Marie's Riptide in danger of closing

Future of legendary late-night Bucktown bar is uncertain

  • The exterior of Marie's Riptide
The exterior of Marie's Riptide
January 23, 2013|By Lisa Arnett, @redeyeeatdrink | For RedEye

In February of 2011, fans of legendary late-night bar Marie’s Riptide were saddened when namesake Marie Wuczynski passed away. Now, the future of the Bucktown bar is uncertain.

On Tuesday, two messages regarding the bar’s closing were posted via Twitter from Marie’s Riptide (@Mariesriptide). The first: “Sad news today. We are trying to find way to stay open but as of now, Fri Jan 25th is our last day open. If you want to help please retweet.” The second tweetwas simply “Fri. Jan. 25 Maries Closes RT” accompanied by a photo of Wuczynski and friends in the bar.

Tina Congenie, who runs the bar and identified herself as Wuczynski’s stepdaughter, said Wednesday morning that she does not manage the bar’s Twitter account and wasn’t aware that an announcement had been made on social media. Congenie’s nephew Ricky Carucci, the sole bartender working at Marie's at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, also was unaware of the announcement and any plans for closure.

Congenie did say that the bar is in danger of closing if she doesn’t furnish $140,000 owed on the property by Friday. “I didn’t even really tell a lot of my friends. I’ve been trying to keep it quiet and come up with the money, but it just isn’t happening ... so I probably won't be open after Friday.” Congenie said.

“I’m going to have a big night Thursday night here, pretty much my farewell to all my old, old customers I’ve known for 20 years,” Congenie said. The bar will be open from noon to 4 a.m.

Congenie said she suspects an employee who started the bar’s Twitter account may have posted the announcement in hopes that spreading the word could help keep the bar open. 

Read more about Marie's Riptide in Wuczynski's Chicago Tribune obituary.

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