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Wicker Park Corner Storefront Empty Since '90s to Get New Restaurant

By Alisa Hauser | December 26, 2014 9:50am | Updated on December 29, 2014 10:40am
 A restaurant is coming 2101-07 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park.
2101-07 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park
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WICKER PARK — A corner storefront across from Sultan's Market that has been vacant since the early 1990s will be seeing new life in 2015 with the addition of a new business called "Knead Pizza Company," according to a city permit.

Located on the southwest corner of Hoyne and North avenues — just west of the Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection —  Knead Pizza Company will occupy a storefront at the base of a three-story, yellow brick apartment building.

Spanning nearly one-half-block, the apartment building was once a hotel called The Victor, according to "Wicker Park: From 1673 thru 1929, A Walking Tour Guide," by Elaine Coorens.

The Victor Hotel "fell on hard times by the 1970s and was forced closed in the 1990s," Coorens wrote.

The apartments above the building were rehabbed in 2008, according to a real estate rental listing.

The city issued a building permit on Tuesday for a $35,000 project to build the new restaurant, Knead Pizza Company, at 2101 W. North Ave.

Knead Pizza Company is owned by Michael Waicekauskas, according to state records.

Waicekauskas could not immediately be reached for comment early Friday.

Masada Ramli, co-owner of Sultan's Market at 2057 W. North Ave. said the storefront, which was once home to a grocery store beneath the hotel, closed in 1991.  

Heralding the news of a new neighbor after so many years, Ramli said, "It's exciting; it will bring more people to area. Today they eat falafel, tomorrow they eat pizza."

"Anything coming there will be good for the neighborhood," Ramli added.

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