Ukrainian Village tavern forced to take town Hamm's Beer Sign after 66 years due to permitting issue

Since the mid 1950s, there has been a bright, four-foot by five-foot Hamm's Beer Sign illuminating the entrance over Archie's Iowa Rockwell Tavern, which is one of those cozy corner taverns in Ukrainian Village.

However, because of a permitting issue, owners had to take it down to many peoples' disappointment.

"It's frustrating," said Terry Maloney, an Archie's Regular. "It's a little unrecognizable. It's kind of a pillar of the community, really."

Locals say the Hamm's sign adds not just ambiance, but a safety factor to the leafy neighborhood.


"They said that I couldn't get my license unless I took the sign down," said owner Deborah Pup. "So with a lot of regret, I took the sign down."

The dreaded city zoning snafu has the future of the sign in limbo. 

In a statement, a spokesperson with the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said:

"Archie's Iowa Rockwell Tavern...does not have a permit for the public way use sign. BACP notified the business of necessary requirements for sign compliance."

Pup's father put the Hamm's sign up in 1956. She said it's one of only three publicly displayed Hamm's beer signs that she's aware of.  

"And we've had it here since and prior to that there was a sign. I don't think there was permitting back in the day," said Pup.

"It's a warm glow that just kind of overlooks this quaint corner bar, and we're all so lucky to have it," said Maloney.  "In a sea of Old Style signs to have something different, it's heartwarming."

Pup said she is right now in the process of applying for a zoning variance needed to return the sign to its place and that she is optimistic about having the sign back up in early 2023.