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WhirlyBall's New Bucktown Location Starts Taking Shape

 Walls started going up at 1823 W. Webster Ave. Thursday and continued into this week.
WhirlyBall Making Progress
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BUCKTOWN — WhirlyBall is making headway on its new location in Bucktown, which will add bowling, private event space and another floor to the mix this fall.

Workers last week started erecting walls for the eventual 50,000-square-foot building at 1823 W. Webster Ave. near the Kennedy Expy., less than three months after its February groundbreaking.

The new location is just a half-mile south of WhirlyBall's current 30,000-square-foot spot at 1880 W. Fullerton Ave., where fans play something of a hybrid of lacrosse, basketball and hockey using bumper carts.

Construction continued Wednesday, and spokeswoman Jill Brown Smith said much of the building's exterior should be finished by the end of the week. The total cost of the project has been estimated at about $12.5 million.

WhirlyBall owner Sam Elias bought the land, once home to a manufacturing building, for $3.5 million in summer 2013. Elias also owns WhirlyBall locations in suburban Lombard and Vernon Hills.

After WhirlyBall moves to its new location sometime in mid-November, it will have new private event space with room for 150-250 people as well as bowling lanes, Brown Smith said.

And with a second floor, the building should be able to hold nearly twice as many WhirlyBall enthusiasts, Elias has said.

The new location will also continue to offer three WhirlyBall courts, laser tag and a restaurant plus a full service bar with craft beer.

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