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South Side music venue the Shrine is closing

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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The owner of the Shrine has announced that the music venue will close its doors after seven years in business. In an email sent to fans, owner Joe Russo revealed that the South Loop building that houses the Shrine has been purchased by a real estate development firm that plans to demolish the building to erect a hotel and apartment complex. Since opening in 2009, the nightclub has predominantly booked hip-hop, R&B, house and reggae acts, including artists such as 50 Cent, Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def, De La Soul, Future, Kendrick Lamar and the Roots.

According to the release, Russo has plans to reopen the Shrine in a new location. The release does not mention a closing date, but the venue's calendar lists shows through the end of March. Two final special events at the Shrine will host Mya, Wayne Wonder and Lumidee on February 27 and Busta Rhymes on February 28.

Once the center of Chicago's blues, soul and R&B music industry in the ’50s, the South Loop has gone through significant changes in the subsequent decades. The area is now a destination for conventions (at nearby McCormick Place) and houses a budding crop of craft breweries. Given the rapid development in the area, the Shrine's closing doesn't exactly come as a surprise, but that doesn't make it any less of a loss for the Chicago music scene at large.

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