Rehabbed, A Punk Rock Dive Grows Up

Depending on whom you ask, the Fireside Bowl is either simply the bowling alley in Logan Square, or the best punk rock club Chicago ever knew.

In its venue days it was falling apart. It was loud. It stank to high heaven, and the men’s bathroom had no doors and no seats. It was punk rock to the core.

In 2004 it shed its punk rock past, ceasing shows in favor of recreational bowling. Fans of the space thought they’d never see another show at the Fireside.

But in June the venue began a trial run of shows, attempting to cultivate patrons during its slow summer season.

I went to a recent show with the Chicago News Cooperative’s Meribah Knight to ask what made the Fireside a punk rock legend.

Read Meribah’s print piece and see a gallery of photos at The Chicago News Cooperative or at The New York Times!

Editor’s Note: Hooray! I am EXTREMELY happy about this piece. It’s my first freelance multimedia piece, period, and it’s for the CNC and the freaking NEW YORK TIMES. I am really pumped. Also it was fantastic working with Meribah. She’s such a great writer and reporter, and was so easy to work with. I’m doing the happy dance at my desk right now.

I also want to thank everyone we interviewed, especially John Benetti, who connected us with so many great folks; Martin Sorrondeguy, who is an incredibly inspiring guy; and Annie Strong, who gave me a ton of old photos and music files which were invaluable in making this piece. Rebecca Ann Rakstad and Patrick Houdek also made their photo collections available, which again, was amazing and much appreciated. Thank you so much!

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