Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap, a fixture in Lincoln Park for 25 years that attracts celebrities and locals alike, has announced it will close. The last day of service is Sunday as ownership cited a dispute over rent with the building’s landlord. The announcement comes almost exactly a year since Stanley’s co-founder Donnie Kruse died.
Kruse had been trying to renegotiate the lease for years at 1970 N. Lincoln Avenue. In an email sent out to friends and family, ownership wrote that they’re paying more than double the rent compared to nearby restaurants. That includes what the owners of Ranalli’s are paying just down the street from Stanley’s at 1925 N. Lincoln Avenue. The remaining owners are already scouting spaces for a new location.
“To the many families and friends that have visited us over the years, including multiple generations, we have enjoyed getting to know you and meeting your children,” a Facebook post read. “To the thousands of amazing former and current employees we have had over the years, your dedication has made Stanley’s a signature staple in Chicago. Stanley’s has been the legacy of Donnie Kruse. He was its heart and soul.”
Read the full post below.
The bar earned a fierce and loyal customer base. Celebrities and athletes were also known to visit. They claim business has been strong over the last three years. The shutter has been in the works for months but ownership waited until the year anniversary of Kruse’s death to make the announcement.
Stanley’s wasn’t just about nightlife, though bar industry members enjoyed spending their time there off the clock. The restaurant serves a southern menu and had a popular weekend brunch buffet. Stanley’s also had a smaller sibling at 324 S. Racine Avenue that closed after five years in 2011. Ownership wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Before the original Stanley’s opened in 1993, the space housed Jim McMahon’s, the bar/restaurant co-owned by the quarterback of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. Regardless of the building’s history, Chicagoans have one last weekend to visit the original Stanley’s before the restaurant/bar closes on Sunday.