If you ever owned a pair of Bears Zubas or served brats and O’Douls to your guests I got a track for you.
Sterch’s or Sterch’s 66 doesn’t look like it used to. There is a new feel to the bar and a new crowd. Usually I wouldn’t notice, but Sterch’s is something of an institution.
I asked Sterch’s regular Adrian Bleifuss Prados if he wanted to do an interview about the changes at his favorite bar. He told me it would be more appropriate to write its obituary. That obituary follows below:
Sterch’s is no more. The last tolerable bar in Lincoln Park, a long-embattled fortress of goodness and decency, has fallen to the barbarians. The cranks, eccentrics and aging malcontents that were the bar’s regulars have mostly scattered into the tall grass, like rabbits before wolves. The rites and rituals of old have been forsaken and in their place a new, hideous order has been established. Sheepskin boots, and pink polo shirts abound. The music is intolerably loud because the patrons have nothing to say. They open their mouths and banalities flutter out like moths.
No longer do bottles of Old Style chill in the ice behind the bar. No longer will its famous awning, emblazoned with the Sterch’s carrot, flap in the wind. Today, the sign reads “Sterch’s 66.” Is this a reference to Route 66? A cute gesture to kitschy Americana? I do not know what it means but I know that it is evil.
The watering hole became famous three decades ago when Lincoln Ave. was considered a bohemian stronghold. Messrs. Stern and Smerch were the original owners and “Sterch” was a portmanteau of their surnames. The carrot became its symbol when deep-fried carrots were the bar’s signature snack. Many notable journalists, musicians, political radicals and small-time criminals quenched their thirst at massive mahogany bar. Hunter S. Thompson once destroyed its porcelain urinal. A urinal where Royko, Ebert, gods and giant-slayers relieved themselves.
“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned,” so wrote Chuck Marx and Fred Engels in 1848, when they observed venerable institutions unsettled and dismantled by the constant upheavals of the market economy. Sterch’s, which once seemed eternal and unchanging, has melted into air, Lincoln Avenue is now entirely the province of the enemy. We are doomed.
Last week we interviewed Tom Fort, but some of that interview got left on the cutting room floor, and in honor of his big show at Shuba’s Sunday we are giving you guys a little bit of what got left out last Wednesday.
Three things North and Clark is excited about this weekend:
- H for Hombre, my band, preforming live this Saturday
- UFC 98
- Cobalt and the Hired Guns live at Shuba’s this Sunday
First, the Hombre show is a private gig, but if you, gentle reader, want to come write a comment below or contact the boys in the band, and we will make sure we get your name on the list. It’s on the west side at Avers and Fullerton at about 8:30.
Second, we who write for North and Clark love the UFC, but know precious little about it. So, we called in our long time supporter (can you be a long time supporter of something that has existed for a month?) and general homie Elias Cepeda from InsideFighting.com in to do a preview (posted in a couple hours). You will see a longer interview with Elias on Wednesday.
Third, we got a great response to the first interview with Tom Fort so I put together a little mini clip of some of Tom’s thoughts (Post Saturday) on metal for all you Cobalt heads, or Metal heads, or podcast heads.
It’s a Holiday weekend folks enjoy yourselves.
Every highschool student in Japan has a rank, a number and a home room. Some of them have to clean their school bathroom. Former Japanese-High-School teacher Amanda McClintock explains.
Inventor, educator and accountant Molly Raiche sits down to talk about her invention the Raiche Roller. It’s math on a stick.
Next week two podcasts!
Today’s interview is with Chicago musician Tom Fort, guitarist, singer and one of the front men for Cobalt and the Hired Guns. We talk about the Chicago music scene, opening for Dashboard Confessional, and the third heat.
My Mama was there when I bought my first album and the person who taught me to love music. I would be surprised if a lot of you weren’t in the same boat. So this mother’s day let’s have a little music for the Mamas and probably the mamacitas too.