When will M2 Boutique be leaving Southport? And more national retailers coming

New national retailers are coming to the former DavidsTEA, Gearhead spaces as well

M2 unfortunately has lost their lease, and will vacate their current space “30 days after “new” tenant signs.”

And even more national retailers are coming to Southport including the former DavidsTEA location and Uncle Dan’s/Gearhead space – with “large, complicated build-outs.”

See the listing for M2 here from Loopnet.

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The history, and now dismantling of Southport Lanes

Southport Lanes was built by the Schlitz brewery in 1922 as one of the hundreds of “tied houses” in the Midwest

Southport Lanes is officially closed, and the auction of items has ended. Signs have begun to be taken down and for the first time in decades, you are able to see the old facade.

Leo’s Southport Lanes in the 1960’s and 1970’s

Excerpts from the Chicago Bar project from several years ago:

Southport Lanes was built by the Schlitz brewery in 1922 as one of the hundreds of “tied houses” in the Midwest (only Schlitz beer could be served). Once Schlitz sold the bar, the menu offered fornication to help fund the transitional purchase to its new owners in addition to its nobler alcohol distribution efforts. Because prostitution was, and still is, illegal in Chicago, the owner had to subtly advertise the delights to be found upstairs. He did this by having M.K. Siegner paint murals on the walls depicting nymphs frolicking in negligees. 

Southport Lanes – 1990’s

Because prostitution was, and still is, illegal in Chicago, the owner had to subtly advertise the delights to be found upstairs. He did this by having M.K. Siegner paint murals on the walls depicting nymphs frolicking in negligees. These murals can still be seen today, both in the front room and above the bowling pins. Additional murals of these nymphs, sans clothing, could be found along the staircase and in the second floor bedrooms but those have since been painted over. 

Southport Lanes – July, 2021

In 1991, the bar was purchased and renovated by the same owners that later brought us the Daily Bar & Grill, and such now-defunct dillies as Corner Pocket (now Victory Liquors), Hudson Club, and Lucky Strike (now Seven Ten, which also offers bowling and billiards).

Ownership of Southport Lanes has since transitioned to the Spare Time empire, who also owns Seven Ten, Firehouse, Riverview Tavern, Robey Pizza Company, and Popkin Tavern (Richmond, Virginia). Fortunately, the new owners did not mess with the formula that made the original, “Leo’s Southport Lanes,” an excellent tavern. Leo’s was run by Leo and Ella Beitz dating back to 1960, who took over from Leo’s parents who ran it since 1946.

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Schoolyard Tavern Gutted on the inside

The interior of Schoolyard Tavern is completely gutted, and it looks like it’s suffering the same fate as Southport Lanes

Currently, the interior of Schoolyard Tavern is completely gutted and a dismantle of some-sort is underway. The bar and backroom are both completely ripped out, along with all tables/chairs and other items that were once installed. We’ve reached out to Schoolyard Tavern after their final closing last October on what the current status is with the business, but have yet to hear back. No more website, however Facebook and Twitter are still up.

Schoolyard Tavern – before
Current state as of July, 2021
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A list of growing Southport Corridor businesses that have closed permanently due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

It has been a very difficult time for all of us during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for our local business community.  Here is a growing list of businesses that have permanently closed during the pandemic.

  • DavidsTea on May 27, 2020
  • Fahlstroms Fresh Market on June 3, 2020
  • Frio Gelato on June 5, 2020
  • Mercury Theater on June 16, 2020
  • Cosmos Cleaners – July 2020
  • Guthries Tavern – July 24, 2020
  • Lou & Grey – July 23, 2020
  • Southport Blooms – August, 2020 (Now online only)
  • Hair Cuttery – Closed most Chicago locations during Covid due to a buy-out as of August, 2020
  • Hanna Andersson – August, 2020
  • Redmond’s Ale House – September 13, 2020
  • Southport Lanes – September 27, 2020
  • Schoolyard Tavern – October 4, 2020

We will keep the list updated as the year continues, and please remember to support our local businesses, services and restaurants.  You can email us at southportcorridor@yahoo.com with information on closings, and we’ll continually add to our list.

Fall 2014 on Chicago\'s Southport Corridor
DAVIDsTEA

Continue reading “A list of growing Southport Corridor businesses that have closed permanently due to the Covid-19 Pandemic”

Diag Bar & Grill and 404 Wine Bar Closing August 4, 2019

Sad news for Diag & 404 Wine Bar lovers. Both establishments will be closing their doors on August 4, 2019 according to their Facebook post. We wish all the staff and owners the best of luck, and will miss these Southport staples.

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Bel-Port Liquors closing mid-July, not coming back to Bow Truss side location

As you have heard, Bow Truss Coffee is coming to Southport and Belmont in the space currently occupied by Bel-Port Liquors. Joe, long-time owner of Bel-Port was rumored to move to an adjacent space but according to him, rent is too high and he will not be relocating. Make sure to say hi to Joe and Sashi before he closes up shop for good, most likely by early to mid-July.

Bel-Port Liquors leaving when it’s home at 1362 W. Belmont is sold

The building on the corner of Southport and Belmont that houses Bel-Port Liquors is currently for sale, and once a buyer comes through, the liquor store will be closing. Across the street, the building that once housed Flat-Top Grill, Burger Boss and Dojo Chicago is mostly vacant, so this area of Southport and Belmont could look quite different within a short period of time.

From the real-estate listing:

The first floor is occupied by Bel-Port Liquors, which currently operates under a month-to-month lease and will vacate at the time of sale. Half of the first floor and the entire second floor is currently vacant, which was previously used as storage space. A new owner can take advantage of this opportunity by gut rehabbing the existing building, into a luxurious mixed-use; retail and apartment building. Each floor has one in-place bathroom and one room with plumbing in-place for a second bathroom.

The immediate area is populated with restaurants and bars, and many national retailers. The property’s proximity to major thoroughfares and public transportation make it an ideal spot. This is a perfect value-add opportunity to a new investor.”

The price is listed at $1,250,000 and is approx. 5100 square feet. You can see the listing here.

Flat Top Grill at Southport and Belmont Closes

Long-time staple Flat Top Grill at the corner of Southport and Belmont Avenue closed its doors on Tuesday, January 26.  It had been located in that location since 1995. We contacted Flat Top via Twitter and they responded that they had to close due to economic factors outside of their control (assumption: the landlord wanted more money for their lease).

This development has always had issues holding tenants, so we’ll see what happens next. Would be a good site for a mixed-use development perhaps?

Own a Piece of Justin’s at Auction

Justin’s is now closed, but you can own a piece of history at auction on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. You can find more information on Bob King Auctions at this link with everything that is for sale. What Justin’s item can you not live without?

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Justin’s Bar and Grill is Now Closed

Justin’s has officially closed as of January 3, 2015, their website is gone, and Newcastle Limited, owner of the building is re-leasing out the space,  4-Star restaurant group, owner’s of Crosby’s Kitchen will be taking over the location; timing is TBD for now.

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Mystic Celt’s Last Day of Business on Southport is January 3, 2016

From earlier this year, the owner of Mystic Celt had sold the building to L3 Capital, and it has been marketed for lease over the past several months. It has now been confirmed that Mystic\’s last day of business on Southport will be January 3, 2016. Look for new retail and/or food establishments coming over the next several months. The property is currently being marketed for up to three separate store-fronts.

You can see the full listing here from Cushman & Wakefield.

Mystic Celt\’s last holiday season on Chicago’s Southport Corridor.

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Cullen’s Southport lost their lease

Sad news to report for all of you Cullen’s fans.  They have lost their lease according to their Facebook page.  It will be their last New Year’s so make sure to stop by for one last Guinness.  Look for a final closing in early 2015.