Convention Beat: August 22, 2008 Archive

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A handful of late openings

Posted at 9:28 AM on August 22, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

alarysign.jpgAdd two more bars that are planning to stay open late during the Republican National Convention.

And they probably couldn't be farther apart in clientele: cops and Chicago Bears fan hangout Alary's and the GLBT-friendly night club, Camp Bar.

Alary's owner Al Baisi confirmed with us that he signed up for the 4 a.m. closing license this week. That's when the going rate for the licenses was still $2,500. (Mayor Chris Coleman's office says the mayor has since struck a deal with the City Council essentially reducing the fee to $500 by way of a post-convention rebate). Baisi said he hasn't rented out his space to any private parties, but he's expecting the possibility of last-minute deals to be made.

But he was modest on whether he thought Alary's would make a killing. "I don't expect to pack the place," Baisi said.

alarypatio.jpgBy the way, If you haven't visited Alary's back patio, it's worth the visit. It's an al fresco getaway in the most unlikely of places.

And just around the corner, Camp owner Bill Collins says he will sign up for the 4 a.m. license if the council approves the lower fee. Collins was one of several bar owners pressuring the city to reduce the surcharge.

Collins says he'll be opening early, at noon, every day of the convention to feed all those hungry protesters. And he's hoping for some Republican business, too. Collins wasn't successful in booking any parties.

"We were so hoping for some sort of big private party, just to have pictures of Republicans walking into Camp that we could have fun with later," he said. "It would be great to have a picture of Dick Cheney walking into the bar, you know?"

-- Laura Yuen

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