Cal's Liquors to close at year's end

Long-standing Loop dive bar and music venue will shutter around Jan. 1

  • Cal's Liquors in the Loop will close at the end of 2012.
Cal's Liquors in the Loop will close at the end of 2012. (Jason Little/For RedEye )
December 18, 2012|By Kate Bernot, @kbernot, RedEye

Two bike messengers, a punk rocker and an employee from the Board of Trade walk into a bar. It sounds like the beginning of a joke -- or a Friday night at Cal's, a downtown dive bar located at Wells and Van Buren streets. But the decidedly eclectic clientele will have to find a new haunt when the bar closes at the end of the year.

Fred Feirstein, one of the bar's owners, said that after he's been in the business for 54 years, he needed to pack up shop. "The time has come," he said, declining to elaborate.

Feirstein's father, George, opened the bar in 1947, and Feirstein's son, Mike, was responsible for bringing in many of the punk, power-pop and country acts that have played Cal's through the years. Around the first of the year, the bar will end its run as one of the few dive bars and live music venues in the Loop area.

kbernot@tribune.com | @kbernot

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