The Cubs will not be repeating this year thanks to a powerful LA Dodgers, but that is not the only tragedy befalling Wrigleyville, Cubs fans, and late night drunks at bar time. News broke in early August that the much beloved Taco Bell at 1111 West Addison would be closing, to be replaced with a shiny new 39,755 square foot, three-story retail development. Ah, the Taco Bell within eyesight of Wrigley Field. A protest was organized, but to no avail. The property sold for $8.9 million. The taco stand is expected to be torn down sometime within the next year.
No more parking for those stupid enough to drive to games. No more place to take a quick pee before or after the game. And no greasy starch to absorb all that beer that you drank during the game.
Of course, I adopt a frivolous tone, but what is happening in Wrigleyville is serious business. The construction site on the lefthand side of the frame is the new Zachary Hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2018, with restaurants on the ground floor. Further north on Clark Street is the Cubs' new office building, and immediately south of the park on Addison is a mammoth new retail development. Lots of other storefronts are undergoing renovation. Already you can feel the streets closing in on the ballpark, creating a canyon-like feel. All of this is probably good for my property values since I live about six or seven blocks from the park, but it represents the further upscaling of sports. Next year, for example, diehard Cubs fans will be able to spend $56,000 per season ticket for special seats behind home plate. Apparently, these wealthy fans get free food and drink with the ticket purchase, as well as a clubhouse.
Today, the Chicago Tribune posed five questions that will be facing the Cubs and their fans in the offseason this year. There is a sixth: Will the Taco Bell reopen somewhere nearby?