LAKEVIEW — It won't be long before The Alley goes dark for good, but don't pack away your all-black outfits and skull rings just yet.
The Alley, 3328 N. Clark St., will close Jan. 20 after four decades at Clark Street and Belmont Avenue. Before its last day, however, owner Mark Thomas is throwing one last bash to send the old girl out in style.
The Alley's "funeral" will start at 8 p.m. Saturday, with the first 100 attendees receiving free special-edition memorial T-shirts. The free party will include live entertainment and a costume contest as former employees and longtime customers say their final farewells.
The highlight of the night will be when city and state budgets will be placed into a casket and carried to a 1961 Cadillac hearse that used to belong to Thomas, he said.
Since announcing plans to close in December, the Alley has steeply discounted its merchandise, with motorcycle jackets getting marked down to $50 on Wednesday and all other clothes $10.
"Ten days from now, it'll be interesting to see what's left," Thomas said.
Thomas said it'll be very hard to say goodbye after 40 years in Lakeview. In the last month, he's visited with scads of longtime Alley fans and more than 200 former employees.
While Thomas is thankful Taboo Tabou will stick around, he said it'll be time to move on to the next project soon.
"I took New Year's Day off, and by noon I was so bored," Thomas said. "I don't know what I'm going to do with myself."
Thomas hopes to open up shop next in Logan Square or Avondale, but he hasn't nailed down a location yet, he said Tuesday. He said his new concept will combine a coffee shop, bar, piercing studio, retail and space for remote workers and artists.
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