Wrigley's New Sports Bar

Neighbors have to put up with "one more thing"

Wrigleyville has more than its fair share of bars, but that isn't stopping Wrigley Field from adding one more to the (margarita) mix.

A new restaurant/bar is being constructed at Addison and Sheffield and will be open year-round. Run by Harry Caray's, it will seat nearly 500 patrons, who can enter the adjacent ballpark via a turnstyle if they have a ticket. Otherwise, there will be plenty of television screens broadcasting the games, but a direct view of the field will not be available.

The existing Harry Caray statue will stand at the front of the bar's patio area, and the restaurant will feature heaters and ceiling fans to accommodate for Chicago's fickle weather.

"We need to compete with all of the other bars and restaurants in town," Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney explained.

But that's a hard pill to swallow for many Wrigleyville residents, who have watched the Friendly Confines host two seasons' worth of playoffs, feature a hockey game in January, and make plans for three concerts this summer.

"The congestion," 12-year neighborhood resident Kurt Govertsen vented to the Chicago Tribune. "My gut reaction was, 'God, it's one more thing.'"

And while "one more thing" may not have a significant impact on the area, it's part of a consistent pattern of the neighbors' growing problem.

"The traffic keeps getting worse and worse," said Govertsen. "This might put me over the edge."

Plans for the new establishment have been kept relatively quiet, but a formal announcement will likely be made next week.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and "between blogs" blogger, can feel Wrigley's congestion as far as three miles away.

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