CHICAGO - It was the last strike for an iconic North Side bar.
The historic Southport Lanes will not be reopening after all.
The lights are out at Southport Lanes, but the memories are more vibrant than ever.
"The bowling alley is a classic," said Pete Ruegsegger of Lakeview.
Lakeview resident Nick Lacasse will never forget celebrating his 40th birthday there with loved ones.
"The pin boys are hilarious. You'd like stuff your dollar bill into the bowling ball and then if somebody was not doing well, but you gave them a good tip, they would like knock over all the pins for you," said Lacasse.
The historic Lakeview bar, bowling alley and billiards hall has been closed since September because of the pandemic. Then, in January there was hope that it would get a chance to make a comeback – thanks to a $70,000 state grant.
A spokesperson for the group that owns the building says the grant enabled ownership to pay for outstanding bills incurred during the pandemic, but it ultimately was not enough to keep going and reopen.
"I'm really sad to see it go," said Lakeview resident Brody Blair. "It's my favorite bar in the city."
The spokesperson also says building ownership has decided to auction off the assets through an online auction. That includes the pool tables, bowling equipment, the bar, and exterior signage.
For regulars, it is a way to keep Southport Lanes' legacy alive.
Lakeview resident Rob Nolfi is already considering what he may want to purchase.
"Probably like a bowling ball or something like that, but absolutely a bar stool or a small table," said Nolfi.
"Hopefully, something will be – something very similar will take its place so other people can make fond memories in the neighborhood," said Lakeview resident Kristina Diaz.
The online auction will take place July 13th through July 20th.