The folks behind the popular Brooklyn Bowl entertainment venue cleared another hurdle in their quest to develop a similar Chicago Bowl in West Town. Last month, members of the East Village Association gave their full support to the project, which then received approval of a public place of amusement (PPA) license from the city, clearing the way for their project to move forward, according to developer Peter Shapiro, who owns Brooklyn Bowl.
"It's anticipated for 1850 W. Chicago to transform into Chicago Bowl, so it's been cleared," Shapiro said. "After doing Brooklyn Bowl, we looked at different places around the country to do this, and Chicago is going to be the next place."
A lot of planning and development needs to occur before things really get moving, so the venue opening before 2012 won't likely happen. But when it does, it'll transform a 23,000 square-foot former auto warehouse into what could be one of the city's premier multi-use entertainment venues, with bowling, live music and the arrival of New York's acclaimed Blue Ribbon Restaurant. The building where Brooklyn Bowl now sits had very little infrastructure and the team created one of the area's top destinations. To get an idea of what may happen to the Chicago warehouse, take a look at these production specs from the Brooklyn project.
"We're taking the best of what we learned in Brooklyn and adding some Chicago sauce to it to make it hopefully a great place for the city," Shapiro, who went to Northwestern, said. What makes it promising is Zagat recently came out with its 2011 New York nightlife guide and ranked Brooklyn Bowl the No. 1 music venue and No. 1 bowling alley in New York.
"2011 will be a busy year," Shapiro admitted. "It'll take some time for us to do it ... and do it right, but it's coming." Stay tuned.
· Brooklyn Bowl, Blue Ribbon Coming to Chicago? [~EChi~]