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One of Chicago’s Most-Popular Nightclubs is Shut Down by the City

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Spybar has been open for 23 years in River North but reportedly operated without a state liquor license

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.

The future of Spybar, a longtime River North late-night haunt, is in question after the nightclub abruptly closed on February 23. Management also rescheduled a few events to other venues while speculation has built over the status of the bar’s liquor license. A report in Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown claimed Spybar was operating without a state liquor license.

CWB reported that the city shut Spybar down after discovering its lack of a state liquor license and citing it. Spybar’s management hasn’t commented publicly about the shutter, but in a Facebook post, they claimed they’d be back in business on Thursday.

Spybar will not reopen until Thursday, March 8th. We look forward to seeing all our friends next Thursday!

Posted by Spybar on Friday, March 2, 2018

The club has been around for 23 years in River North, cementing itself as a popular destination for late-night partiers and bar industry members who want a drink and some time on the dance floor after 2 a.m. House and electronic music fans on the club circuit hold Spybar as an institution.

Part of the confusion could be due to the bar’s address, as it shares one with Concrete Cowboy, the bar/restaurant that neighbors Spybar to the north at 646 N. Franklin Street. While the state’s liquor control commission has no online record of an active license for Spybar, it does have one for Concrete Cowboy, the Texas barstaurant chain that arrived in Chicago in March 2017.

An email to a city of Chicago spokesperson wasn’t immediately returned. Come back for any updates.


646 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 337-2135 Visit Website