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The Changing Face of Downtown

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 29, 2005 1:05PM

Try to imagine if you will a Chicago without any Irish-themed bars.

Take your time. We'll wait.

Try as you might, you can't. Irish-themed pubs are as ingrained into the fabric of the city as blustery winters, drunken sing-alongs of "Sweet Home Chicago", Cubs fans saying "wait 'til next year", Harold's Chicken Shack, Moo & Oink, and corruption in City Hall. So it was a little bit of a shock when the buiding containing downtown mainstay Govnor's Pub was shut down Friday night.

According to a Govnor's spokesman who identified himself as "Steve", inspectors from the city's Department of Buildings found "structural deficiencies" in the building's foundation and declared the building unsafe. Signs posted on the pub's windows paint Govnor's as a victim of circumstance- that declaring the building unsafe "pav(es) the way for a new hotel and restaurant." When asked to elaborate "Steve" simply said that they're waiting for the inspection reports but added, "this was an opportunity" and cut himself short.

With the Supreme Court's recent decision expanding local governments' use of eminent domain to seize properties for economic development, Chicagoist initially wondered if this was a power play to the city similar to bulldozing Meigs Field two years ago, but we're holding out judgment for now as our requests for comment from the city have so far gone unanswered.

But don't fret. There are still more than enough places downtown for white collar professionals and tourists to get their hot wings and green beer on St. Patrick's Day.