The Drinkingbird, a five-year-old Lincoln Park bar popular with members of the beverage industry, has closed — at least temporarily. The shutter happened abruptly on Tuesday night and left employees off guard. The bar, 2201 N. Clybourn Avenue, was inspired by mid-century Las Vegas and known for its creative house cocktails at the corner of Clybourn and Webster. It also served a small menu of tavern food.
On Thursday night, during what would be normal business hours, the lights were dark and the doors were locked. A sign on the window read that a happy hour event scheduled for the night was moved a few blocks down Webster to the White Oak Tavern.
Drinkingbird’s owner Denton Brosh said the shutter happened on Tuesday after a falling out with the manager. Brosh, who lives in Colorado, said he’s hopeful to reopen soon after “retooling.”
The manager, Chris Lovett, said he was fired because Brosh didn’t like how a pool table was repositioned. Brosh fired him and three other employees via text messages. Brosh is withholding pay, Lovett added. The rest of the staff walked out as they believe Brosh’s reasoning for firing Lovett and the others was petty, Lovett also said.
“I doubt it will reopen under his ownership,” Lovett wrote in a message.
In 2012, The Drinkingbird took over the Flounder’s Bar and Grill space. Flounder’s was a dive bar filled with customers who rooted for the White Sox. The building was erected in the late 19th Century and was supposedly haunted.