STREETERVILLE — The Realtor Building that sits atop the subterranean Billy Goat Tavern may be razed and replaced with a new hotel, retail space and condominiums, but the owners of the iconic bar said Thursday it isn't going anywhere.
The Sianis family posted a statement on the Billy Goat website Thursday "to clear the record of some misinformation that has been reported these past few days.
"First, we have no knowledge of the details in the proposed redevelopment, and no plans have been presented to us, if they even exist," the statement reads. "There have been no negotiations with us about moving the Tavern any time soon, and as far as we know the Tavern is here to stay on Michigan Avenue."
The response was motivated by reports suggesting that a proposal to redevelop the Realtor Building at 430 N. Michigan Ave. could displace the longstanding bar and grill, which has been there for nearly 50 years. The Tribune reported that the redevelopment "would at least temporarily displace Billy Goat."
But the statement from the Billy Goat says the Sianises and the Realtors Association have "become a family," including them in discussions about the building's future and "assur[ing] us that the Billy Goat Tavern will not leave or close its doors on Michigan Avenue if or when the proposed redevelopment happens.
"From our close relationship with the association over the years, we have full faith and trust that they will take care of the Tavern for the next generation to enjoy," the statement said.
The bar is popular with tourists — and has been a longtime watering hole for local media.
But if something does happen to the restaurant made famous on "Saturday Night Live" that launched eight others — and with a ninth on the way on Lake Street — the family says they're confident they "will land on all four hooves."
"The only thing that will have changed will be the plumbing," the statement jokes, "even if that means scraping the 50 year cigar smoke stains from the walls and moving that as well."