Today is a sad day for fans of iconic music venue and bar Double Door, as the owners of the legendary Wicker Park club were evicted Monday morning. Police and a locksmith were on hand to officially end any chance of its revival along Milwaukee and Damen avenues. Though not known for its libations, its impact on Chicago’s nightlife is undeniable over the last 23 years.
A Cook County sheriff’s police fluorescent green “no trespassing” sign was stuck to the venue’s door around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, according to DNAinfo. The eviction battle between the club and its landlord had lasted for months, forcing the matter to the court. A judge ruled in August that the Double Door’s days in Wicker Park were numbered. This morning’s eviction was inevitable, but sad nonetheless.
Tickets for a series of shows in March and April went on sale on Sunday. A show scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight (Monday) was moved to Emporium Arcade Bar, just down the street on Milwaukee in Wicker Park, according to the Tribune. A landlord dispute over the space’s $26,000 monthly rent continues to wage.
Over two decades, a variety of bands booked shows inside the iconic space before much of the neighborhood’s nightlife had been established. The Double Door wasn’t a place for craft beer or fancy cocktails — it was a large dive bar with a stage and fantastic live music. There were pool tables in the basement and a small perch on the second level to watch the concerts. It even popped up in pop culture: John Cusack pretended to be a Double Door DJ with cred in the movie adaption of High Fidelity back in 2000.
The Double Door and nearby music club Subterranean helped keep Wicker Park weird as sports bars, chain stores, ramen shops and taco spots sprouted up. There haven’t been recent rumblings about the future of the space in the heart of Wicker Park. Last year, Shake Shack was rumored to be interested, joining Umami Burger along Milwaukee Avenue, but was later officially denied. It’s certainly a high-profile space that will attract restaurant and bar groups and retailers.