Hundreds pay respects on Hamilton’s last day
Posted by lmassingberd on October 28, 2012
By Liza Massingberd
Hamilton’s Bar and Grill officially closed its doors to the public Saturday night after serving hundreds of customers who stopped by to have one last drink in honor of the closing.
After 80 years of business, Loyola University Chicago has purchased the establishment. Hamilton’s approached the university earlier this month with an offer to sell the bar.
An array of customers including, Loyola students, Loyola alumni and longtime customers filled the bar during all of Saturday to pay their respects to one of their favorite community establishments.
Jess Jandura, 22, former Loyola student and bartender at Hamilton’s, had mixed feelings about the closing.
“I’m feeling a whirlwind of emotions right now,” Jandura said. “I’m angry and sad. It’s really upsetting to see a community landmark just disappear. Hamilton’s is more than just a bar for students to go to, it’s a stable that’s been here since 1933. Sixty five percent of my Loyola experiences have happened within these walls. Now, it’s going to be taken away from me and that’s upsetting.”
Jamie Reem, 23, a waitress at Hamilton’s voiced similar feelings.
“I’ve only been working here for two months, so it’s sad to see this establishment close so soon after I started. It’s been a wonderful experience. Everyone love’s it here,” Reem said.
Marianne McDermott, 74, a former Loyola alum and faculty member stopped by with her husband, Denise McDermott, 75, also a Loyola alum to reminisce about past memories they shared at Hamilton’s.
“We heard about Hamilton’s closing because we live in the area,” Marianne McDermott said. “I graduated from Loyola in the ’50s. My husband and I have a lot of memories here. Our plans for the weekends, back in the day, were always to go to a friend’s house party or to go to Hami’s. We even celebrated our 50th anniversary at Hamilton’s two years ago.”
Most upset, are the current Loyola students who no longer have their favorite bar as social hub.
“I hate that Hamilton’s is no longer going to be here. It’s become a part of my college experience since I started out as a freshman and now it’s suddenly been ripped away from me,” said Caroline Baele, 21, a senior business major.
Frank Sassolino, a co-owner of Hamilton’s helped shed some light on how he feels about the closing of the bar.
“The community is definitely hurt that a Rogers Park landmark is closing,” Sassolino said. “This bar opened in 1933 and has survived the prohibition and so much more. There is a lot of history to Hamilton’s. People had their first kiss here, met their boyfriend, girlfriend and future spouses here. It’s more than just a bar. It’s a place that people would come to be with their friends, vent at the end of a long day and a place to make memories. That’s what this place represents. Today is a sad day for not only me, but for our community.”