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Foul Smell In Wicker Park Forces Businesses To Close

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It was recently voted Illinois' best beer bar but Friday night, brews are bottled up.

Links Taproom is under lock and key, "off limits" during one of its biggest times to rake in revenue all year.

"There's always people in there playing trivia, watching sports," said would-be customer Jeremy Simpson. "They have a huge selection of beer. I know that they're clean inside so I can't imagine that anything they've done could've possibly caused them to close."

Fan after fan read the signs in disbelief. The closure was ordered by Chicago's Department of Buildings after a complaint of a "foul smell" next door.

Inspectors found a broken sewer line underneath the Milwaukee Avenue building. That's neither a cheap nor a quick fix.

City records show the building only "partially passed" two plumbing inspections in 2013. That was before Links Taproom was a tenant. Friday's stench wasn't really leaking into the bar.

It's more of problem for the neighbors, a city spokesperson told CBS 2. A sign on a locked Doc Martens door told people to check out their other Chicago location.

"We were going to go to the Doc Martens store because we don't really have one near our house in LA, but we were going to go and they're closed so we don't want to go all the way down to State Street," said Kristina Bliss.

It's a big loss at Links where the New Year's eve crowd normally hits capacity.

"Obviously it's the holidays," said would-be customer Craig Burton. "I had a number of days off of work so I was probably going to stop in for a beer or two so yea, I'm sort of bummed I'm not going to be able to do that."

CBS 2 called the landlord for the building, but a woman who answered said "sorry, she couldn't connect us" and hung up. The owners of Links Taproom said they're trying to work with the building owner to resolve the sewer line issue as soon as possible.

The damage is done. New Year's Eve celebrations are already moved to a sister bar about 20 minutes away.

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