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Schoolyard Tavern On Southport Avenue Announces It's Going Out Of Business Due To COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Schoolyard Tavern on Southport Avenue is the latest Chicago bar to announce it is going out of business as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a social media post, the bar at 3258 N. Southport Ave., at the southwest corner of the intersection with School Street, said this weekend will be its last.

"Covid has been a destructive force to so many lives, families, friendships, and livelihoods. We have all felt the sting, some of us worse than others," the Schoolyard said in the post. "It's with a very heavy heart that we will be closing our doors for good after this weekend's (10/2-10/4) service. When we close Sunday evening. It will be the last time we lock the doors as Schoolyard Tavern. Unfortunately, trying to run a Sports Bar in this new reality is just not sustainable. Please join us, if you are able, this weekend to say goodbye to Schoolyard."

The Schoolyard has been in business since 1994. It was originally operated by the Four Corners Tavern Group and was sold to the owners of Wicker Park's Links Taproom in 2018, according to

The Schoolyard is also just a short block from the Southport Lanes bowling alley at the southeast corner of Southport Avenue and Henderson Street, which went out of business this past weekend.

The Southport Lanes building at 3325 N. Southport Ave. was built in 1900 by Schlitz Brewery and was originally named the Nook. It was renamed Southport Lanes in 1922, when the 98-year history that just ended began.

But while Southport Lanes and its predecessor survived Prohibition, the 1918 flu, and world wars, it could not survive COVID-19. Tedious tasks, expensive cleaning, and less room for paying diners means Southport Lanes could not make ends meet.

In its own closure announcement, the Schoolyard urged the public to support local businesses.

"Please take a look around and see the devastation happening to our fellow brothers and sisters in the bar/restaurant and small business communities," the Schoolyard said. "Please support your local, small businesses as much as you are able to."


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