Alderman vows landmark protection for beloved bar in the shadow of Lincoln Yards

(Credit: Facebook)

Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) introduced a zoning change measure Wednesday he said would ensure the preservation of a historic bar that borders the site of Sterling Bay’s planned Lincoln Yards development.

The Hideout, 1354 West Wabansia Avenue, stands less than 200 feet away from the city’s fleet and facilities management headquarters, which Sterling Bay bought last year and now imagines as the south section of its 53-acre Lincoln Yards mega-project. The developer has since bought two more industrial properties on the same block as The Hideout, leading the bar’s owners and loyal patrons to fear it may be swept up in a development rush.

The bar, named for its discreet location in the middle of an industrial corner of the Bucktown neighborhood, has been legally operating out of a balloon-frame wood house since 1934. Before that, it was known as a Prohibition-era speakeasy.

The bar’s owners, Tim and Katie Tuten, published a notice in advance of Wednesday’s public meeting on establishing a new TIF district in the area, urging supporters to “show up and let the city and alderman know the community is watching!”

Hopkins on Wednesday introduced a measure to change the bar’s zoning designation from a manufacturing district to a B1-2 Neighborhood Shopping District. Once the change goes through, it would open the door to securing landmark status for the building, which would “give The Hideout protection against development,” Hopkins said at the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting.

“It would preserve The Hideout for generations … to make sure it stays exactly as it’s been since it opened its doors in 1934,” Hopkins said. “So Tim and Katie, you’re not going anywhere.”

Hopkins told The Real Deal on Friday that the landmark review process could take months or longer. But the pending zoning change will “send a message to the development community” that the property isn’t up for grabs, he said.

“Changing that parcel from a manufacturing district would be appropriate under any circumstances,” Hopkins added. “The only thing they’re manufacturing there is fun and great music.”

Sterling Bay has scheduled a meeting later this month to reveal new details of its Lincoln Yards plan.

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