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Bars Near United Center Prepare for Crush of Blackhawks Fans

By Stephanie Lulay | June 15, 2015 1:20pm
 Fans celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup win at WestEnd, 1326 W. Madison St., in 2013.
Fans celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup win at WestEnd, 1326 W. Madison St., in 2013.
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NEAR WEST SIDE — Don't have $25,000 to spend on a ticket to Game 6 at the United Center? Don't sweat it, diehard Blackhawks fans — bars around the UC are preparing to welcome thousands to the Near West Side Monday night.

The Hawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Saturday night, setting up a potential Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 Monday night at United Center. It's been 77 years since the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup at home.

Many of The Ogden's regulars will be camped out at the bar Monday night about two blocks away from the United Center at 1659 W. Ogden Ave. There's nothing better than be surrounded by hundreds of other Hawks fans singing Chelsea Dagger when the Hawks score a goal, said Joe Magoonaugh, the bar's managing partner.

"We want to be the next best thing to going to the game," he said.

Magoonaugh said he fans were already coming to the bar starting at lunchtime to get a seat to watch the game.

"I'm expecting people who are going to be showing up early and camping out all day," he said. "I have never taken as many calls for an event as I have for Game 6."

The Ogden is no longer taking reservations for the game, but Magoonaugh said about half of the bar's seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Andy Gowin, co-owner of the Wise Owl, 324 S. Racine Ave., said he expects the bar to fill up two hours before game time. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis and the patio will be open as weather permits.

"Saturday night was crazy, and there's no doubt tonight will be madness," Gowin said.

WestEnd, 1326 W. Madison St., plans to open at 3 p.m. to accommodate fans. The bar typically opens at 4 p.m. for Hawks home games.

Tables at the West Loop bar will be available on a first come, first served basis, said Ryan Indovina, director of Four Corners Tavern Group. 

WestEnd welcomed scores of crowds after the Hawks took the Stanley Cup in 2013, when fans took the streets outside the bar and along Madison to celebrate the win. If the Blackhawks repeat their 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup wins Monday night, WestEnd is ready, Indovina said — the bar will have extra security and staff on hand.

"We expect it to be very busy, great energy from the crowd," Indovina said. "If the Hawks win, it should be  a fantastic night."



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