Billy Goat Owner, Employees Want to Stay Put

Nearby redevelopment project means temporarily displacing iconic restaurant, bar

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A plan to displace the original Billy Goat Tavern is being met with some resistance. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013)

    A plan to displace the original Billy Goat Tavern is being met with some resistance.

    The National Association of Realtors is moving toward re-developing the building at 430 N. Michigan Ave., which would mean temporarily displacing the iconic restaurant and watering hole located on the bottom level of the structure.

    But even though they won't be booted out, those who work at the tavern don't like the idea of any sort of renovation inside their lovable dive. Jeff Magill, who's been a bartender at the Billy Goat for more than 30 years, says his boss plans to stay put.

    "He said if anybody asks, you tell him we'll still be here," Magill said. "There's something about these old environments that can't be replaced."

    Bouechieb Khribech has served up drinks for 24 years, and echoes the same sentiment.

    "If we have to move and remodel, it's not goign to be the same," Khribech said.

    The underground hideaway was made world famous by comedian John Belushi and Saturday Night Live, and has been nestled in the same spot since 1964.

    Plans are in the works to convert the building into a complex that includes a hotel, condos, office and retail space between North Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue.

    Officials behind the project maintain that the Billy Goat will remain.