Berlin Nightclub Chicago closing its doors after 4 decades

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Berlin Nightclub closing its doors after 4 decades
Berlin Nightclub, located at Sheffield and Belmont in Lakeview, has closed its doors for good after four decades.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An infamous place for nightlife in Chicago's queer community has closed its doors for good.

Berlin Nightclub, near Belmont and Sheffield avenues in Lakeview, shut down Sunday, after four decades.

The closure comes after a month-long boycott and stalled negotiations, with the workers' newly formed union, UNITE HERE Local 1.

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Berlin's owners cited increased expenses as their reason for closing.

The union calls it a "wrong decision."

"Berlin's owners decided to close rather than offer us more than minimum wage. We decided to organize the union at Berlin Nightclub because queer and trans workers are worth more than that. That was true then. It is still true today," said Jolene Saint, who has worked as a bartender at Berlin Nightclub for six years. "I am proud that my co-workers and I are standing up for what we deserve in a world that so often undervalues and dismisses queer and trans people. I am so grateful for all the performers, DJ's, hosts, producers, and patrons who stood in solidarity with us throughout this process. I know the resiliency and collective care of this community will help us to keep pushing for what we are worth."