Lake Effect Brewing Headed for Avondale Instead of Jefferson Park

The company's first taproom will open sometime early next year
Lake Effect Brewing Headed for Avondale Instead of Jefferson Park Firehouse
Photo: Official
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After years of planning, Lake Effect Brewing will make its way to Avondale instead of Jefferson Park at 4841 N. Lipps Ave.

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The location of the new taproom is unknown, but owner Clint Bautz tells Block Club Chicago the new one-story building will feature an indoor tasting room and an outdoor beer garden. Bautz plans to move operations from 4727 W. Montrose Avenue to the new location in the next few months and open early next year. Unlike the proposed Jefferson Park location, the Avondale taproom will not offer any food. Instead, Lake Effect Brewing will occasionally partner with other Northwest Side restaurants.

This all comes due in part because the brewery’s current lease is up at the end of the year, and the building’s landlord already has undisclosed plans following the business’ departure. It’s an unfortunate yet positive series of events for the company, originally planned to open on the ground floor of the vacant firehouse in Jefferson Park. The $2.4 million development was scheduled to be completed this summer, but delays have forced Bautz to rethink his plans, considering construction is barely starting this summer.

“It’s bittersweet because it’s been [more than] five years,” Bautz tells Block Club Chicago. “Maybe if there wasn’t a pandemic, [things would have run smoother].

The location was approved for zoning changes back in 2020, but Bautz can’t wait any longer. In 2021 city council agreed to sell the century-old firehouse to Ambrosia Homes for $1 with the expectation of nine rental loft apartments being built on the floors above. The year before that, the nonprofit Copernicus Center unsuccessfully launched a bid to purchase the property. This rollercoaster for Lake Effect Brewing has been ongoing for years, but Bautz finally believes plans to open the company’s first taproom is back on track.

“It’s a simpler type of project … and will be an easy move,” Bautz said. “We are in the driver’s seat and have regained control [of our expansion]. It’s a major relief.”

Lake Effect Brewing Headed for Avondale Instead of Jefferson Park Firehouse
Photo: Official

Joey Reams

Born in San Diego, Joey moved to San Francisco to study Music Journalism at San Francisco State University. There, he worked for several publications, including The Culture Trip and RIFF Magazine, and served as the News Editor at Golden Gate Xpress. Joey previously worked as the News Assignment Editor for Pasadena Now. When he’s not working, you can find him exploring new cities, finding delicious food, and having fun at concerts.
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