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Edgewater Lounge Closed for Good, Hopes to Have 'One Last Hoorah' Friday

By Linze Rice | June 17, 2015 2:43pm | Updated on June 17, 2015 4:11pm
 The Edgewater Lounge, 5600 N. Ashland Ave., lost its business license June 10 but still plans to serve $3 drinks Friday, the owner said.
The Edgewater Lounge, 5600 N. Ashland Ave., lost its business license June 10 but still plans to serve $3 drinks Friday, the owner said.
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DNAinfo/Linze Rice

EDGEWATER — The Edgewater Lounge is closed after 15 years in the neighborhood, but regulars might have a chance to say goodbye Friday — if the city doesn't block its send-off party.  

Owner Donna Skach said she plans to open the bar at 5600 N. Ashland Ave. at 7 p.m. Friday for a "fond farewell" party featuring $3 drink specials and live music.

Skach said the business had been up and running full time until about two weeks ago, when she and co-owner David Bulter became "too busy doing other things."

But according to data from the city, the bar's food and tavern licenses were revoked around the same time, on June 10. There didn't appear to be an active liquor license for the business, either.

Tim Czarnecki, 40th Ward Ald. Pat O'Connor's chief of staff, said his office received a call Tuesday from the bar's owners alerting them about the Friday send-off party.

An hour later, he said his office got a fax from the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection that included a report of Edgewater Lounge's violations with the city.

On June 8, city officials began the process of revoking the lounge's license for its use of public ways, deceptive practices and willful failure to pay debts owed to the city, Czarnecki said. It then issued the "business closure" that went into effect June 10. Czarnecki said he did not have specifics on the violations.

Skach denied any licenses from her business have been revoked. They still plan to serve drinks and open for business on Friday, she said.

This isn't the first time the Edgewater Lounge has been reprimanded by the city.

In April of 2014, the business was shut down by the city after failing to pay oustanding fees for expired licensing, a move that Butler said "screwed" his business.

At the time, Mika Stambaugh, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said that the Edgewater Lounge "was operating with expired food and liquor licenses and has roughly $4,800 in outstanding debt with the City Of Chicago."

But Butler said he paid the fees.

Stambaugh this week would not provide details about Edgewater Lounge's most recent alleged violations.

Skach said although it's been a "great" 15 years, she and Butler are moving on to "other ventures."

"Fifteen years, you know, sometimes it's just time to do something different," she said. "We want to say thank you so much to everyone for [their] support. It's been great."

And while fans of the bar likely want to say goodbye, Czarnecki said his office could prevent that from happening, and that investigators may need to be sent out to ensure the lounge is following the law.

"With their business closure, they can't open their doors," Czarnecki said.

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