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« Preview: 21st Annual SOFA Chicago Fair Nov. 7-9 Mint & Serf: Support, Therapy and Instability »

Venue Mon Nov 03 2014

Hungry Brain Closing in December

The owners of the Hungry Brain, a Roscoe Village dive bar with a reputation for high-minded cultural programming, announced that they will be shutting down Dec. 15. Co-owner Janis White told Chicagoist that the bar has suffered from increased competition in Logan Square. A statement from White and co-owner Luz Cordova is below.

The Hungry Brain opened at 2319 W. Belmont Ave. in 1997, but always looked much older, inside and out. Entering the enameled steel facade revealed a collection of mismatched furniture, odd artwork, and Christmas lights give the room a very lived in feel. The thrift store aesthetic and friendly vibe earned it top reviews on Yelp and placement on Thrillist's 15 most hipster Chicago bars. But from the beginning, the Hungry Brain was home to readings, concerts and other performances not often found in such settings.

The small stage, which turns its back on the door to face the rest of the room -- regularly featured jazz and folk concerts, notably Umbrella Music's Transmission Series. I recall seeing ex-Mighty Blue Kings saxophonist Sam Burckhardt's quintet play a packed room in 1999, mixing swing and jump with a bluesier sound.

Several literary series also graced that stage, including Gapers Block contributor John Wawrzaszek's Two Cookie Minimum, which returns to the Brain this Tuesday, as well as Homeroom's popular 101 lecture series; You, Me, Them, Everybody!; Everything Is Terrible in its early days; and many more.

There's a full schedule of events on the calendar between now and Dec. 15, so if the Hungry Brain meant anything to you, be sure to make it back one last time to pay your respects. And let's hope a new venue pops up to take its place supporting eclectic cultural programming.

November 2, 2014
For Immediate Release

Hungry Brain owners Janis White and Luz Cordova have made the difficult decision to lock up for good on December 15, 2014. Jan and Luz wish to express love and gratitude to all of their customers over the past 17 years, and everyone is encouraged to stop by often in the coming weeks to say farewell to Hungry Brain.

Since 1997, Hungry Brain has served as a community center and showcase for music and the arts. The bar and stage has hosted countless events from musicians, artists, writers, comedians, lecturers, and anyone else who had something to share. All scheduled events will continue through December 15, including Umbrella Music's long-standing Sunday jazz and improvisation show, "Transmission Series."

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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