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Neo Nightclub Loses Lease, Prepares Temporary Move To Wicker Park

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 17, 2015 7:40PM

Chicago dance club Neo, popular among the city's post-punk gothic crowd, is leaving its home since 1979 on Lincoln Park's Clark Street.

Bar manager Dann Szymczak first announced the move in a Facebook post Friday morning, reassuring friends that the bar is not closing.

"We are not closing. We lost our lease. So we are moving. ‪#‎ripthesystem,‬" Szymczak wrote.

Neo will be open in its 2350 N. Clark St. location until August, when the club, including its Thursday-night new wave dance party, moves to the Debonair Social Club, at 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave.

A statement published on Neo's Facebook page this afternoon by media director Jessica Krinke says a legal dispute arising from the death of Neo's majority owner earlier this year is prompting the move to Debonair, which will serve as Neo's temporary weekend home:

"for the good of our hard-working staff and our loyal patrons, who deserve nothing less than an optimal environment for work and play, Neo’s operations will be moving to Debonair Social Club in Wicker Park’s Flat Iron building at Damen and North Avenues starting this August and continuing until further notice."

Krinke also wrote that Neo management is hoping to reach an agreement with the owners of the Clark Street location that would allow them to "make the long-needed repairs and upgrades we had been planning," for the spot. Otherwise, they are prepared to permanently relocate somewhere else.

A 36th anniversary celebration for the night club scheduled for the weekend of July 23 will continue as planned, according to Krinke.

After the move, Neo will take over Debonair's entire two-floor space on Thursday nights, she said, and will take up "at least half" of Debonair on Fridays and Saturdays for weekend events such as Nexus 6 and Helter Skelter. Unlike Neo's currently location, which is licensed to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. on some nights, Debonair has a 2 a.m. license that Neo will observe while it is relocated.

"One thing will not change: Neo will be a part of Chicago’s nightlife," Krinke wrote. "We will be a home for this city’s family of amazing people and personalities who deserve a safe space to be themselves and we will stick together."