WICKER PARK — One of Wicker Park's oldest dive bars has been forced to close for at least a month after police allegedly found evidence of drug sales and building violations in the North Avenue bar, a city official said.
Chris' North Land Tavern and Grill at 1610 W. North Ave. was closed by the city after an undercover drug operation Friday night, according to Lilia Chacon, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Bright orange stickers informing the public that the bar — which goes by the name Chris's Bar on official documents — would be closed through Aug. 6, went up on the tavern doors on Saturday.
Chacon said that in addition to the alleged drug sales, the building had dangerous and hazardous electrical wiring, and an open sewer in the kitchen.
The bar, owned by Chris Gramatis, has a tavern and retail food license, city records show.
Gramatis, who also owns the building that houses the bar, could not be reached. A lawyer for Gramatis declined to comment.
County real estate records show that Gramatis has owned the two-story vintage building where his bar is located since at least 1985 — as far back as online records go.
"There will be a hearing to see if they can continue to enjoy the privilege of doing business," Chacon said, adding that a hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Officer Nicole Trainor, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman, said that police executed a search warrant Friday in the 1600 block of North Avenue, where the bar is located.
Trainor said no arrests were made, and no additional information is available.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said that Shakespeare District (14th) police and members of the Chicago Police Department's vice/narcotics unit have been working on "problem spots" throughout the Bucktown ward and city.
"They've been aggressive on businesses with issues. It's good to see them being proactive on these issues," Waguespack said.
On Yelp, fans of Chris's North Land Tavern call it a "solid dive bar" with a pool table and a clean bathroom.
Another said, "It's like Cheers but weirder."
Signs on the door of Chris' North Land notify the public of its closure. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]