WEST TOWN — An iconic neon sign hanging over Rothschild Liquor Mart for decades was removed on Sunday, causing some to mourn the end of the store near Chicago and Ashland avenues.
Located at 1532 W. Chicago Ave., Rothschild Liquors closed Sunday. The 1860s-era building, once home to a saloon, was sold for $750,000 on Dec. 15, county records show.
Chris Hunt, owner of Seek Vintage, 1432 W. Chicago Ave., said he "felt horrible" witnessing the sign come down.
"Although myself and my shop have only been here for six years, it was always nice to see the over-sized neon light hanging over Chicago Avenue. It was almost like a welcome sign to the neighborhood that is now gone," Hunt said.
"If there is such a thing as a dive liquor store, this is it," a Yelp.com member opined in 2014 and further described the spot as having a "cheesy neon sign" and a good option for finding a "plain old bottle of bourbon" or six pack.
In addition to Rothchild's now closed West Town location at 1532 W. Chicago Ave., the family owned chain has two other locations, at 3015 W. Madison St. and 3350 W. Roosevelt Road.
At Rothschild's Downtown headquarters, the company's owner did not returns calls about the closure, but a worker at a West Side Rothschild Liquor Mart said only the Chicago Avenue spot had permanently closed.
Robert Sekula, owner of an entity named "1532 Chicago LLC," bought the building at 1532 W. Chicago Ave., county records show.
Sekula was not immediately available for comment on his future plans for the building, but a city building permit application reviewed on Jan. 20 calls for adding an addition and rooftop deck to the three-story building, which will offer eight residential dwellings.
The permit also seeks to rehab the boarded up apartments above the storefront. It is unknown whether Sekula seeks to offer apartments or condos.
The former Rothschild Liquor Mart, 1532 W. Chicago Ave. [Google Maps]
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