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Brudder's Closed Until Further Notice, $2.5K Reward Offered In Shooting

By  Patty Wetli and Joe Ward | April 4, 2016 3:01pm 

OLD IRVING PARK — Brudder's Bar & Grill will be closed until police complete their investigation into a fatal shooting there Saturday, according to Ald. John Arena (45th).

"I am also working with Ald. [Ariel] Reboyras [30th], the Law Department, and Vice to come up with a long-term solution to keep our neighborhood and its residents safe," Arena posted to Facebook in a message to constituents.

Arena has requested public nuisance hearings regarding the bar, according to the alderman's chief of staff Owen Brugh. The bar briefly reopened Monday afternoon, but was closed again by 4 p.m.

Brudder's is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone with information about Saturday's shooting at the bar, which led to the death of security guard Angel Ortiz Jr.

"The entire Brudder's family is devastated," the bar posted to Facebook Monday. "There are no words."

Ortiz, 51, was struck Saturday night and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He later died from his injuries.

"Angel 'Prune' Ortiz Jr. was an amazing ball of energy that just wanted to make sure his family was always taken care of," a relative wrote in an online fundraising page for Ortiz's funeral expenses. "He is loved extremely by all his family and friends, even if you only met him once his smile would stay in your heart forever."

The shooting at 11:45 p.m. Saturday was heard by neighbors living next to the bar on Addison Street, said a 59-year-old man who lives next to the bar but asked not to be named because he knows the owners of Brudder's. 

He said the shooting was the third one near the Pulaski and Addison intersection within the last year. In one case, someone fired a gun into the air to break up a fight. 

"It's a heavily trafficked area, so that could be [part of the problem]," he said. "I've been here since 1978 — it's a very nice neighborhood. I recommend it to everyone."

Angel Ortiz was fatally shot while working at Brudder's Saturday. 

Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris of the Albany Park Police District said that the shooting was targeted at someone in the bar or the bar itself, but a bar employee disagreed with that sentiment.

The employee said bar owners had been in touch with police and are cooperating in the investigation, but declined to elaborate what happened Saturday night. 

A bullet hole was still visible in the glass at Brudder's, 3600 N. Pulaski Road, Monday morning. A minivan that got caught in the crossfire was still parked outside the bar along Addison Street. The car belongs to the owner of a Thai restaurant across the street. 

Though witness accounts have varied, another bar employee said the shots were fired from an alley and across the street from Brudder's and into the bar, striking Ortiz who was stationed near the entrance. 

A minivan that received damage following a shooting at Brudder's Bar & Grill, 3600 N. Pulaski Road. [DNAinfo/Joe Ward]

Police said Monday no one was in custody for the shooting. 

Brudder's, according to neighbors, has something of a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality.

Dave Rohlfing lives in the nearby Villa community, a tight-knit enclave of Craftsman homes and tree-lined boulevards.

He frequents Brudder's approximately once a month, typically during the week, "when it's dead," he said.

"It's a great place to watch a game," said Rohlfing, who's president of the Villa Improvement League.

In fact, Brudder's burger was featured in a February episode of "Chicago's Best" that touted "the best of Pulaski."

"The issue is the weekends," Rohlfing said, when Brudder's brings in DJs and switches from a sports bar into more of a nightclub.

"I went there once on a Saturday — never again," he said. "It was so loud, so dark, so packed with shady characters — I was uncomfortable for sure. Nothing happened, I just didn't like it."

Two years ago, Brudder's owners were considering applying for a late-night 4 a.m. liquor license.

"The community was very much opposed," said Brugh.

Though the ward office has received several complaints about Brudder's, most of those involve noise, public urination and "patrons not being respectful of the community," Brugh said.

Saturday's shooting was "obviously a strong concern," he said.The alderman would be following up not only with Brudder's owners but also with the liquor commission and intended to comb through 911 logs for complaints and past incidents, Brugh said.

"This is not acceptable," he said. "We need to have a conversation with the owner to make sure this never happens again."

The next scheduled CAPS meeting for the area surrounding Brudder's will take place at 7 p.m., April 13, at the Athletic Park fieldhouse, 3546 W. Addison St.

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