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Double Door Could Reopen In Former Wicker Park Furniture Mart

By  Alisa Hauser and Mina Bloom | October 23, 2017 2:56pm | Updated on October 23, 2017 6:20pm

 The former Central Furniture Mart at 1348-1350 N. Milwaukee Ave. could be the new home of Double Door.
The former Central Furniture Mart at 1348-1350 N. Milwaukee Ave. could be the new home of Double Door.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — Has the Double Door found a new home?

The long eviction battle and eventual ousting of the music club from its home in February has left a gaping void for live music lovers in Wicker Park.

But according to 1st  Ward Ald. Joe Moreno, Double Door could rise again — and possibly not in Logan Square as initially planned.

Moreno told DNAinfo that Double Door is close to finalizing a deal to move into the former Central Furniture Mart at 1348-1352 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is two blocks south of the club's original location at Milwaukee and Damen avenues.

Double Door co-owner Sean Mulroney declined to comment, saying that he is bound by confidentiality agreements and that the club has been considering "multiple places" in Wicker Park and Logan Square.

"The [Double Door] brand is still alive, and that's where we are at this point. I hope to have it bigger than that shortly. You called 10 days too soon. I have no comment; there is nothing [to say]," Mulroney told DNAinfo.

The former Central Furniture Mart is made up of two, three-story adjacent buildings near Antique Taco and Emporium Arcade Bar. It offers up to 15,307 square feet of space to rent, according to a real estate brochure.

"We are talking to a few different tenants, but nothing is signed on yet," said Courtney Darin, a broker with Arcore group. Darin said the building's basement and first floor are for rent, and there are loft apartments upstairs.

Developer Joshua Mintzer bought the building for $3.75 million in July 2014, county records show.

The massive storefront has been empty for more than three years since Central Furniture Mart moved to Humboldt Park.

Mintzer declined to comment, saying, "It's too early to report on anything."

The former Central Furniture Mart was scheduled to become Punch Bowl Social's first Chicago neighborhood location, but the plan was scrapped.

Punch Bowl Social was prepared to pump $6 million into the renovation and shared design renderings in January 2015 with a neighborhood group. Punch Bowl executives blamed the City of Chicago's "complicated fire code" for their exit and decided to open in the West Loop instead.

If Double Door were to move into the former furniture store, it would be following a trend started by another music-focused staple that also relocated from the 1500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

In April 2015, Reckless Records moved from 1532 N. Milwaukee Ave. to 1379 N. Milwaukee Ave. after buying the former Dollar Buster building.

Reckless' former spot is now home to an Adidas Originals. The former Double Door has recently undergone a gut-rehab, but no tenant has been found yet, building owner Brian Strauss said.

On its Instagram over last weekend, Double Door hinted that a new location for its monthly Saturday night Soul Summit dance party is coming soon. 

When Double Door closed, it moved many of its long-running events, such as the dance party, to other spots.

"Soul Summit’s LAST party at Logan Square Auditorium tonight! Don’t worry, next location will be announced shortly. Doors open at 9! #soulsummit #soulsummitchicago #free #danceparty #strictlyvinyl" the club posted.

John Geary, a marketing manager for Logan Square Auditorium, which has been hosting the relocated Soul Summit Dance Party once a month since March, said Soul Summit is an event that ran for seven years at Double Door prior to the club's closure.

"[Soul Summit DJs] met recently to review how the event is going and shortly after it was determined that Soul Summit would be relocating once again. We were not made aware of what the new location for Soul Summit will be moving forward," Geary said.

In February, after the Double Door was evicted from its longtime Wicker Park home, a plan to relocate to the Logan Square State and Savings Bank building, 2551 N. Milwaukee Ave., emerged.

The owners urged neighbors to support the move through a petition. But most immediate neighbors opposed the plan and threatened to thwart the zoning change, according to Ald. Scott Waguespack, whose 32nd ward includes the stately bank building.

"They've got a lot of hoops to jump through," Waguespack said in February of the Double Door owners.

"The immediate neighbors — the ones that are in the vicinity — by law get to decide and take a legal position on whether they want it or not. That's what the owners of the property and the Double Door failed to realize. They didn't even know they had to go through a process," he added, referring to the process of obtaining a zoning variance.

In the months that followed, the Logan Square plan has seen little to no movement, with some sources saying it is dead.

The bank building's owners, Adam Saffro and Michael Hagenson of New Era Chicago, weren't immediately available for an interview Monday afternoon.

Double Door had been in its original location on Milwaukee Avenue since 1994. The Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, Rise Against and Sonic Youth are among the many groups that have performed there.

 

Cool sign #wickerpark

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