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Sayonara, Nisei

By Karl Klockars in News on Apr 22, 2008 6:22PM

adriftoldstyle042208.jpgLongtime Wrigleyville joint Nisei Lounge is apparently no more. The Sun-Times is reporting that the bar, in business since 1949, is up for sale and is closing its doors, although the deal hasn't yet gone through. But the clock is ticking. It always sucks when a local joint goes under, and when it was witness to demographic shifts like post-WWII migrations of Japanese-Americans, it's like losing another piece of history. From what we can tell, only Hamburger King, the Korean/Japanese/American dining establishment, remains of the businesses that catered to the Japanese clients during that era. We're also reminded of similar places like Carol's Pub in Uptown, and June's Inn over in North Center, both watering holes for rural transplants who came up from southern states to find work in the big city.

And while we hate to see any old-school local go down, this quote from Jim Cote has just a touch of overkill to it:

"It's the last neighborhood bar here," Cote said as he stood near the bar's cork dart boards. "You don't have the drunken frat bums like you do at the other bars."
Well, yeah, aside from places like the L&L, the Gingerman, the Wrigleyville North, or even Sheridan Liquors. It's not like the neighborhood is completely devoid of anything but Casey Moran's; you just have to look a little harder than you would have two decades ago. Here's to hoping that if the Nisei ends up in new hands, they won't decide that the new immigrant community to take over the space will be "Irish."

"Old Style" from Pantagrapher.