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City Shuts Down Wicker Park Beer Bar Forcing Phish Fans to Move

Link’s Taproom is temporarily closed due to a “maintenance issue”

Links Taproom
Links Taproom
Marc Much/Eater Chicago
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Links Taproom, one of the city’s best bars for craft beer, is closed until further notice after city officials shut down the bar on Wednesday along Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. The bar’s owners are describing the violation as a “maintenance issue” that customers wouldn’t be able to notice upon entering. The bar is hopeful to fix the problem and reopen in January as management negotiates with the building’s owner on how to address the violations.

Unrelated to the city shut down, the bar was closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to give employees the holiday. An inspector arrived on Wednesday and left a bright orange sticker on the bar’s window announcing the shut down pending further notice. The inspector performed another canvas on Thursday, but whatever work that was done wasn’t good enough to reopen the bar, according to a bar spokesperson. While the spokesperson didn’t want to divulge the reason for the shut down, he did say it wasn’t sewage related. It will now take a “couple weeks” before Links reopens. City records had yet to been updated to reflect Wednesday’s inspections meaning the inspection details weren’t immediately available.

The notice left Wednesday at Links Taproom.
Daniel Gerzina/Eater Chicago

Links will remain closed through New Year’s Day, which means management had to move its New Year’s Eve festivities to its sibling bar, Schoolyard Tavern, in Lakeview. Links planned to celebrate the New Year with webcasts of Phish’s four-night run from Madison Square Garden in New York. The jam band’s playing four dates in the Big Apple. Bar owner Mike Quinlan is a big Phish fan and prides himself on not charging fans to watch those concerts. Links will now move the showings to Schoolyard’s 20 TVs. College football bowls and NFL game watches will also take place at Schoolyard while Links is on the mend.

Links opened in 2014. The bar’s known for its deep beer selection and digital menu screens throughout the space showing how much beer is left in each keg. Quinlan took over Schoolyard earlier this year in Lakeview.

Links Taproom

1559 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 360-7692 Visit Website

Schoolyard Tavern & Grill

3258 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 528-8226 Visit Website