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Double Door Eviction Marks End Of An Era In Wicker Park

Double Door, Chicago

Shock waves ran through Chicago's music community yesterday when Double Door, the venerable Wicker Park nightclub, was evicted from 1572 North Milwaukee Ave.

The eviction, first reported by DNAInfo Chicago, marks an end to a yearlong battle between Double Door co-owner Sean Mulroney and landlord Brian Strauss. Strauss served Double Door with eviction papers in December 2015, claiming that Mulroney and co-owner Joe Shanahan failed to give proper notice on renewing the lease — an often overlooked detail in lease agreements that can cost retailers a ton of money. A Cook County judge ruled Double Door had until Dec. 31, 2016, to vacate the premises. According to the Chicago Tribune, Double Door attorneys filed an appeal last September, and a $468k appeal bond was issued, which Strauss' attorney said the club never paid.

Shanhan and Mulroney opened Double Door in 1994, just as gentrification began to transform the neighborhood. Questions remain about the future of its shows and staff. The club had shows booked through April and the eviction affects 40 employees. Shanahan and Mulroney announced plans last year to relocate Double Door to a former bank building at 2551 North Milwaukee in Logan Square, and are working to get the support of residents.

Strauss said he had no immediate plans for the space. But with Wicker Park's status as a hot retail corridor, he would command top rents from tenants for a rehabbed storefront, or if Double Door was split into multiple storefronts. Strauss could also sell the building. He accepted a bid in January 2016 to sell the building to Speedwagon Properties. According to county records, Speedwagon filed a release from that agreement on Jan. 26, 2016. Speedwagon and attorneys for Strauss did not respond to a request for comment from Bisnow on the status of the sale. [DNA]