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New Construction Most of Us Can Agree On

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 28, 2007 6:00PM

2007_06_melvinbs.JPGWe received the press release about State and Rush Street mainstay Melvin B's getting ready to close down a few days ago and were going to write about it, but it looked like the Sun-Times beat us to it.

The site on which Melvin B's and the Cedar Hotel - a single room occupancy hotel we're surprised is still in business - now stand is being earmarked for a new 200-room boutique hotel. While some page space was dedicated to the SRO residents who now have to look for new places to live, the heart of the story was the closing of Melvin B's, which has been swinging singles around for forty years. It's one of the last places you'll find Chicagoist, but one has to pay at least grudging respect to its Neverland-like existence in the heart of the Viagra Triangle. And, since the Sun-Times used it in their lede, we can safely assume that "Viagra Triangle" is now a part of the everyday Chicago lexicon, so put down your flamethrowers, folks.

Sure, Melvin B's was lowest common denominator fun, but that still doesn't take away from the friendships and relationships that untold numbers of Chicagoans formed there, hanging out in the beer garden on a perfect summer day, planning the logistics for the Jimmy Buffet concert at Alpine, wondering if they had what it took to one day be able to drink and dine across the street at Carmine's, or even at the Hunt Club, then go back to making catcalls at passers-by that would make a construction worker blush.

Melvin B's will be open until Labor Day. To its regulars, we promise that if we find ourselves biking through the Triangle during that time, we'll raise a middle finger in your direction and spit water at you one last time.

For the good times.