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Cubby Bear North in Lincolnshire shuts down suddenly

No one affiliated with Cubby Bear bar grill music venue has explained closure its Lincolnshire facility. | Ronnie Wachter/Sun-Times Media

No one affiliated with the Cubby Bear bar, grill and music venue has explained the closure of its Lincolnshire facility. | Ronnie Wachter/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 17, 2014 1:53PM



Nothing but mystery and melting snow occupies the parking lot of the building that, until a few days ago, was the Cubby Bear North.

Neither George Loukas, the owner of the original Cubby Bear in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, nor his attorney have spoken publicly about why Loukas closed the bar, grill and live-music venue at 21661 N. Milwaukee Ave. Its last public event was New Year’s Eve; its Twitter feed has been silent since then, its Facebook page is gone and no one is returning messages left on the still-functioning answering machine.

Its closure could mark a turning point in the changing character of the stretch of Milwaukee Avenue that connects Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire: In 2011, bar, grill and off-track betting site Adam’s Roadhouse, a few blocks south at 301 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Buffalo Grove, also folded, and remains vacant.

The four miles of five-lane street between Lake Cook Road and Illinois Route 22 includes an interesting mix of properties, ranging from the as-yet-undeveloped Land and Lakes landfill to the ancient-but-always-packed Par-King miniature golf course to the upscale CityPark shopping center, as well as hotels, a retirement community and a corporate center.

The Cubby Bear North building is now the second large and uniquely shaped restaurant to stand vacant in Lincolnshire. The Flatlander’s microbrewery has presented a quandary to its owners (Baceline Investments LLC of Denver) and Village Hall since it shut down two years ago this week; officials from both groups have spoken about how its design lends itself only to other restaurants, a situation that the Cubby Bear North may now face.

Should another music venue open there, it will face steady competition in nearby CityPark from Viper Alley, a food-and-entertainment site with modern audio, video and furnishings that opened in 2011.



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