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Punkin' Donuts Gone For Good To Make Way For Target

By Ariel Cheung | August 5, 2015 8:47am | Updated on August 5, 2015 4:55pm
 At 3200 N. Clark St., the Dunkin' Donuts fondly nicknamed Punkin' Donuts in the 1980s and '90s has closed to make way for a mixed-use development.
At 3200 N. Clark St., the Dunkin' Donuts fondly nicknamed Punkin' Donuts in the 1980s and '90s has closed to make way for a mixed-use development.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

CENTRAL LAKEVIEW — A significant part of neighborhood history recently closed, the Dunkin' Donuts long known as Punkin Donuts.

Next up: demolition to make way for a $50 million development anchored by a Target (which, while still smaller than the typical store, won't be called TargetExpress).

In the days when boisterous punks roamed the streets of Lakeview,  the shop was a common gathering place at Clark and Belmont. To outsiders, 3200 N. Clark St. was just another Dunkin' Donuts. But those in the know called it Punkin' Donuts.

"Everybody looks at this scene as a home. We come here, and we belong. Everybody's the same here. It's been going on for years, and we're going to keep coming," one fan said during a 1990 Wild Chicago interview.

 In February, former punks gathered at 3200 N. Clark St. to say farewell to Punkin' Donuts, a staple for the Lakeview punk scene in the 1980s and '90s.
In February, former punks gathered at 3200 N. Clark St. to say farewell to Punkin' Donuts, a staple for the Lakeview punk scene in the 1980s and '90s.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

The doughnut shop, which grew in popularity in the 1980s and '90s, underwent renovations as Lakeview shed its rougher past, but even today, some still fondly remember the crowded nights in the store's parking lot.

"This was the best time of my whole life. Belmont gave me the greatest life in the world," recalled Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley and former aldermanic candidate.

Back in February, Thomas stopped by a farewell gathering for Punkin' Donuts after news circulated that it would soon be demolished. Over hot chocolate and coffee, the intimate group laughed over days gone by.

Punkin' Donuts closed in late July. Nearby buildings were razed in February. But the memories of Medusa's and metal live on...

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 The $50 million, eight-story BlitzLake development is expected to include 90 apartment units, two floors of retail and 39 parking spaces.
The $50 million, eight-story BlitzLake development is expected to include 90 apartment units, two floors of retail and 39 parking spaces.
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Howard Hirsch Associates