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Is Double Door Leaving Wicker Park For Logan Square?

By Alisa Hauser | September 23, 2016 1:56pm | Updated on September 26, 2016 9:44am
 Upcoming shows advertised on Double Door's sign.
Upcoming shows advertised on Double Door's sign.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — The owners of Double Door, who've been embroiled in a yearlong battle with their landlord over whether the iconic concert venue can stay in the Wicker Park building it has called home since 1994, may have found a new home instead.

According to a report by neighborhood group Logan Square Preservation, Double Door owners Sean Mulroney and Joe Shanahan have filed a proposal with the city to operate a 650-capacity music venue in a former bank building at 2551 N. Milwaukee Ave. that like the current club, has two entrances (hence the name Double Door).

The stately limestone building in Logan Square, which has a second entrance at 3061 W. Logan Blvd., was built in 1922 and had been the home of the Logan Square Medical Institute and pharmacy since 1970, according to Dina Ruiz, wife of Dr. Gonzalo Ruiz, who sold the building for $2.5 million in March.

 The former Logan Square State and Savings Bank.
The former Logan Square State and Savings Bank.
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The building's co-owner, Adam Saffro with New Era Chicago, said that when he and business partner Michael Hagenson bought the building from Ruiz, they were open to several ideas for tenants.

The building in the Logan Square Landmark District has two floors, each 6,300 square feet, plus a basement with a bank vault, Saffro said.

"We thought it was ideal for a restaurant or event space because it's a beautiful building, and our thought was to use it to fullest," Saffro said.

Saffro declined to discuss whether a lease with Double Door's management is in the works, though he indicated the club would likely rent the entire building if it were to relocate there.

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), long a fan of Double Door, said on Friday that he supports Double Door regardless of its location.

"I will support the Double Door if they want to stay at their current location, or if they want to relocate in the 1st Ward," Moreno said.

The proposed new location would be in Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) ward. Andrew Schneider, president of Logan Square Preservation, confirmed that Waguespack sent the neighborhood group the proposal to review. Schneider cautioned that it's still in the early stages, and there are people in the preservation group that have concerns. The group plans to hold public meetings in the near future regarding the project.

"We're working on it," Ald. Waguespack said.

"It entails a whole new building that may or may not be feasible in this new community area, and the neighbors are being asked to be heavily involved in any potential relocation. There are residential housing and farmers market directly impacted. The owners are patiently working with the community to provide answers to the issues," said Waguespack.

Mulroney did not return a request for comment.

Last month, a Cook County judge ordered the club to leave its spot at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. by the end of the year, though a few weeks ago, Double Door's attorney filed an appeal, seeking a higher court's decision on the eviction case.

Ruiz, a general practitioner, said that selling the building was not an easy decision.

"I have mixed feelings because it was a beautiful medical center for the community, but taxes made it difficult to keep it up," Ruiz said

If the proposal moves forward, the projected opening date for the venue would be sometime in late 2017, according to Logan Square Preservation.

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