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Fischman's Liquors To Reopen At Six Corners In 2017, Owners Announce

By Heather Cherone | July 23, 2016 5:30pm | Updated on July 25, 2016 6:22am
 Fischman's Liquors will reopen next year in the Portage Theater building in the Six Corners Shopping District
Fischman's Liquors will reopen next year in the Portage Theater building in the Six Corners Shopping District
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Submitted photo, top; DNAinfo/Heather Cherone, bottom

PORTAGE PARK — Fischman's Liquors will reopen next year in the Portage Theater building at Six Corners, the owners of the much-mourned community hub and craft beer emporium announced Saturday.

The half-bar, half-liquor store closed Sunday in Jefferson Park because of a rent dispute between Gus and Shanna Karamaniolas, who owned the bar for eight years, and the owner of the building, Gus Karamaniolas' uncle.

Fischman's will reopen in 2017 in the same building as the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., said Shanna Karamaniolas, who owns the bar with her husband, Gus.

"It will be a lot of fun," said Karamaniolas who announced the news Saturday evening at a gathering for longtime customers, employees and friends. "It all came together much faster than we expected."

Fischman's will continue to offer a wide selection of craft beer — and plans to host outdoor festivals similar to the ones that took place in Jefferson Park, Karamaniolas said.

In addition, the husband-and-wife team plan to open a small restaurant and beer garden, something they tried and failed to do at their previous location.

The new bar will take the place of four empty storefronts between the theater and Cuyler Avenue in the heart of Six Corners.

"We wanted to be really smart about the location that we picked," Karamaniolas said. "And this gives us everything we need."

While Karamaniolas said she and her husband were committed to remaining on the Far Northwest Side — where they are raising their sons — they had not planned to leave Jefferson Park.

"Jefferson Park is our home base," Karamaniolas said. "We wanted to stay there."

Karamaniolas said she and her husband had not considered Six Corners until Ald. John Arena (45th) and the Six Corners Association encouraged them to put the shopping district on their list of possible new homes.

Tricia Lombardo, the executive director of the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, said in May that she was working to keep the community institution in Jefferson Park.

The storefronts — along with the former movie palace and 34 apartments — were purchased in March by a Northbrook-based private equity firm from Eddie Carranza, who had long promised to transform the long-vacant storefronts into new shops and restaurants.

"There is a lot of foot traffic and parking," Karamaniolas said. "That was very important to us."

The closure of Fischman's, which hosted dozens of fundraisers and other community events — including a winter farmer's market — has left a hole in the center of the Jefferson Park Business District and has complicated efforts led by Arena to revitalize the area.

But the news that Fischman's will reopen a mile south in Portage Park could boost efforts to revitalize Six Corners and accelerate the transformation of that stretch of Milwaukee Avenue into an entertainment destination with a vibrant night life.

"The area is really developing," Karamaniolas said. "We want to be a part of it."

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