WRIGLEYVILLE — Joe Shanahan, often regarded as a leader in Chicago's alternative rock music and club scene, revealed that he's been diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer Tuesday evening.
Shanahan owns or is partners in Metro and Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark St.; Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark St.; and Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.
He plans on being "very involved with the companies on a daily basis" as he's being treated for cancer, he said in a statement.
He starts treatment on Monday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he's been told he has an 80 percent survival rate for his diagnosis.
"While this is a challenging time for me, I know that I will beat cancer," he said, "and I am thankful for the support of my family, friends and work family as I begin my treatment and recovery.”
Shanahan has owned Metro since 1982, and since then, performing there has been called a "rite of passage" for Chicago artists. And Metro and Shanahan have helped launch the careers of bands such as R.E.M., the Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode and the Indigo Girls.
On days Shanahan must take off for treatment, the show will go on at his clubs, he said.
"I have prided myself in putting together a great team of employees, and I am confident they will continue to excel in their work as they always have," he said.