CHICAGO — Beloved East Village bar Club Foot is closing in November after losing its lease, bar owners announced on Facebook Thursday.
The bar, located at 1824 W. Augusta Blvd., is known for its dance parties and collection of retro toys filling the walls.
"LOST OUR LEASE!" the post reads. "It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that Club Foot will be closing November 15th. This due to a massive rent increase that we cannot afford."
The bar goes on to urge patrons to come in again soon before saying goodbye:
"We have lots of theme parties planned in the time left so don't wait 'til the last minute to come visit. Enjoy us as much as you can, while you can.
We'd like to thank those of you who supported us loyally over the years, we couldn't have done it without you. You are what made Club Foot great and the legend it is.
We don't know what our future holds but hope you'll be a part of it."
Club Foot owners Lauree Rohrig and her husband Chuck Uchida opened the bar in January 1995 and are closing it just two months shy of what would have been the bar's 20th anniversary, Rohrig said on Thursday.
"I didn't open Club Foot because I wanted to get rich. I wanted to open a bar that I loved to be at. I never expected us to last this long," Rohrig said.
Rohrig said that a rent increase of 64 percent from the bar's landlord was too much to bear.
"The rent increase was the nail in the coffin. We were going year to year to pay our bills and as long as we paid them we were happy," she said.
Since the Facebook announcement, Rohrig said she has heard from several fans of the bar over the years.
"People are sad. Dozens of people have met their husbands and wives there; they have an emotional attachment to the bar," she said.
In addition to the rent increase, Rohrig said that business over the past few years has been tough due to the changing neighborhood.
"Hundreds and hundreds of houses have been knocked down to make condos. The demographic is 100 percent different now. I could turn it into a sports bar, but I don't want to work somewhere where I don't like. There is a question of is what we are what people want anymore?"
Rohrig said the Club Foot liquor license will expire on Nov. 15 and the lease ends on Nov 30. Once the bar closes in mid-November she and Uchida will try to sell fixtures and equipment to other bar owners that they know.
Until then, there will be celebrations.
"We don't want to limp out, we want to go out on a high note and have huge parties," she said.
The building's owner, Scott Gray, could not be reached for comment.
Rohrig said Gray has been talking about possibly putting a coffee shop into the corner storefront.
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