clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Iconic Wicker Park Dive Bar’s New Owners Under Fire for Firing Staff and Removing Sign

Plus, Montreal icon Joe Beef is coming to town for one night and more morning news

Gold Star’s exterior when its painted sign was still up
Google Streetview

Many Gold Star customers and former staff are unhappy with new ownership’s changes

Many patrons and former staff of iconic Wicker Park dive bar Gold Star are upset after new ownership abruptly fired staff, removed its exterior painted sign, unveiled a fancier cocktail menu and other changes at the time-capsule watering hole on Division Street, Block Club first reported. John Leydon, who took over Gold Star last November with his wife Kate, emailed Eater Chicago that “sales had fallen considerably over the last three years, so our chosen enhancements have been made to address the glaring holes and pave the way for growth,” that “faded paint on the beautiful facade felt redundant,” and that “comps were out of control, money went missing and no one was stepping up to help facilitate growth or give us solid answers.” Stay tuned to see if longtime customers eventually accept the changes.

Montreal icon Joe Beef is coming to Chicago for one night

Joe Beef, the iconic meat-centric restaurant in Montreal, will be at the Loyalist in the West Loop on May 5, the eve of this year’s James Beard Awards. The event will feature “collaborative cooking” between the two restaurants via an “exclusive” a la carte menu that will be available via a $10 cover charge, or a menu decided by Joe Beef for groups of five to eight via a $50 per-person deposit. Bookings are available here and here.

One of Chicago’s most popular outdoor venues implements renovations for 2019 patio season

Warmer weather is finally coming and one of the city’s most popular lakefront venues is preparing with renovations to its large outdoor space. Owners of Shore Club, the multi-prong seasonal restaurant, bar and club that debuted in 2017 at North Avenue Beach, renovated its patio, added lawn games and other outdoor activities, and will unveil new menus when it reopens for 2019 later this spring, reps say. Last year owners unveiled morning service, a new bar, boozy slushies, and fitness classes.

A Chicago cheesesteak favorite is for sale

Chicagoans don’t have many options to grab a real cheesesteak sandwich and perhaps the most popular one is for sale. The husband-and-wife owners of Monti’s, which has been serving cheesesteaks, craft beers, and more in Lincoln Square since 2012, have put their business on the market. It’s still open so stay tuned for any news on its ownership or other changes.

‘Game of Thrones’ beer is coming to Chicago Athletic Association

And finally, fans of uber-popular TV series Game of Thrones can drink a beer in its honor starting on April 9. Chicago Athletic Association hotel and the Chicago Brewseum will host a release party for Brewery Ommegang’s “For the Throne” that evening from 7-10 p.m. Tickets and more details are available here.


215 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website


1755 West Division Street, , IL 60622 Visit Website

Shore Club

1603 North Lake Shore Drive, , IL 60610 (312) 635-8058 Visit Website


1132 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 624-8363 Visit Website

Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL (312) 940-3552 Visit Website

The Loyalist

177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3774 Visit Website


4757 N Talman Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625 Visit Website