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What We're Reading: Chicago Once Had 10,000 Neighborhood Bars

By DNAinfo Staff | November 23, 2015 4:15pm | Updated on November 23, 2015 4:24pm

 This historic photo was part of the Elmhurst History Museum's Beer in Chicago exhibit.
This historic photo was part of the Elmhurst History Museum's Beer in Chicago exhibit.
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Library of Congress

Short week, people. But there's always time to look at what we're reading, right?

What happened to all the Neighborhood Taverns? According to CBS Sunday Morning, there was a time when Chicago sported almost 10,000 neighborhood taverns — "seemingly one every block, and many open virtually round-the-clock." Today, there are about 6,000 liquor licenses, but that includes restaurants.

The times have changed not only here but nationwide where, across the country, about one in six bars closed between 2004 and 2014, according to Nielsen. Changes in drinking habits and "politicians are not always friendly to neighborhood dives," says the CBS report, and municipalities prefer restaurant/bar combos and brew pubs.

The CBS report caught the eye of Uptown and Andersonville reporter Josh McGhee because it featured Andersonville mainstay Simon's Tavern, 5210 N. Clark St., which has been in the 'hood for 81 years. Says owner Scott Martin: "I've seen people who have celebrated great things in life, love, friendships that have happened right here at the bar. And you've been able to help pick people back up. So it's an important place, I think."

Suck it, Portland: Every good hipster, from Austin to Portland, enjoys bragging about their city's superior craft beer scene. Reporter Ariel Cheung was pleased to thumb her nose at all of them after reading this Crain's Chicago report that crowned the Windy City the craft beer capital of the country. Turns out, Chicago's 1.6 million square feel of craft brewery real estate is top in the nation. Portland's 196 craft breweries do top our 144, but we all know it's size that matters, right?

Longer Divvy Rental Times? A Streetsblog Chicago reporter who recently visited Vienna, Austria, brought back a review of the Austrian version of Divvy and a few ideas that could translate to Chicago. Michael Podgers' most interesting find was that the CityBike Wien bike-share system is roughly a dollar for a day pass and the first hour of every ride is free. Divvy, in comparison is $9.95 for a day pass and only the first 30 minutes of a ride are included. The blog post also notes that Paris's Vélib’ system allows members 45 minutes.

Is It The Beginning of the End For Multistate Common Core Test?: Massachusetts officials, who are widely credited for leading the Common Core movement, are ditching the national test, according to a New York Times report. The move was called "hugely symbolic" and might end up influencing other states.

“It opens the door for a lot of other states that are under a lot of pressure to repeal Common Core. Getting rid of these tests is a nice bone to throw," Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California, who is leading an evaluation of the national tests, told the Times.


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