Community Justice Center tackles west side crime issues

From the Happy Village patio, Pauline Dengler describes the Cook County State's Attorney's west side initiatives.

Two prosecutors work out of the Community Justice Center at 715 W. Maxwell St. At the Sept. 10 EVA meeting, community liaison Pauline Dengler described their action on crimes in the 11th and 12th Chicago Police districts and on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Dengler's classes and programs for community members include court advocacy, a self-defense course and "Keeping It Real" panel discussions with ex-offenders.

Delia Ramirez, an unopposed candidate for the Illinois House of Representatives, told members she would for advisory committees on public safety, housing, schools and other local issues. Ramirez noted that a large class of new state representatives could pull the legislature toward more progressive stands.

A membership vote on Happy Village rezoning is scheduled for the Oct. 1 at an unconfirmed location. President Michael VanDam summarized discussion during and after the Aug. 6 member meeting about the pending sale of the 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. site. A draft plan of operation will be posted beforehand.

Happy Village liquor moratorium vote postponed

Due to a number of open questions, the advisory vote on the liquor moratorium lift on Wolcott has been postponed, currently till Oct. 1. Watch this space for more information before the vote about Happy Village's Plan of Operation and other issues.

Here's a replay of the Aug. 6 meeting at the tavern, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. Prospective buyers describe plans to add restaurant service. Dimitrios G. Christopoulos, attorney for the buyers, is the main speaker.

Happy Village sale would put renovations on tap

Happy Village, 1057-59 N. Wolcott Ave.

The Happy Village tavern would become a restaurant under new owners. They're requesting a member vote Monday that would consent to lifting a liquor license moratorium at 1057-59 N. Wolcott. The license freeze now blocks any new operator from taking over.

The outcome is not binding on 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins, who would be making a recommendation to the City Council.

Cheryln Pilch plans to sell the Happy Village tavern business. She joined the prospective purchasers, Andrew Miller and Addison Thom, in making a July 16 presentation to the EVA board. A previous sale proposal in 2016 was withdrawn.

The new prospective purchasers, Andrew Miller and Addison Thom, say they will restore the bar's kitchen and introduce chef-driven casual American fare. The renovations include reducing the size of the patio by adding a glass enclosure. This solarium type structure would take up about half the patio.

EVA backs Hermitage apartment rezoning

Marland Hobbs speaks to EVA members at Happy Village.

East Village Association members on July 9 backed landlord Marland Hobbs’ plan to convert retail space on Hermitage and add transit-oriented apartments.

  • Welcome (Michael VanDam)
  • Shakespeare in the Park preview (Elizabeth Nungaray)
  • Presentation and vote on 1115 N. Hermitage (Marland Hobbs): The owner made a case to build apartments over a garage to "domesticate" the alley south of Division Street. Rezoning for 7 units still would not conform to the surrounding 3-flats. The Planning, Preservation and Development committee had recommended only to convert first-floor commercial space. Members voted 14-10 not to oppose Hobbs' request.

Hermitage rezoning sought to build apartments

1115 N. Hermitage Ave.

EVA members will vote July 9 on a zoning change for the building that houses the Tropikava Kafe juice bar. Rezoning would allow conversion to 7 apartments with limited parking.

The owner of 1115 N. Hermitage Ave. plans to convert the 4-story building from a storefront and 3 apartments. Plans submitted for EVA review would renovate the storefront as a new apartment and build 3 apartments over the existing garage.

The vote would advise Ald. Proco Joe Moreno on whether to support a zoning change in the City Council. The EVA meeting starts at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. The meeting also features presentations from Delia Ramirez, Democratic candidate for 4th District state representative, and Elizabeth Nungaray of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Pack a Sprite and go: Shakespeare Aug. 3 in Eckhart Park

Chicago Shakespeare Theater brings a puckish summer production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to Eckhart Park.

Artistic director Barbara Gaines directs the 75-minute abridged production, in which four young lovers, an amateur theater troupe and the spirits of nature meet in an enchanted forest. Elizabeth Nungaray of Chicago Shakespeare Theater gives East Village Association members a preview at the next membership meeting July 10 in the Happy Village beer garden at 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Chicago Shakes is known to take liberties in its family-friendly performances: "I'm pretty sure the Bard never said 'dude,'" the Tribune noted in reviewing the play's spring Navy Pier performances, which later toured Chicago schools.

Skate to where Puck is going, and stake out a stretch of lawn for the 6:30 p.m. Aug. 3 performance at 1330 W. Chicago Ave. The summer revival opens July 25-28 at Navy Pier and tours for the next month. Other stops include Humboldt Park Aug. 9-10 and Dvorak Park Aug. 16.

Faith Servant and Christopher Sheard reprise their roles Aug. 3 as Hermia and Lysander in Chicago Shakespeare’s short version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" in Eckhart Park.