Wicker Park music venue to close

The Note, a longtime music venue in Wicker Park, will hold its final concert Sunday night.

The bar will close for the remainder of the month and then reopen with a new name and theme.

"The owner wants to go in the direction of the neighborhood. With the live music comes a cover, and people can just walk in the other bars on the block without having to pay a thing," says floor manager Joe Nilles.

Also coming to an end is the residency of the  Chicago Afrobeat Project (CAbP), which played its final Note show on Wednesday.

The group booked their first gig at The Note in early 2003, opening for a band called Schfilkus. Shortly after, the band took up a monthly residency, playing the first Saturday of every month in what would come to be known as 'First Beat Saturdays'.

"It was the perfect venue for a band like us," says drummer and founder Marshall Greenhouse. "At first they were slow, but then they really started catching on. The place would get packed every night, especially after the other bars closed."

And that's exactly what happened Wednesday night. It seemed as though it was going to be a low key night after CAbP played their first set. But between 12:30AM and 1AM, more people trickled in, and the dance floor filled with an eclectic mix of people and dance styles, from head-bobbing to freestyle hip-hop moves.

The band loved playing there because of the people.

"The crowd was always crazy…crazy dancers in the audience. The late night scene really was special over there," says Greenhouse. "After the place closed down we would stay and hang out and drink for another few hours. When we went outside to go home, the sun would be out and the birds chirping."

When the bar reopens, it will have the same ownership and the same staff. The new name is still undecided, but Nilles described the new bar as "a nicer place with friendly bartenders, where you can come in, shoot some pool and just hang out."

As for Chicago Afrobeat Project, they will continue to broaden the venues in which they play.

"We just played a show at The Wild Hare that we really enjoyed and we are focusing on playing outside of Chicago as well," says Greenhouse. "We have a bunch of great festivals lined up for the summer and hope to get to Nigeria in December."

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