Last Chance Lounge was a corner bar which had a nice run at 1800 W. Girard Ave., though it closed its door permanently a few years back. Looking through some old permits, we see that the building was used as a tavern and tap house for a very long while, at least since the 1960s, and notably in the early 1980s whatever business was there at the time expanded its offerings to the 2nd floor to include disco and dancing. Interestingly, after Last Chance closed out its last tab, it appears the owners of the property gutted the space and were offering it for lease, turnkey, for $5,500 per month. Even though this included the liquor license, it seems they found no takers and when we wrote a story about the new building next door back in May, the building at 1800 W. Girard Ave. was looking pretty rough.
This is no longer the case, however. And that’s because developers have purchased the building and torn it down. Ditto the long vacant building next door. With both structures now gone, the developers have consolidated the properties into a larger one and are planning a by-right five story building with apartments over retail space. Perhaps another corner bar will eventually open there?
But that’s not all the construction for this little pocket. Foundation work is ongoing just next door / around the corner at 1805 Ridge Ave., a property that’s been vacant for a very long time. A similar project is planned here, with permits indicating a another five-story building with retail downstairs and apartments upstairs. The buildings will be developed by different parties, however, so figure they won’t look alike.
For better or worse, neither project figures to look like 1803 Ridge Ave., a building that we seem to remember having a convenience store on the first floor some years ago. These days, this triangular edifice is slowly rotting away, a monument to the old Ridge Avenue corridor, back when families operated businesses on the corridor and lived upstairs. Taking aside how complicated it must have been to find the right spot for a couch given the harsh angles in this building, we still appreciate its simple awesomeness and lament the likelihood that it’ll eventually get actively torn down or simply suffer demolition by neglect. Certainly, a new and functional building at this corner would be nice, but we’d sure be pleased if someone buys the existing building and fixes it up before it’s no longer possible.