Thursday, November 06, 2008

Goose Island's original Clybourn brewpub to close by year-end.

The first American brewpub I ever visited, in the spring of 1992, was Goose Island’s original location in Chicago.

Goose Island to close Clybourn spot, by DAVID ROEDER, Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter.

Goose Island Beer Co. said Monday it will close its original brewpub at 1800 N. Clybourn by year-end because it has lost its lease.

The Chicago-based company, founded at the Clybourn site in 1988, will continue to operate its Wrigleyville Brewpub at 3535 N. Clark and to brew and ship beer from 1800 W. Fulton.

There are dim memories of sitting outdoors on the patio, noting the neighborhood’s industrial surroundings, and drinking a sampler platter. I recall being impressed by all of them.

On the same trip to Chicago, we dined and drank at the Berghoff German restaurant downtown and drank dollar-and-a-quarter happy hour Porters made by the Berghoff’s affiliated microbrewery while standing at an adjoining stand-up saloon. As far as I know, all these establishments are gone.

But the losses don’t depress me, because bricks and mortar pale in significance to lessons learned, and in terms of influence, the 1992 journey to Chicago was personally vital. Goose Island’s set-up was a reviving urban area template for the pub brewing business, and the downtown, after-work ambience of the Berghoff’s tiny standup bar another model for enjoying pints on the run.

All of it was good. Thanks to Dave for clueing me in.

1 comment:

juligian said...

SAVED! Just out - the original brewpub has been spared

Jeff U

Goose Island toasts 11th-hour deal to keep brew pub open

By Michael Lev | Tribune reporter

November 12, 2008

They raised a glass in celebration at Goose Island Beer Co.'s pioneering North Side brew pub Tuesday night: The well-known spot isn't going to close at year's end.

John Hall, Goose Island's founder and chief executive, said he reached a last-minute deal with the pub's landlord to stay at 1800 N. Clybourn Ave. for three to five years, averting the closing of the home for Honker's Ale and other brews.

"I'm thrilled," said Hall, who bought everyone in the place a beer. "They called me last week and said we want to try to do a deal. We compromised in a week on something we couldn't do for a long time."

Hall said he couldn't talk for the other side, but he indicated the weak real estate market may have helped get the agreement done. In April, Hall had said that the landlord, CRM Properties Group, had asked for a significant rent increase, reflecting the popularity of the trendy neighborhood.

Goose Island was part of a pioneering redevelopment in the North and Clybourn Avenues area. Today, Clybourn Square is surrounded by one of Chicago's hottest retail regions, but the entire economy is now in duress.

Chris Siavelis, an executive at Deerfield-based CRM, couldn't be reached Tuesday night.

Goose Island, which also makes 312 and other brews, was founded as a brew pub in 1988 at the site. The venture was a success, and Goose Island built a stand-alone brewery at 1800 W. Fulton St. in 1995. Since then, the company has focused on retail beer sales, though it has continued to operate two brew pubs.

"We've been in the business for 20 years, and a lot of things have changed," Hall said. "We couldn't be more pleased about reaching an agreement."