Abbey Bar in Talks to Replace Circuit Nightclub in Boystown
One official in Lake View says he’s been in talks with the broker behind bringing the West Hollywood bar to Chicago, this time to possibly replace Circuit Nightclub.
Officials who want to bring one of West Hollywood’s most famous gay bars to Boystown are already eyeing up the space vacated by Circuit Nightclub.
According to Triangle Neighbors President and Roscoe’s Tavern owner Jim Ludwig, Chicago businesswoman Wendy Berger Shapiro recently expressed interest in the soon-to-be-vacant space at 3641 N. Halsted St. as a potential site for The Abbey Food and Bar.
“I was contacted by the developer who was interested in The Abbey, and so I gave her as straight of an answer as any and said I’d be glad to help out,” Ludwig said. “She’s still interested in doing it at that Brompton Auto, but the ownership pulled their money out of that proposal. So she offered to facilitate talks with people from The Abbey and Circuit.”
Shapiro had previously facilitated a potential deal when Los Angeles-based entertainment group ‘sbe’ set its sights on the former 12,000-square-foot Brompton Auto garage at 3532 N. Halsted St. However, after being confronted with extremely high cleanup costs to deal with environmental hazards left behind from the former business, the group momentarily backed away.
"...So she offered to facilitate talks with people from The Abby and Circuit.”
Patch contacted Shapiro in October about progress with bringing The Abbey to Boystown, and she said she remained close friends the bar’s founder David Cooley and couldn’t provide more details. She again remained tight-lipped after being contacted about potentially targeting Circuit.
“Sorry I can’t be more helpful,” Shapiro wrote in an email. “You would need to contact The Abbey directly for any comment.”
Brian Rosman, a public relations representative for West Hollywood club, also remained vague about opening a second location in the Windy City.
“We are always looking for opportunities to expand The Abbey's brand but have not announced any plans in Chicago,” Rosman said.
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The expansion to Chicago was part of The Abbey and sbe’s plan to open multiple locations of the popular bar around the United States. While no locations have been officially selected yet, plans to expand are still on the books.
“While no specific locations have been finalized for national expansion, Cooley and sbe are exploring locations where The Abbey's open-air concept would work best, including Miami's South Beach, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas and Phoenix,” The Abbey’s website reads.
The Abbey was originally opened as a coffeehouse in West Hollywood in 1991 before its rapid growth and expansion into a bar, restaurant and nightclub. It was most recently in the national news circuit for banning bachelorette parties until marriage equality is reached.