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Petition To Save Double Door Nears 15K Signatures As Trial Looms

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on May 16, 2016 2:04PM

It's coming down to the wire for Double Door.

The Wicker Park club's landlord, Brain Strauss, is still trying to evict the music venue, claiming they didn't give him the proper notice they wanted to renew their lease. The club owners maintain they did, but have admitted that they did not send the request via certified mail, which has complicated matters when it comes to proving the timing of the renewal request. There's already a real estate listing out on the club's Wicker Park space. the Tribune reported that representatives from both sides met with a judge behind closed doors Thursday, and are continuing talks in hopes of keeping the case from going on trail on May 18.

While the primary players are duking it out in this legal battle, the community of musicians, fans and past and present employees from all over have been circulating a petition to show their support for the music venue.

The petition states:

Double Door has become a fixture in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood and an integral part of the cultural and music scene in Chicago since it's opening in 1994. The club has played host to some of the biggest bands in the world including The Rolling Stones, Kid Rock, WILCO, The Killers, Cheap Trick, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Sonic Youth, Of Monsters and Men, John Legend, Andrew Bird, Macy Gray, The Strokes and many others, bringing national and international exposure to Chicago. The club has nurtured the careers of many of Chicago's most successful local artists including Smashing Pumpkins, Chevelle, Local H, Lovehammers, Liz Phair, and Rise Against.

The petition was started by
Dino Kourelis, who is probably best known as the bassist for long-running Chicago rockers the Lovehammers. We tried to reach Kourelis to find out why he started the petition, but haven't heard back. Still, it's not surprising that he's behind it, given that a similar petition helped the Double Door out a decade ago.

10 years ago, the Strauss family tried to evict Double Door, and our petition of over 5,000 signatures made a significant impression on the judge during the hearings. Please take a second, sign the petition, and share with your friends to help save the institution that is Double Door preserve the cultural integrity of the neighborhood.

And do you know who started that petition and hand-delivered it to the hearing that eventually saved the Double Door from eviction the last time around? Dino Kourelis! In 2006 Kourelis' petition got over 5,000 signatures, and this time around he decided to increase ambitions and shoot for an even greater show of support. And—as of this writing—with 12,389 out of a goal of 15,000 signatures collected, we think the point has been made that Double Door has a lot of community support.

Of course it's just a petition, and it doesn't have any sort of legal sway, but the recipient of this collection of signatures will be Ald. Joe Moreno. Perhaps he will step in at the last minute and try and convince the building's owner that it might be in everyone's best interests to save a cultural institution like Double Door.

We'll find out soon.