Humboldt Park’s California Clipper tavern to reopen

In the meantime, the bar is being rented by entertainment company Lionsgate, which plans to film scenes for the upcoming Starz series “Power Book IV: Force.”

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The California Clipper, located at 1002 N. California Ave., to reopen after closing last year.

Evan F. Moore/Sun-Times

A longtime Humboldt Park tavern that shuttered last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to reopen, its landlord says.

The California Clipper, located at 1002 N. California Ave., a dimly-lit and intimate tavern dating back to the 1930s, where some of the city’s musicians and sound selectors curated sets for people to vibe to, aims to relaunch, according to landlord Gino Battaglia.

The reopening — and the stipulations to keep the tavern the same —were first reported by Block Club Chicago

“This is great. Since the closure, people in the neighborhood want to know what’s going to happen,” Battaglia told the Sun-Times. “We’re happy to say that it’s going to come back stronger than ever; there’s a lot of community support for the place.”

The Clipper’s initial closing was due to a failed negotiation between Battaglia and the tavern’s owner Brendan Sodikoff, who bought the venue in 2014.

The new tenants, whom Battaglia won’t name, says the group is also looking into reopening C.C. Ferns, a neighboring coffee shop, and the French all-day restaurant Cafe Marie-Jeanne. 

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C.C. Ferns, a shuttered, neighboring coffee shop, may be revived by the California Clipper’s new tenants.

Evan F. Moore/Sun-Times

In the interim, Battaglia said the tavern will be rented by entertainment company Lionsgate, which plans to film the upcoming Starz series “Power Book IV: Force,” featuring Northwest Side native Joseph Sikora.

“We’re going to be signing the lease in the next couple of days,” said Battaglia. “We’ve agreed on everything. Our attorneys agreed on everything — we’re good to go. … We’re very excited about what’s happening in the neighborhood. I think, with the pandemic, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Everybody in the industry is starting to feel more optimistic.”

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