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Danny's Tavern Has 'Lines Down the Block' Amid Closing Scare

By Alisa Hauser | November 10, 2015 8:56am
 Danny's Tavern, 1951 W. Dickens Ave., on a quiet Tuesday morning.
Danny's Tavern, 1951 W. Dickens Ave., on a quiet Tuesday morning.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

BUCKTOWN — As the owners of Danny's Tavern try to hash out a new lease with their landlord to avoid closing, lines to get into the venerable pub near the corner of Damen and Dickens avenues are longer than usual.

"Lately, it's been overly crowded. On Saturday night, people could not get in. [The closing scare] has  definitely done a lot to their popularity," said Anabel Bilyk, who lives next store to Danny's Tavern.

Bilyk said that Danny's usually attracts a line on Thursday nights, but over the past few days, with the exception of Monday, there were "lines down the block."

Bilyk, who moved to the block in May, said she goes to Danny's sometimes and is "sad to hear it might close."

The building that has been home to Danny's since the mid-1980s at 1951 W. Dickens Ave. is owned by Michael Dragovich, according to county records. Dragovich's daughter, Jan Dragovich, who manages the building, declined to comment about the status of her tenant's lease.

"At this point, there is nothing appropriate to talk about," Dragovich said on Monday.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for Danny's Tavern owners Terry Alexander and Michael Noone said there was nothing new to report. 

News of the possible closure was leaked last week over Facebook, when Clark Street Jams, a weekly DJ night hosted by Gramaphone Records, posted an invite for their Thursday show titled, "Clark Street Jams Danny's End."

Last week, Alexander and Noone issued the a statement through a One Off Hospitality spokeswoman.

"Terry [Alexander] and his business partner Michael Noone are continuing to work with the landlord to find a resolution, and hope to be there for another 25 years," the spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, a Change.org petition, "Save Danny's Tavern in Chicago" has amassed 178 signatures.

Describing Danny's Tavern as an institution in Chicago that attracts "weirdos, punks, suits, dancers, and downright cool people" the petitions's organizer, Jamie Mack, wrote "I am sure everyone who has been here has a special memory from here."

"I took my wife here on our first date," one Florida resident wrote. A Danny's fan in Indiana called the bar "literally my favorite place in America." 

Another petition signer based in New York opined, "The neighborhood is losing its culture! What will be in its place? A salon for blow outs?"

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