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Hockey Bar at Busy UK Village Corner Nixed, Blighted Building Up for Rent

By Alisa Hauser | January 19, 2015 9:23am
 A plan to bring a hockey and champagne bar to 1952 W. Chicago Ave. has been shelved now that a half-finished building is up for rent.  But an architect still has renderings for a restaurant if a new tenant wants to take the reigns.
1952 W. Chicago Ave. Restaurant Plans
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UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Plans to bring an upscale hockey lounge and champagne bar to a dilapidated building near a busy Ukrainian Village corner have been shelved.

Just east of the northeast corner of Chicago and Damen avenues, a two-story, 6,000-square-foot building at 1952 W. Chicago Ave. had been scheduled to be transformed into a lounge co-owned by Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison.

Cornelison said the plan "may be revived, but it is on shelf for now."

The building's owner, Jesse Boyle, who was Cornelison's business partner in the venture, has now put the property up for rent. The building has sat empty since a fire several years ago inside of a Bella's Pizza outpost.

Boyle, who also owns Red Ivy in Wrigleyville and the short-lived Grand Tour in Ravenswood, had canceled the plans, according to Kudan Group broker Jarrett Fradin, who put the property up for rent last week.

"[Boyle] has taken over other projects that are moving faster than this one. Any restaurant group would be a great fit because the area is so hot," Fradin said.

Boyle bought the bank-owned building for $320,000 in March 2011 at a public auction, according to county records.

Michael Cosmano, the building's previous owner, who ran a Bella's Pizza at the site, lost the property to foreclosure. In 2008 Cosmano was charged with the 1981 murder of a pizza delivery driver that worked for him.

James Kapche, an architect, was working with Cosmano on the plans to renovate the fire-damaged building before his client was arrested for the murder.

"He was fantastic to work with, decisive, easy going, accessible, a great client. I was shocked," said Kapche, who has kept the drawings he was commissioned to do for Cosmano.

Kapche's renderings add a third story to the building and a penthouse roof. The first floor has a bar and there is a private party room on the second floor.

"I hope someone would want to use our design. It is a great location; we have fabulous renderings," said Kapche, who shared the exterior designs with DNAinfo Chicago.

The half-finished building has been an eyesore since a fire damaged the pizza parlor several years ago, according to residents.

"It is a blight. I wish that somebody would do something responsible with it.  It is time for something to get done,"said Neal McKnight, president of the East Village Association.

McKnight said that his neighborhood group was never contacted by Cornelison, Boyle or anyone associated with the hockey lounge and champagne bar concept.

"I will be happy when there is a concrete proposal," McKnight said.

Boyle could not be reached for comment.

Kudan's Marketing Packet for 1952 W. Chicago Ave.

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