A long-time Howard Street bar reportedly will close next week, under pressure from officials. reports that Siblings, at 2827 W. Howard on the Chicago side of the street, will close for the last time at 2 a.m. next Tuesday.

The bar was shuttered temporarily in January after Chicago building inxpectors found problems with the building’s electrical wiring.

The bar’s recent troubles began after a 20-year-old man ran into the bar in December after being shot in an apparent gang dispute.

DNAInfo says aldermen on both sides of Howard have been pushing to have the bar closed.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Smart move Ayn Rand(ey.)

    This is one way to guarantee that the city "investments" in all the Howard bars are good-  Push the competition out of business through government pressure!

    Who is John Galt anyway?



    1. Proof, please, and would you prefer a big fire?

      What exactly is the proof that Ann Rainey had any influence in this decision?  Don't you think that failure to be in compliance with Chicago's fire code requirements for wiring in a bar might have something to do with the bar's closing?  

      And do you really think that the bar in the article is close to Ward Eight or that they are seeking to attract the same customer base? Please feel free to visit both and report back on location and the customer base. Just like any two businesses, just because they sell products in the same general category and are on the same street (many, many, many blocks apart) does not mean that if one closes that the customers will naturally go to the other.   You really should get in the car and drive between this bar and Ward Eight.  Or pull out a map. 

      Would you prefer a big fire in the dark of night in a bar on a busy street?  Then we would hear the howls about the oh-so lazy, stupid city employees who didn't do their jobs to close this fire trap.


      1. To answer the question

        TheOriginalAnonymous1 wrote a lot of stuff….but you didn't answer Jen's question:

        Question :  Who is John Galt anyway?

        Answer:  A fictional character in the 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. 

        Rand is popular among antisocial teenage boys and "self-employed" people such as real-estate and insurance agents,  who consider her a "philosopher" (in the same sense that Antonin Scalia is a "legal scholar" and Dennis Miller is a "comedian") .   This "philosophy", which goes by the name of "objectivism" (not to be confused with "Scientology") extols the virtues of "the producer who lives by his own effort and does not give or receive the undeserved, who honors achievement and rejects envy."  While this is similar to the "philosophy" of W. Mittens Romney , it differs in that it claims to reject religion (even though it is essentially a religion) and does not even pretend to be concerned about the common good (cf:  Thatcherism).

        Most teenage boys tend to outgrow this "philosophy" once they move out of their parents' basement,  get jobs and actually experience capitalism,  have kids of their own,  have parents who rely  on Medicare or Social Security, or themselves become aged.     Rand herself collected Social Security and Medicare after she was diagnosed with lung cancer (a lifelong smoker, Rand denied the connection between lung cancer and cigarettes, and considered government warnings to be a socialist conspiracy, much like present-day climate deniers).

        Related topics:

        Austrian economics, gold standard, creationism, climate change denial, anti-fluoridation movement, anti-vaccine campaigners, flat earthers, Laffer Curve, abiogenesis, homeopathy, Obama "birthers", 9-11 "truthers", cults, astrology, Republicans.

        1. LOL

          Great response.  In this particular case though, I would be comparing the actions of Ann Rainey to the government officials in the book who impose restrictions on legitimate business in order to seize more control. 

          By your critique, I'm assuming that you find "self-employed" people problematic?  As opposed to what? The corporation employed person (with the owner being the self-employed one to despise) or the government employed worker?

          I find your related topics hilarious.  Creationism, cults, astrology- LOL-  You really should leave your bubble and talk to some people with opposing viewpoints on economics.

          For example, my husband, a self-employed person who does believe in the Austrian school of Economics, has a blog on economics that you can find here. He doesn't get paid for this in any way. He just does it to educate those who would like to better understand the truth behind what is preached by the mainstream media.  And yes, we do believe a gold standard would be best for the general public, as it removes the ability of the government to print money in excess and give it to the banks for 0% interest, who then turn around and lock in government bonds at a fixed rate return- Essentially, a direct transfer of wealth from teh taxpayer to the banks. . 

          But I undestand if you don't want to read anything too complex or try to understand a viewpoint that is different than the average Evanstonian liberal.   After all, we do have all that flouride in the water, and you know that flouride is also an ingredient in Prozac.  LOL. 

          1. What did Rainey do?

            "I would be comparing the actions of Ann Rainey to the government officials in the book who impose restrictions on legitimate business in order to seize more control."

            What did Ann Rainey supposedly do?  How does an Evanston alderman go about closing a business in Chicago?

            I think that you are just making up stuff.

          2. Alderman on both side of Howard are messin with us…

            I would like to refer you to these quotes in the the original news article and in the above article:

            “DNAInfo says aldermen on both sides of Howard have been pushing to have the bar closed.”

            As well as

            “In a coordinated effort among Chicago and Evanston police and Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), city building inspectors shut down the bar in January after finding problems with the building's electrical wiring.

            Since reopening shortly after, Tobin said there haven't been any problems and he's tightened security.

            "Nothing has happened on our end, but the city hasn’t stopped messing with us since" the first inspection, he said. "It’s been a joint effort — they were able to capitalize on the public’s outcry."

            Now it seems officials are making good on their vow to close the bar permanently.

            New Rogers Park police Cmdr. Thomas Waldera praised the impending closure of Siblings last week at a CAPS meeting as an example of a successful citizen-police effort.

            Silverstein said at the meeting pressure had "slowly been building" in recent months.
            The bar's owner, Sunil Mosa, couldn't be reached for comment on the future of the building. A bar would not be able to reopen in the space, however, due to a ward liquor moratorium Silverstein put in place when she took office.”

            Hmm.. I wonder what Alderman north of Howard would go messin with some businesses on Howard Street?   Perhaps the alderman who went messin with the hair salons, convenience stores, and religious groups on Howard while spending millions of city tax dollars to bring in fancier bars?  Na.   Maybe it's Fiske.. 




          3. Claiming a conspiracy involving EPD?

            Wow.  DNAinfo quoting unnamed sources. Can't get more credible than that.

            Are you claiming that Ann Rainey directs the Evanston police now?

            Did you get that map yet or drive down Howard Street?  If you bothered to educate yourself about Howard Street, you would see the Siblings is a few blocks east of Target and Ward Eighth is close to the Howard el stop.

            It's laughable to claim that Ann Rainey is directing the Evanston police to lean on a Chicago bar so that an Evanston bar 1-1/2 miles away can get more customers.   Your top shelf news source refers to the Chicago alderman by name, Chicago police (one higher ranking officer by name) and Evanston police. Seems like that person and two police departments wanted this Chicago place closed. The Chicago officer cited the effort to close that bar as an example of good police-community interaction. Not a good enough explanation or must there be a conspiracy directed by your hated Ann Rainey?

            I respect and appreciate the police in this city. I trust them to know if a business needs extra attention because it presents a danger to the community. Alderman Rainey has done more for this entire town than most publicly elected officials combined. So kindly take your baseless hatred of her and the Evanston police and direct it to more productive uses than snidely suggesting that Rainey is puppet master of a bowing and scraping bunch of Barney Fifes who will do her bidding.

          4. Conspiracy?

            I got my map out, and I visited a sandwich joint for late lunch on Howard pretty close to your beloved bar a few weeks ago.  The cook was sleeping, and there was no food ready.  Went over to Pizza Hut instead- but won't be going back after the place got held up by an armed robber.

            I get it Michele.  You want your hood to be nicer, just don't expect the rest of Evanston to appreciate that our money is being used to pay for things like bars.  Considering you post on Rainey's website very often the exact same content that you post on Evanstonnow, I respect that you are very active with your ward 8 community. I get that you feel that because your ward is working hard to improve, that the residents there deserve to have tax money spent there.  But those of us who live in other wards also work hard, and we also deserve not to have our money taken from us so that people who live in ward 8 can get a good drink within walking distance to their homes, or as you suggested a long time ago- have a walking distance shop where people from all income levels can go together to shop. I think you suggested some craft shops like Tom Thumb.

              Perhaps you are right and Rainey didn't do anything  to pressure this recent bar to close.  However, considering she did try to do many other things to shut down (or prohibit in the future) other legitimate businesses through zoning changes, I would not put this past her- especially if the owners of the bar are saying that someone north of Howard is messing with them.  I understand that you feel Rainey is doing all these things to improve Howard. However, I feel that this is an unacceptable use of government force- The government should not be in the position of financing private enterprise, nor in shutting privately owned business through excessive intervention of law (like zoning changes that are not evenly enforced across town.). I would also put most NIMBY activity into this category, and have openly critiqued my own alderman, Mark Tendam, for blocking McDonald's in my ward.

            I also appreciate our police. I would appreciate it more if the aldermen stood behind them when they make decisions like questioning potential suspects, instead of throwing racial profiling claims on them.  We could shut down every shady joint on Howard, but if the criminal thugs are still living around here, ain't nothin much going to be safer.  The recent rash of shootings all over town should be a pretty good indicator of that.






          5. Jumping to conclusions again — and wrong again

            Jump, jump, jump to conclusions.  Is that inferencing?  And who said that it was my "beloved" bar?  Jump, jump, jump again.

            Shhhhhhhhhhhhh — here's the secret.  I'm not Michele.   But a big thumbs up on all of the time that you spend sleuthing the 8th Ward website but your inferencing skills need some polishing.  On the other hand, your jumping to conclusions skills are right up there with the best of them.

            Once again, you are throwing mud at Ann Rainey with your half truths.  She did NOT criticize police for questioning a suspect.  That was other alderman.  Perhaps your own.  Not the one from the 8th Ward.  So you should correct any misunderstanding that people get from reading your post.

            You accused the police of being Ann Rainey's patsies.  Not respectful.  Not even close.  You are in the category with those alderman who spoke before they had the facts and bashed the police in the process.  Shameful by them and you.

            Requesting zoning changes to improve a neighborhood is not excessive government force.  A vibrant Howard Street is long past due.  Nice of you to mention the armed robbery and a sleeping cook at some restaurant.  Neither of them have anything to do with Ward Eight. 

            But did you drive between Siblings and Ward Eight?  One of them is west of Asbury/Western and one of them is east of Clark.  Without looking at a map, you didn't know which was which when you posted your accusations of the Evanston police going IRS on a Chicago bar at Ann Rainey's direction, claiming that Ann Rainey wanted more business for Ward Eight by closing Siblings. 

            If you had ever set a toe in Siblings or Ward Eight, you would realize why dozens of us near Howard are laughing at the idea that Siblings closure will mean increased business for Ward Eight.  I guess if the McDonald's at Dempster and Dodge closed, that would mean more business for Dempster Street's Blind Faith Cafe, right?  They are about the same distance apart and both serve food.  Actually, no, it wouldn't.

            You have as much as admitted that you are jumping to conclusions about the closure of Siblings (a Chicago bar in the cross hairs of the Chicago cops and the Chicago alderman) and Ann Rainey's "involvement."  Bottom line:  Ann Rainey apparently attended a public meeting on the bar also attended by neighbors.  You saw that stated fact on the 8th Ward website, didn't you?  OOOOO-ooo-OOOOO…under your approach to inferencing, going to a public meeting must be very, very shady conduct indeed.

            Get over hating Ann Rainey and most importantly, stop posting things about her that are just not true.  See two examples above.  Facts, not inferencing.  Give it a try.  It will lend some credibility to your posts. 

          6. amazing coincidence

            It's such an amazing coincidence that a frequent poster named Michele Hayes on Rainey's website often writes exactly the same things that you do on this website. Someone out there is thinking the same thoughts as you, originalanonymous1. How Cool!  Here is a link for anyone interested in reading about what's up in Ward 8:  

            This message board is a great service to the people in Ward 8. I wish my alderman Mark Tendam created something similar to this for our ward.

              Just because I do not like how Ann Rainey is chosing to spend  tax money, and I am critical of some of her tactics to push through her political agenda, this does not mean I hate her. I don't even know her.   




        2. Fact Basis

          Based on the objects, events, and people mentioned in your rant, it is fairly clear that the total source of your knowledge comes from Dr. Phil, Dr. Ruth, George Soros, and the progressive wing of the Democratic party.

      2. Really?

        IS your head stuck in the mud anonymous1, the original?  I mean honestly.  Inferencing, it's an important life skill.


        1. Inferencing? Prefer facts and sound reasoning

          Got lots of good life skills. Insisting on some facts before reaching conclusions is one of them. I don't see jumping to baseless conclusions founded on a single reference in DNAInfo citing no source as a good life skill. 

          How about using your inferencing skills to wrap your head around the bar being a dodgy fire trap that the Chicago authorities wanted gone?

          Also inferencing from no facts to slander our police department is not a valuable life skill. The only mud around is what you constantly sling at Ann Rainey. 

  2. A chance for something better?

    I hope this means a nicer bar will end up there…for those of us at the west end of south Evanston/Rogers Park, there aren't a whole lot of walkable options of any kind. Besides Gulliver's, which is good but pricey, there's the new sushi place and the new vegetarian place (Big Twist, destined, I fear to follow in the footsteps of the last two failed restaurants in that location) and that's pretty much it. I wany a decent restaurant and/or bar to walk to – is that too much to ask?

    1. It is too much to ask–no more booze at that locale

      Sorry, but the alderman for that ward is hell bent on not allowing any more liquor licenses in the ward.   So when it closes, there is no hope for bars at that location. The license disappears.

      For the time being, the bar nearest to Siblings is McKellins which is 800 meters to the south at California/Touhy.

      I haven't been in there for a while, but it is a much nicer joint than Siblings, which always struck me as a bit dodgy.  McKellins is  a standard Chicago-style neighborhood tavern.

    2. Big Twist…love their food

      I go to Big Twist every other day and I cannot tell you how much I love their food. Evanston is lucky to have such a healthy fast food restaurant like this.

      The owners are both doctors so they know what is best for us typical people. They serve Mediterranean and European food..ranging from fresh made burgers, gyros, shawarmas, rice bowls, and fresh made shakes. The prices are very reasonable and the meals are very satisfying for you or your family.

      Big Twist offers both non veg and veg dishes. Customer service is just amazing and is fun to chit chat with the owners regarding the reason of opening this restaurant. From what i heard, the last restaurant was closed on the weekends and the prices were just too expensive.

      I can guarantee a great time and eating experience at Big Twist. They dont serve alcohol but they offer great food, at a reasonble price and a very friendly atmosphere/customer service. I will definitely be going back again. 

  3. Beef and Stein—rememberances of a really good pub

    I fondly remember the Beef and Stein at Howard and California/Dodge. 

    It was one of the few what I call pubs.  Beer, peanuts and great food.

    I know no one would belief this but [1970s] weekends and holidays you got a rib-eye steak, Screwdriver or Harvey Walbanger, English Muffin, hashbrowns and eggs for $2.00  !!

    Places like that—clean, no bands, well-behaved crowd, etc.—are really missed.  It was of course very popular when Evanston was dry and even until the meal to get a drink requirement existed.  NU students loved the place.


  4. The self-employed

    "By your critique, I'm assuming that you find "self-employed" people problematic?  As opposed to what? The corporation employed person (with the owner being the self-employed one to despise) or the government employed worker?"

    No, Jen..the problem with "self-employed " people who follow the cult of Ayn Rand is that they are not what they think they are – independent people who produce and are not dependent on others,  society or government

    The examples I cited were real estate and insurance agents.  I have met many of these people who spout Randian nonsense and think that they are independent….but would real estate agents exist without a government that could issue deeds, or courts that could enforce contracts?   Insurance companies would not be trusted if courts were not around, or if they were not required to invest their reserves in AAA rated government securities.   

    And most important…what the "self-employed" often don't understand ….is that no "producer" can exist without customers ( the Collective, as Ayn would say)  – unless they are self-sustaining subsistence farmers (this is pre-capitalism).    

    Capitalists need labor….labor can exist, and has existed,  without capitalists.  Wealth does not "trickle down" from the Mitt Romneys and Paris Hiltons of the world, but flows up from people who work.

    1. If you don’t find the
      If you don’t find the services of insurance salesmen or real-estate agents valuable, don’t use them. Capitalism is about the ability to choose for yourself how to spend your own money.

      If the workers do not find the working conditions provided to them by the self employed owner acceptable, in a free society, they can choose not to take the job.

      The flip side of this is if the owner makes bad choices, loses money, or stop providing services for which others are willing to pay, they go out of business.

      Is this the model we have now? The government has taken, by force of law, taxpayer money to give to failed industry of all sorts- banks, insurance, housing, airlines, agriculture…. Too Big to fail, ha. Too much money to be lost by people with friends in high places-

  5. From Rainey’s website “Then, we meddle in Chicago business.”

    To anonymous1 or 2- another interesting current point to add to this discussion/political debate: 

    On Ann Rainey's ward 8 message board on 5/14, she posted:

    "Then we meddle in Chicago's business: Thursday is follow up hearing on Howard Hoyne food store. We will be taking a tax payer purchased van to the Daley center. Please let me or Det Jenkins know if you want a ride from the outpost. Free ride is at 9am at outpost, hearing is at 10 room 805 Chicago city hall." 

    I'm wondering what kind of meddling she means?  Since Rainey also writes to Ms. Hayes who was upset with people (probably me) posting on evanstonnow about Rainey's potential involvement with this siblings bar issue  "As far as the ignorant post on evnow, . Just remember the adage, don' believe everything you read especially when you have no idea who is doing the writing. Such a disservice…."

    INstead of doing any inferencing then, I'd like to hear it from Ann Rainey-  What exact kind of meddling does she plan on doing with another business on Howard street using tax payer money to fund a bus? It would be nice if she clarifies this word, so that all of us are not ignorant of her intent- especially since it is our tax money being used to fund this particular meddling.

    IT would also be helpful if she clarified some earlier statements (full article here) that she made about Howard Hoyne: 

    "“The City of Evanston is making great investments on Howard Street, but this particular store is preventing progress,” explained Evanston Alderman Rainey at the meeting. “The City of Evanston has expended a great amount of police and community resources to transform Howard Street, but this store on the Chicago side remains a true blemish. I fear that reform is probably unlikely and that closure might be the only option to improve this section of Howard Street."

    In this same article, Gary Brooks, Chair of the Brummel Street Neighbors, a neighborhood association on the south side of Evanston, reported at the meeting that, “People are going into the store but no one is buying anything.”

    Sounds like the same argument made about the hair salons on Howard street that were also targeted by Ms. Rainey.

    So what is the game plan for Howard street then?  "Meddle" with all businesses that are deemed blemishes?    Any semantic clarification would be helpful.  As well as a directions or map of where all the businesses are located so there is absolutely no confusion between anonymous1original and myself. 





    1. From Jen’s own citation

      Jen said:

      IT would also be helpful if she clarified some earlier statements (full article here) that she made about Howard Hoyne:

      Jen,  I followed  your link.  The paragraph right about the section that you quoted reads as follows:

      "The store, Howard-Hoyne Foods located at Hoyne Ave. and Howard St. in Chicago, has been the subject of over 70 combined calls to the Evanston and Chicago Police Departments in the past year."


      It sounds like the store was a nuisance….and costing the taxpayers money, with over 70 combined calls.

      See…this whole Ayn Rand nonsense breaks down because it ignores problems like this.  Unlike the magical    land of Free Markets, in the real world there are externalities.  It sounds like Howard-Hoyne Foods was making money…while taxpayers footed the bill for the problems it caused.

      1. Who is to blame?

         Did the owner do something illegal or were the calls based on thugs hanging out there?

        This is the perspective of the owner from this article: Store manager Hasan Musleh told Patch he believes his business is being unfairly targeted, however.“It’s a family business, and we’ve been here for 16 years, and all of a sudden this stuff comes up,” he said. “There’s more shootings down the street and there’s more shootings down Sheridan.”

        Who is to blame here?  If the owner is doing something illegal, then by all means, shut him down.  However, if his customer base is thugs- will closing the store end the problems in this area or will the thugs just re-congregate somewhere else in Evanston- say around Fleetwood JOrdain or any of the other recent sites of shootings. 

        I would rather we diagnose the problem accurately, and give the correct medicine. Who is breaking the law?   Chase the gangs out of town, not the businesses.  


    2. Humorless?

      It's called tongue in check, my humorless sleuth.  You wrote on Evanston Now that she was messin with the bar called Siblings. After Michele had alerted her to your initial posting…check the time of the posting…she mocked that posting by using the same word in her own posting. 

      And if you truly read the 8th Ward website for information rather than for the sole reason of pouncing on every word, you would know that the City of Evanston was sending employees in a city van to a hearing on the repeated calls to Evanston police about the food store. The owner had been selling a particular product known to be used in smoking a certain illegal drug and covering the store's windows with paper against police instructions. There's much more and you can read the public information. With the city employees already going in a van, neighbors who have been affected by and/or witnessed by shady activity in and around the food store were offered a ride once before and I heard that a few went. 

      The food store is violating CHICAGO law and the CHICAGO authorities are holding a hearing because they recognize the problems. Evanston taxpayers have been wasting their money on frequent Evanston police calls to the food store. Not a wise use of our tax dollars to address a blight on our community that exists in Chicago. 

      Once again, your post demonstrates that "those people down there" should just shut up and put up with anything and everything illegal and destructive on Howard Street.  Any efforts, including zoning change ptoposals and citizen action to point out illegal activity, is out of bounds for you. We get it. You don't care and you think that we deserve to live with crime and anti-social behavior that follows any business here. 

      There are laws. Asking that they be enforced is our RIGHT.  That's why citizens will be riding in a van already making the trip to give their input. You are a trip as your outright contempt for Ann Rainey's defense of our neighborhood, the work of our police and the improvement of our neighborhood shine through virtually every post.  Why don't you ride along so that you will have personal knowledge of what's going on, rather than your usual inferencing from no facts? 

      There are many working hard to improve a community and the change is coming to the Howard Street area. So sorry to disappoint you but you won't be able to wish and throw mud in hopes of stopping this change. Do you fear that the drug dealers and gang bangers will come to your neighborhood then?  Maybe so and then let's check back on your "it's all good" arguments about their businesses. 

      1. I ain’t laughin cuz nothing funny about my property tax bill.

         It would be nice if Ann Rainey could make a statement herself about her intentions for Howard in terms of closing businesses instead of either speaking anonymously on websites herself or having others speak for her anonymously.

        I'm not against citizens voicing any of their opinions, quite the contrary.

        I have no contempt for your neighborhood. I do have contempt that my money is being taken to build bars.  



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