An iconic Chicago bowling alley and billiards hall may soon reopen after receiving a $70,000 grant from the state of Illinois.
Southport Lanes was not expected to reopen when it closed its doors at 3325 N. Southport in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood in September as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. But owner Steve Soble told the Chicago Sun-Times the grant allowed him to catch up on bills and prepare to reopen to guests once indoor dining resumes.
“It all depends on the virus. The good news is that we have the funds to reopen,” Soble said via the Sun-Times. “The state grant was basically a life preserver.”
The grant awarded to Southport Lanes was one of 9,000 from the Business Interruption Grants distributed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity totaling $275-million that aimed to help small businesses across Illinois affected by COVID-19.
First named The Nook, Southport Lanes was built by the Schlitz Brewery around 1900, according to its website. The name was changed in 1922 and bowling lanes were added.