Jackhammer postpones reopening due to ongoing COVID-19 economic factors

Sat. December 18, 2021 11:58 AM by Gerald Farinas


photo credit // gopride.com

The LGBTQ and fetish nightclub in Edgewater-Rogers Park has been closed since the pandemic began

Despite a Care Bears-themed sign that says Jackhammer was to open this past summer, the nightclub's owner says it must wait due to ongoing COVID-19 mitigation.

The LGBTQ and fetish nightclub at 6406 N. Clark St., has been closed since the pandemic began in March 2020. Its three themed spaces, dance, sports and leather, and its outdoor patio, will remain dark through the beginning of 2022.

On December 21, the City of Chicago issued a vaccination requirement for businesses like Jackhammer.

"Due to continuing issues with COVID-19 and emerging variants, we will set a date for reopening when we decide it is safe for our staff and customers, and when we are able to operate Jackhammer as it is meant to be operated," 2Bears Tavern Group announced.

Owners say that the economics of reopening is a major factor in its decision to postpone reopening Jackhammer.

"Reopening is a time consuming and very costly porocess and we can only do it once," 2Bears Tavern Group explained. "We will need to interview and hire new team members, train them on new AV and POS systems, and make sure everything is working properly."

"It does not make sense and certainly would be unfair to our team to put in all the effort to get ready to open, only to have to close down again because of a new COVID-19 variant. So getting the timing right is crucial."

Owners punctuate the difficulty of doing business in a pandemic economy.

"None of us are out of the woods yet as Chicago and Illinois continue to see rising case numbers, increasing hospitalizations, and more deaths," they said.

"Most recently, we saw a very rapid and dramatic response to Omicron by various governments around the U.S. and the world, including closures of and severe restrictions on bars in several European countries."

Owners also express frustration with guessing what the next steps will be from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

"Our Governor continues to talk about taking additional measures in response to rising COVID-19 nimbers, but won't say what they are or under what conditions they would come into effect," they explained.

"He has not taken closing down bars and restaurants again off the table, nor has the City provided any guidance about what may or may not happen in Chicago."

Jackhammer, adjacent to adult shop Leather 6410, has featured live music performances; leather, rubber, and other fetish events; underwear and parties and DJ sets; drag shows; and karaoke.

2Bears Tavern Group also owns The Sofo Tap and Meeting House, both in Andersonville-Uptown.

The SoFoTap reopening was similarly long-postponed due to pandemic-related economic factors. It opened in August.

2Bears Tavern, the owners' newest bar and eatery, recently opened.