It’s a dark day in Chicago as historic Lincoln Park blues bar Kingston Mines is at risk of closing for good because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since opening in 1968, Kingston Mines in Chicago has been home to some of the best blues music in the city. It’s hosted legends such as Magic Slim and Joanna Connor, but today it’s looking for a new headliner, the community, as it calls for support to try and avoid permanent closure and reopen. This GoFundMe page supporting Kingston Mines has been raising money.
At the moment of writing this, the Kingston Mines page has raised over $26,000—just over a quarter of its $100,000 goal, with a target of reopening on Labor Day weekend in Chicago with limited indoor capacity.
“We want to thank all of our donors for their continued support during this trying time. We have especially enjoyed reading your memories of Kingston Mines and how we have touched your life,” an update on the GoFundMe page said. It also reiterated, “We are currently working on a plan to reopen and will update this page when we have details.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has struck the restaurant industry in many different ways but perhaps none more unique and ill-timed than Kingston Mines in Chicago. The blues bar located at 2548 N Halsted has already been fighting to stay open since founder and Chicago legend Doc Pellegrino died two years ago. Since that time the establishment has been under the direction of his daughters Donna and Lisa.
Since closing in March, Kingston Mines has been maintaining a delivery service for their Southern-style restaurant and sealed alcoholic drinks to-go. You can still make those orders by calling Kingston Mines directly at 773-477-4646.
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Everyone has experienced some form of the strip of Halsted that lies between Diversey and Armitage. Whether it be the DePaul intersection near Fullerton and Lincoln, Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S., to the north and Beaumonts or Summer House Santa Monica to the south, or the whole mess of restaurants, headlined by the critically acclaimed Alinea and fan-favorite Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, that line the corridor. It’s one of the most happening stretches of real estate the city has to offer.
This makes the news of Kingston Mines’ even more heartbreaking and all the more paramount that we help if we can. Chicago staples are few and far between now as the times change and the coronavirus pandemic serves as a metaphorical blanket extinguishing the collective flame. If there’s an establishment truly worth saving, Kingston Mines is that establishment.
After all, we could all use a little blues in our lives during these times.
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Featured Image Credit: Kingston Mines GoFundMe Page