they won’t hear anything else besides themselves,” Deutscher said. “How are you going to change your mind if you’re not opening to listening?”

Deutscher also did his own survey and gathered more than 400 signatures from the neighborhood in support of his bar. 

Block X residents in those units bordering the back of the bar have expressed concerns about garbage build up, patrons peeing in the alleys and, above all, noise.

But Deutscher's talking points were mostly lost in a heated exchange last week with residents who ultimately admitted they had no interest in any compromise for a bar in the space.

Deutscher’s "dream is to open this bar and that to me does not trump all these people’s dreams to raise their kids without all this stuff going on right out their back window,” said Jerry Stevens, a 14-year Block X resident who signed the Block X petition.

But not all Block X’ers think the bar is a bad idea.

Sean Byrne, a 42-year-old lawyer, lives on the Washington Street side of the Block X condominiums. He said he felt pressured to sign the petition against the tap house and thinks the bar could be a good thing for the neighborhood.

“The more people look at our neighborhood as a young and vibrant place, more people are going to flow into it and more development is gonna come in here,” he said.

The building permits at 1140 W. Madison St. are up to date, but Deutscher would be unable to secure a liquor license before moving in. 

The bar owner stressed he could sign the building’s lease immediately if he wanted to. But for community approval, he said he’s willing to delay his plans again.    

“Say I don’t go in. What’s going to happen is, months down the road somebody else does and they’re going to be much, much worse. The devil you know is a lot better than the devil you don’t,” he said.