Q I have lived in Ukrainian Village for, like, ten years and have never found out or talked to anyone who could tell me what the Angels Barn at the corner of Wolcott and Augusta is and why it’s there. It’s kinda cool. —Scott Garchik
A The building belongs to well-known Polish-born wood sculpturist Jerzy Kenar, who runs the Wooden Gallery (1007 N Wolcott Ave, 773-342-2550), located a few doors down. In the mid-’90s, Kenar rehabbed the premises with the intention of making Angels Barn a sort of cabaret—part bar, part performance and exhibition space. “The idea was that the bar would finance the art,” Kenar says. During the construction, the Sun-Times called Kenar’s idea “a mixed vision of the sacred and profane: An ornate pulpit will serve as a roost for a DJ; the bathroom stalls have peep-show holes with nude photos.” Using his wife, Dorota, as a model, Kenar took three weeks to carve the angel (pictured) out of a hunk of linden wood and installed it in a fenced grotto at the front of the building. But all his work was for naught; Kenar was denied a liquor license, due, in part, to protests from the East Village Association, which didn’t want to attract potentially raucous nightlife to the densely residential area. Deeply disappointed, Kenar hosted several private parties in the space before converting it into apartments in 2001.
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