WICKER PARK — The sale of a corner dive bar steeped in history — one of the last of its kind in Wicker Park — has not yet happened, much to the delight of regulars and a bartender who still has his job at the Beachwood Inn.
"People call us and ask, 'Are you still open?' I tell them yes and here in the bar, I tell people to tell their friends, if they have them," said bartender Brian Page on Monday.
Page, a bartender from Thursday-Monday nights for the past eight years, said on Monday that the ongoing news of the impending sale has caused some people to assume the bar is closed.
Page called a farewell party, arranged by regulars in October, "premature."
Listed for $875,000, the property at 1415 N. Wood St. went up for sale in April and has been off the market since Oct. 3, listed as "contingent," meaning a buyer is under contract but the deal has not yet been sealed.
Previously, Realtor Realtor Brooke Daitchman, who is a former Beachwood Inn bartender, said a local buyer was planning to keep a bar on the premises.
No sale has been finalized and there are still "contingencies and technicalities" being worked out, Daitchman cautioned in October, when the sale was expected to have gone through in November.
Reached by email on Monday, Beachwood Inn co-owner Bob Stepien said, "We are hoping for [a sale] next month but nothing still set in stone."
Cory Gray, 23, was practicing his pool shots at the bar, 1415 N. Wood St., on Monday.
"I love this place, the pool table, the PBR and the jukebox that plays the Ramones," said Gray, a Bridgeport resident who had just finished his shift as a dishwasher at Furious Spoon, 1571 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Gray, one of a dozen people in the bar around 8:30 p.m. Monday, said, "Every time I walk by and see it open, still there, I'm happy."
Page regularly updates the bar's Facebook page.
On Monday he posted, "Snow? What Snow?! It's not snowing INSIDE the Beachwood. Start the week off right with our Monday specials."
At the corner of Beach and Wood Streets, from which the inn derived its name, the bar is owned by brothers Bob and Jim Stepien, whose father Leonard Stepien opened the bar in 1950.
Lorriane Stepien ran the bar after her husband was killed in a robbery in 1963.
"Our mother ran it to support herself and two children until the day she died in '96. My brother and I started running it then. Her name was Lorraine and I may be biased, but she was truly an amazing woman," Bob Stepien said.
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