Monday, July 01, 2013

INBOX: Cops Fearing Riots Force Bars To Close Early

Thanks for all of the active participation in our comments section! We truly appreciate your readership and the time you take to share your opinions and stories.

A reader commented on our story about 60+ batteries near the Gay Pride Parade route Sunday and overnight:
I got attacked by five men that then jumped into a van around 8 ish..... right on broadway and roscoe. I couldnt believe it, was right in daylight they just came up and stuck their hands in my pockets then started beating me and stomping me. The police caught them later as they had my phone. They had beat some other guy up after me, and apparently he has brain damage. I cant identify them because it happened so fast. The most upsetting part is they will prob get away with it, because I was busy defending myself and trying not to get killed then to try and memorize what they look like.
Brutal. We're hoping you and the other victim heal quickly. Thank you for putting your story into words for everyone to read.

From a reader comment regarding our coverage of the Pride Sunday fiasco:
You missed: ~2:00AM Chicago Liquor and Bar Commissions shut down bars and alcohol sale for Lakeview, Lincoln Park and UpTown neighborhoods. That was a big deal.
A couple of hours later, we received this email from a loyal reader who is a veteran bartender in one of the neighborhood's 4 o'clock bars:
Everyone INSIDE of [the bar] was actually pretty well behaved and decent. At 2am, just before our "rush", where the bartenders make the majority of our money and we basically look forward to one of these nights all year because it's very profitable for us, the cops shut us down because of "potential rioting" outside. From what I understand, they did this to all of the bars, it wasn't just us. So, we all had to suffer because of the trash outside.
At 130am I stepped outside for a cig right before the rush was about to happen. I had two drags of it and literally ran back inside, because it was so unbelievably scary out on so many levels. I was afraid I would get caught in the middle of a fight or someone throwing a bottle. I got back inside and moments later [the doorman] is telling me that the cops said we had to close. I'm so livid about this. Our customers inside had to leave and were really confused why this was happening. . . We have never had to close our doors during business hours because of the dangerous atmosphere outside.
Thanks for continuing to write in the blog. We need to take back the neighborhood, NOW.
Thank you, too, for sharing your personal experience from last night. The decision by police to shut down licensed businesses due to possible rioting at 2AM should put to rest any doubts about how bad things were after Pride Sunday.


  1. I will add to this that our front yard area was trashed with broken bottles. In fact I stepped on a piece of glass and cut myself. There was enough broken glass in the yard, and up and down our block, to suggest that the bottle throwing was indeed intentional. I have *never* seen broken bottles at any other time of the year. This is in the 3400 block of Halsted.

  2. I have lived in BT for 12 years, and been visiting years (for parades) before that. I have never seen it like this. It has gotten dangerously worse every year since 2010. I remember how amazing it was to see the fleet of street cleaners have the streets cleaned in just a few hours after the parade. The only way to make money in Boystown is to own a bar that inebriates people to excess until 4 or 5 am. The other businesses wait the entire year for two events to make their entire revenue. Seriously these bars and nightclubs need to be hit with taxes and fees to cover added police and waste disposal.

  3. I totally disagree it is the bar's and night club's fault and also disagree that they should be taxed higher to clean up the trash after the parade.

    The crowds were estimated at 1 million people. You think they all got drunk at the bars before the parade started at 12pm then went out and littered and watched the parade?

    The crowds on the street that night were not patronizing any bars.

    The people on non Pride weekends that are getting mugged and robbed are the victims. The perpetrators that are robbing and beating people are not drinking at the bars.

    1. Rahm has had to make drastic budget cuts on police and managing events while the NHBA keeps increasing the footprint of these events. My local taxes have already gone up and and I can expect a 45 min wait if I am ever mugged outside my home . It is only fair . Not to mention the tax evasion and under reporting of taxes by keeping employees forever freelancers. There is more than one Boystown bar owner who has had a tax lien for non payment of taxes in this hood. We're not talking about alot .

  4. The Pride parade might have to go the way of the South Side Irish Parade, at least for a year. The people of the neighborhood that should be able to enjoy the parade, while having some beers cannot do so. As for 4am bars, no bar needs to be open past 2am. If you want to party longer, just start earlier. How hard is that? I will say this, with 1 million people in attendance, was crime any worse in relation to the sheer number of people? The Huffington Post pretty much had only good things to say about the parade.

  5. About the 4am bars...I generally dont mind the 4am time, it can be fun to stay out late and keep partying; however, the 4am liquor license is a holdover from Chicago's industrial past, when factories all over the city ran 24 hours a day, and workers worked all kinds of shifts...some people work 3rd shift and would get off work at 6am and so their "evening drinking time" started at 6am. Many of these licenses are grandfathered in, and that is why Chicago has some 4am and even 5am liquor licenses.

  6. Bottom line, the neighborhood is going to hell and we all know the element that is causing it doesn't live anywhere near Boystown/Lakeview. COME TO THE MEETING WEDNESDAY NIGHT. Even if you choose not to speak, come to hear what others are thinking and feeling about this downgrade of quality of life over here. 7PM Addison and Halsted Police Station. Be there!!!! And support this site and spread the word about it.

  7. ^ I will definitely be there. Will there be video footage of the meeting?

  8. ..Video Footage .. Well, I'd just be happy with voice. They (the Police) probably would come up with some reason as to why we cant video the meeting...just to cover up their incompetence.