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