CHICAGO - Hundreds of people tried jamming into Guthrie’s Tavern in Wrigleyville Tuesday night after the bar announced it is permanently closing on Thursday because of the city’s new COVID restrictions.
After 34 years at the corner of Lakewood and Addison, in the shadow of Wrigley Field, Guthrie’s Tavern will soon be no more.
When the doors opened Tuesday evening, customers were standing in a line that went all the way around the corner and down the block.
“Ugh. I’m so bummed. This was a neighborhood hotspot. All the Covid, it’s taking away some of our favorite bars and restaurants,” said Sara Gibbons.
On Monday, hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new seating restrictions on Chicago bars because of rising COVID numbers, Guthrie’s owner wrote on Facebook that it was the final nail in the coffin.
Mark Fellows has been bartending at the establishment for 27 years.
“I walked in the door, the owners like ‘change of plans.’ I’m done,” he said. “We can’t make it through another shutdown. Don’t know how long it’s going to be.”
“I’ve been inside Guthrie’s many times to and from Wrigley Field,” Lightfoot said.
Mayor Lightfoot says she does not want to see any business close, but had to weigh concerns about young people congregating in bars.
“What we know is the bars are a source of potential spread,” she said.
Kurt and Laura Kauffman had their first date at Guthrie’s in 2007 and came back Tuesday with their children to reminisce.
“It is sad. We love this place. We’ve come back many times with friends and it was a night of many good times,” Laura said.