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Ambitious Landlord Wants To See Old Edgewater Lounge Brought Back To Life

By Linze Rice | January 17, 2017 5:26am
 The former Edgewater Lounge at 5600 N. Ashland Ave. awaits renovations into a new restaurant.
The former Edgewater Lounge at 5600 N. Ashland Ave. awaits renovations into a new restaurant.
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DNAinfo/Linze Rice

EDGEWATER — When the Edgewater Lounge closed in June of 2015, longtime regulars said goodbye to one of the oldest bars in Chicago. 

Now, the North Side spot's new landlord is hoping a new owner can bring it back to life. 

Gino Battaglia, who bought the property's mortgage in June 2016, said he hopes extensive renovations and a new liquor license will entice restaurateurs to invest in the building when it goes to market later this year.

"It's a great building, it's got a lot of history," Battaglia said.

He is currently waiting on permits to remodel the building before making it available to potential tenants and remedying property's code violations. He also applied for a restaurant liquor license at the property.

The Edgewater Lounge's legal right to serve alcohol was revoked by the city before it closed due to expired food and liquor licenses and outstanding debts with the city, officials said.

If all goes well, new tenants will take over the license from Battaglia, he said. 

"We're trying to make it easy for the new owners," Battaglia said. "We'll be putting it on the market in the next couple of months."

The property at 5600 N. Ashland Ave. is one of the community's oldest saloon locations, pre-dating Prohibition, and served as the Edgewater Lounge for 15 years before closing in June 2015.

The building is also supposedly haunted

"No one's tapped me on the shoulder while being in there," Battaglia said, chuckling. "But you never know, it's possible."

Battaglia has become known for his work in the Humboldt Park area, particularly on transforming the California-Augusta intersection with new restaurants, cafes and shops.

The former owners lost the tavern's liquor license and had incurred problems with the city in the years leading up to its closure. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]

Gino Battaglia bought the lounge and said he is in the process of renovating its interior and securing a liquor license before putting it on the market. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]

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