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Marie's Riptide Lounge May Announce Its Final Last Call Soon

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 23, 2013 7:30PM

Inside Marie's Riptide Lounge (Photo credit: Colin Clinard

Chicago may be close to losing another of its iconic dive bars. The Facebook and Twitter accounts for Marie’s Riptide Lounge have been abuzz recently claiming Friday, Jan. 25 would be the Bucktown tavern’s final night in business.

Chicagoist spoke with Marie’s longtime manager, Tina Congenie, to find out some details. Congenie wouldn’t say specifically that Friday would be last call for Marie’s, but the bar’s future is far from secure.

Congenie said she was willed the bar by its founder and namesake, Marie Wuczynski, upon Wuczynski’s death in February 2011. Here’s where the story gets interesting and slightly more confusing. According to Congenie, a long lost son of Wuczynski’s resurfaced to contest the will. Wuczynski’s will eventually went into probate, where Congenie said she settled for $120,000.

That’s when she found out a local construction firm held a first right to the lot on which Marie’s sits for since 1995 and exercised that right to claim the land. With the interest accrued on the probate judgment, Congenie owes close to $140,000 now.

A court hearing is set for Friday, Jan. 25, where Congenie will either have to have the money to pay the probate settlement or the first steps will be taken to sell Marie’s and other assets listed in Wuczynski’s will to settle it. “We’ll know more about the bar’s immediate future after the court date,” Congenie said.

In the meantime, Marie’s has a “Save the Bar” party scheduled to run from noon Thursday, Jan. 24, until closing where she hopes to raise funds to go toward the settlement.