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Silver Cloud Bar and Grill Closed for Now After Business Partners Split

By Alisa Hauser | August 28, 2014 4:00pm
 Silver Cloud at 1700 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown/Wicker Park.
Silver Cloud
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BUCKTOWN — Silver Cloud, a neighborhood bar and grill at the northwest corner of Wabansia and Damen avenues that has served as a go-to spot for locals, industry workers and tourists eager to enjoy comfort food, has closed it's door after two decades, it was announced Thursday.

How long the closure will last — and whether it will reopen as Silver Cloud — was not disclosed, although a co-owner confirmed she sold her stake to her partner.

"This is devastating," said Jill Levy, a neighbor who lives across from the restaurant at 1700 N. Damen Ave. and has been a regular customer for 20 years.

Patrick Petranek, a clerk at nearby Goddess and Grocer,  said he learned of the closing because he had tried to stop by before his late afternoon shift Thursday only to find the doors closed.

"It's very sad. I go there a lot," Petranek said.

Alisa Hauser says she goes four times a month, and like many others, she might have to find a new neighborhood spot:

Silver Cloud's co-owner Cy Oldham owns another bar in Uptown, Fat Cat at 4840 N. Broadway. She has two children and helps out with a bar her husband owns in Lincoln Park said it was "time to make more time for my family."

"I have a child going into fourth grade and one going into kindergarten. I often refer to Silver Cloud as my first baby," Oldham said.

So after much consideration, in a decision Oldham described as "a long time coming," she sold her shares in the business to a partner, which resulted in a layoff of 30 workers and the windows being papered over.

A sign in the window says, "Closed for a short time for decorating."

Oldham's business partner was unable to be reached about what plans could be in store for Silver Cloud or how long the closure will last.

Oldham indicated she is working to try and find her staff new jobs.

Oldham declined to offer any details on what her former partner's plan might be for the establishment.

Oldham said she has been a co-owner for 18 years and feel like she has spent half of her life there.

A colorful mural on the wall facing a serene patio along Wabansia promises, "Food like mom would make...if she was gettin' paid!!!" and the eatery's website touts that the grill has been "making the average Joe sloppy since 1994."

Silver Cloud also serves Sloppy Joe sandwiches too, which like all of its dishes, comes on a silver tray with red and white checkered paper lining.

Early Thursday, Oldham sent the following message to her workers, who were also informed of the closure on Thursday:

"After several years of consideration, I have decided to sell my interest in Silver Cloud.  I look forward to devoting more time to my family, and simplifying my life with one business, Fat Cat. Thank you all for your support over the past 18 years. Silver Cloud holds a special place in all our hearts. Special thanks to all of our employees throughout the years, for making Silver Cloud a Chicago institution. I have enjoyed watching my customers meet, get married, and start a family of their own. I have been fortunate to see some of their children grow up as well. Now It's time for me to spend more time with mine," Oldham wrote.

The corner building's history as a neighborhood bar goes far back.

Ken Lubinski, owner of Lubinski Furniture at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. said in the 1960s the bar was called Pete and Al's because it was run by two World War II veterans named Pete and Al.

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