Monday, February 6, 2012

Different Drummer: Bongo Room Soon To Open In Uptown

We first heard a whisper from the A'Ville Daily in January:  "Is Aville Bongo a Go-Go?"

Then we heard from a reader this weekend: "I was at the Bongo Room in Wicker Park and all their placemats are advertising an Uptown location opening this year at 5022 N Clark. Just wanted to let your readers know."

We went to look at the location (at Winnemac and Clark, across from T's, and between Bedding Experts and a liquor/ convenience store), and the wooden boards that used to be on the windows are down, and brown paper is up instead.  Always a good sign of activity within.

And just in case that wasn't enough, a real estate ad on LoopNet reads:  "BONGO ROOM is moving next door!! Bongo Room is opening next month!"

We really hope to welcome Bongo Room to the neighborhood very soon and look forward to enjoying some French toast on Opening Day.

Update:  We've heard from Bongo Room, who don't want to say too much until everything is closer to being ready to go.  As they said in their email:  "Fingers Crossed!"  Eater Chicago says a call to the Wicker Park store confirmed a March opening.


  1. I live near this location and I'd be surprised if the city/fire inspectors allow it to open anytime soon.

    They began working on this place a couple of years ago and adjacent neighbors tell me that much of the work was being done by unlicensed contractors and without permits and has had 'stop work' orders issued by the city more than once.

    In the back, utility cables (6 total) are laying on top of a metal railing on the roof and 10 or 12 total wires are hanging over the area where they want an outdoor patio. Also, the fence that was removed during construction, between the rear patio and the apartment building next door, has yet to be rebuilt.

    The original owner who was developing the property also had some legal problems in his past but I don't know if it's the same owner as now. One neighbor who is more adept at this than I, ran a records search on the property and then a search on that name and came up with articles and information that made him "uncomfortable", but again, I don't know if it's the same owner. To my knowledge, none of this has anything to do with the Bongo Room.

    Most neighbors near this property DO NOT WANT a "beer garden" atmosphere and hope to block any liquor license from being issued (there are already several within a block of here).

    Like everyone else, we who are living near this location (50 apartments on this 1/2 block alone) are hopeful of gaining a good neighbor and NOT a new nuisance to have to deal with. Time will tell!

  2. Just had a glance at the Bongo Room website and see that it's a breakfast and brunch location. Assuming this is the plan for Clark Street, that should negate any beer garden or after hours problems.

    Based on that, I'm thinking thumbs up and Welcome to Andersonville!

  3. well at least if it is Bongo Room... and a liquor license is issued - they are only open for breakfast, brunch and lunch. So no late night beer garden activities.

  4. thats amazingly good news! I've been eating there for years and to think that I won't have to drive 20 minutes to get there is great!

    The food is great. The service is fantastic. And they bring a huge amount of foot traffic to their neighboring businesses.

    As far as the issues sited with the building... I'm sure that the Bongo Room wouldn't risk their reputation by opening up in a hazardous space. The owner of the building is responsible for making the outside of the building ready for a business to move in. If they're smart, you'd think they'd get it done ASAP so they start getting those rent checks!

    When that happens, I for one will be there at least once a week. ;-)