Chicago police shutter Wicker Park bar hours after a shooting left 3 injured nearby

Chicago — In Wicker Park, in the front window of DSTRKT Bar & Grill, a sign encircled by festive artificial frost for the holidays warns that guns are not allowed on the premises. Beneath it, sprinkled with the spray-on frost, another sign reads, “PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF OUR NEIGHBORS WHEN LEAVING.”

And, about two feet away from those signs, beneath a Christmas wreath on the front door, is a third sign. It’s bright orange, and a Chicago police officer slapped it there on Saturday afternoon, hours before DSTRKT was to welcome New Year’s Eve revelers: “Business Closed by Order of the Superintendent of Police.”

An orange “summary closure” notice hangs on the front door of DSTRKT Bar & Grill, 1540 North Milwaukee, on New Year’s Day 2023. | CWB Chicago

DSTRKT, 1540 North Milwaukee, became the latest business to be shuttered by city authorities under the Summary Closure Ordinance after a gunman shot three men, leaving two critically wounded, in the 1400 block of North Honore shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators found shell casings in an alley behind the bar, and police believe the shooting may have followed an argument between patrons of the establishment, according to a law enforcement source. Chicago police have not publicly stated why they closed DSTRKT or why CPD Supt. David Brown believes its operation is a threat to public safety.

Sam Royko, a candidate for 1st Ward alderman, tweeted, “Early Saturday morning there was a shooting of three patrons near Honore/Milwaukee. As a result, @Chicago_Police issued a summary closure of DSTRKT Bar and Grill at 1540 N Milwaukee. I will monitor this process and work closely with local community leaders on this safety review.”

Current Ald. Daniel La Spata has not made a public statement about the closure. But on Saturday, he tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” by the shooting.

“My deep gratitude to the officers who administered lifesaving medical attention and were able to stabilize the victims. I’m glad, among other efforts, we were able to successfully advocate for the Wicker Park entertainment corridor detail,” La Spata said.

The Summary Closure Ordinance is supposed to keep businesses deemed a “public safety threat” closed until the business owner takes “reasonable steps” to protect its employees, patrons, and members of the public from future harm, according to the city. Business owners have rights to a probable cause hearing and a hearing to resume operations under the ordinance.

Just up the street from DSTRKT, a bar called The Point was summarily closed by Chicago police last February after the city linked it to a mass shooting and a separate shooting within four months.

In November, Chicago police forced Hush Nightclub in River North to close after a gunman killed one and injured four outside its doors.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com