It’s been declared over before. But now the curse of the Billy Goat is really, genuinely, officially over.
Bill Sianis and Paul Sianis — brothers and part-owners of Chicago’s famed Billy Goat Tavern — declared it so Thursday morning.
Again. But now that the Cubs have won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, it’s OK to believe.
“A lot of magic happened this season, and we are very happy it ended this way,” Paul Sianis, 37, said. “It’s a great way to close the chapter in curse history.”
The curse originated with their great-uncle “Billy Goat” Sianis, who brought a goat named Murphy to a World Series game at Wrigley Field in 1945. They were kicked out, legend has it, when the animal began to stink during a rain delay.
A goat had been Sianis’s mascot since he found one outside his bar — then named the Lincoln Tavern — in 1934. It apparently had fallen off a truck and was injured. Sianis took it in and cared for the animal.
His customers got a kick out of it. So Sianis, who lived above the bar — at the time at 1855 W. Madison St., where the United Center now stands — decided he’d keep at least one goat in a little pen behind the building.
Not long after, he renamed the joint “Billy Goat Inn.”
The bar moved to its current location, 430 N. Michigan Ave., in 1964 and has spawned additional outposts.
Bill Sianis, 41, pointed out Thursday that his family had held a “Reverse the Curse” ceremony on Oct. 6 — the 71st anniversary of the goat getting booted from Wrigley Field. To “awaken the spirits,” the family hung the same trokani — a Greek goat bell —that the original Murphy had worn around its neck to Wrigley around the neck of a new goat.
He also noted that the Cubs clinched their first pennant since 1945 on the anniversary of the Oct. 22 death of Billy “Goat” Sianis.
“It had to end eventually, and we’re glad it ended the way it did,” Paul Sianis said. “You have to remember, the goat was originally brought to Wrigley Field to bring good luck.”
The curse has been very good to the Sianis family, bringing curiosity seekers — and beer drinkers — to their downtown tavern and helping them expand to seven other locations in Chicago and one in Washington, D.C.
Business has been up this postseason, especially at their subterranean Mag Mile location, where Bill Sianis said sales are up in recent weeks by about 30 percent.
He doesn’t think business will evaporate along with the curse. “I don’t think it’s going to hurt business,” he said. “People will still want to come see this place.”