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 A previous sale proposal in 2016 was withdrawn.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.

Dial up energy, property tax savings

Amy Bobel displays a free showerhead available through the ComEd-Peoples Gas energy efficiency program.

Energy-saving swag was featured at the June 4 East Village Association meeting. Lightbulbs and showerheads weren't being given away. But they are free to homeowners who sign up for an energy efficiency assessment.

Amy Bobel, outreach coordinator for the local utility program, displayed samples of the freebies in a Happy Village patio demonstration. Owners of houses, two-flats, condos and town houses qualify for free thermostats, power strips, pipe insulation and other items.

An adviser will visit the building and make energy-saving recommendations. Renters may participate with landlord permission. Participants who buy smart thermostats from the utilities get free installation. To sign up, visit the Peoples Gas or ComEd websites or call 1-844-367-5867.

Continuing the money-saving theme, real estate agent Greg Nagel advised EVA members how to cut their property taxes. The owner of Ask Nagel Realty, 1919 W. Division St., says the best bet is to pre-file for an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review. The board no longer requires homeowners to do research, and will not penalize them by raising assessments. Meanwhile, check for available homeowner and senior exemptions. To get an alert on filing dates, call 312-603-5586

Summer jazz, pop and youth performances have begun at the Polish Triangle, the CTA Blue Line plaza at Ashland, Division and Milwaukee. For a schedule, visit the Polish Triangle Coalition website.