Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Original Goose Island brewpub spared after last minute lease deal.

Thanks to juligian, who left this comment on my post Goose Island's original Clybourn brewpub to close ...


Goose Island toasts 11th-hour deal to keep brew pub open, by Michael Lev, Chicago 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."

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