Sunday, October 2, 2016

Carol's Pub: Don't Count Us Out Yet! (Updated With Fundraiser Link)

It's a possibility, a wisp of an idea, not a certainty, but there's a chance that Carol's Pub may reopen.

On Carol's Pub's Facebook page, the webmaster wrote on Friday:
From the mouth of Carol herself.... Carol's Pub is not "officially" closed. We are setting up a fundraiser. More details to come, as soon as I hear anything I will post it. Hang in there folks, "last call" has not been given !!!!!!
Things had been looking pretty grim, with Carol's state-issued liquor license no longer valid. We inquired and were told that the Illinois Liquor Control Commission can't comment on whether or not the ILCC revoked the license, or whether it was voluntarily surrendered when the license holder closed up shop.

But Carol's has proven to be, if nothing else, resilient. Uptown in 1973 wasn't an easy place to open a business or keep it going. Yet even with the changing neighborhood demographics, they've stayed as popular as ever.

Uptown Update would like to issue a challenge. We challenge:
Where there's hope, there are dreams. And sometimes dreams come true. Here's a link to Carol's GoFundMe page. They are looking to raise $55,000 to reopen this Uptown legend.


  1. I don't think they should be asking for money until they can tell us why they need $55,000. Then, people can decide whether this is a worthy cause.

    It sounds like they owe substantial back taxes. Personally, I would not give money without knowing why they did not pay their taxes, and what will be different in the future.

    If you're going to ask the community for a huge sum of money, you should explain these basic things.

    1. They probably didn't pay taxes because they're smart. Maybe Carol is planning to run for President in 2020?

  2. I'm usually just lurking, but I like Carol's as much as the next guy... But a tax lien is a sign of totally irresponsible business. Asking people to *donate* is ludicrous (not like a Kickstarter where you are actually promised something for your money).

    No transparency, just a "Trust us." Asking people to donate to subsidize mismanagent is extremely irresponsible for UU to do.

    Posting the news about Carol's and a link to the GoFundMe is one thing, but can I ask why UU went further than that to urge sharing and donation? I didn't see that with the flower shop or any other business that have failed in Uptown over the last decade of this blog.

    More transparency is needed from everybody in this case.

    1. Well, the place has been in business for 43 years -- so I doubt the same people who've been making a success of it for longer than many readers have been alive have suddenly morphed into something they haven't been over the last four decades.

      Carol's is a business that is iconically Uptown. It's one of the few businesses that have spanned the community's changing fortunes. Its appeal runs to all demographics. The story about its closing got more Facebook views than any other story we've ever run, and most of the comments were along the lines of "Nooooooooo!"

      I wouldn't know Carol if she rang my doorbell. Although I've lived in Uptown most of my life, I've never been to Carol's Pub. But it's important to the community, judging by the responses and high readership numbers, both on the blog and the Facebook page. So, yes, if it can be saved, let Uptown Update help that happen.

      If you don't want to give money to help it survive, there's a simple solution: Don't. This is a GoFundMe, not an initial public offering.

      But don't be that person who sits around and whines that everything that connects to Uptown's history is being replaced by hipster joints, new construction, and franchises. This is an opportunity for regular people to keep an Uptown legend around for a while longer. That's why we challenged readers to do something while they still have a chance.

      Why didn't we promote a GoFundMe for the flower shop? For one thing, there wasn't one. Janessa wanted to get back to being a florist, not a business owner. We have promoted plenty of other fundraising requests. I find it curious that you find our interest in saving a longstanding business somehow sinister and in need of "more transparency."

      There is always great gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when a long-time business closes. (see, e.g., Uptown Snack Shop, Army Navy Store, Shake Rattle & Read.) In fact, we were approached about promoting a GoFundMe for Mary at Sheridan Park Liquors. We said we would be happy to run something, but it never panned out, apparently, because we never heard anything more.

      In short, if you can live with an Uptown that doesn't have Carol's Pub in it, that's fine. But judging from the interest and comments that the news of its closing generated, plenty of other people don't want to see that happen. If they want to literally put their money where their mouths are, they are encouraged to donate to save it.

  3. A bar like Carols that only takes cash and not debit/credit cards do it for a reason.

  4. americancanit, there is a Vietnamese restaurant on Wilson and Broadway that is cash only. Chicken Hut on Belmont and Broadway also.