WEST LOOP — An upscale sports bar is pursuing a liquor license, though its owners have not signed a lease agreement and resistance to it includes the local alderman and other community organizers.
The Chicago Tap House began the application process for a liquor license on Sept. 5, according to Jennifer Lipford, communications director for the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Ald. Danny Solis (25th) does not support a bar at 1140 W. Madison Ave. "and will be working to ensure that a liquor establishment will not be opened at this location,” said Solis spokeswoman Stacy Raker.
Martha Goldstein, executive director of the West Loop Community Organization, said her organization also does not support a bar in the space.
Bar owner Daniel Deutscher’s first pitch to the West Loop community back in March was met with some community members expressing concern over potential noise from the bar’s proposed rooftop deck.
Since then, Deutscher said he has eliminated the rooftop idea and expanded the kitchen plans to shift the focus to food.
“I’m really hoping for their support and not their pushback anymore,” Deutscher said. “If any of the neighbors want to speak with me, I’m willing.”
Much of the loudest resistance to the bar has come from the neighboring Block X Condo Association residents — some of whom have small children — who they say will be affected by the noise coming from the bar.
In June, Block X residents gathered more than 100 signatures protesting the Tap House. Now, those same residents are encouraging others in the community to send letters of protest to the city’s Liquor License Commission.
In a letter posted on Block X’s Facebook page, a connection is drawn between increased crime and the existing Madison Street bars, saying allowing the Tap House "would only add to the problem."
“For example, a man was stabbed and critically injured at 1104 W. Madison, a bar, shortly after midnight on October 13, 2011. On August 25, 2010, a man was shot to death at the same establishment on Madison,” according to the letter.
Residents in the letter also cited a decline in property values and an increase in noise and litter.
One Block X resident, Moshe Tammsot, had at one point expressed interest in the vacant building, eyeing it as a factory for his business, an online company that connects manufacturers to consumers.
Property owner Steve Greenberg said that while he and Deutscher have a tentative agreement to lease the space, the contract remains unsigned.