The 1800 Club, known to Northwestern students as “Hundo,” will close March 31, 2010, when its ten-year lease in the university-owned 1800 Sherman Ave. building expires. Bar owner Tony Anton said he attempted to renew his lease in the 1800 Sherman building, but university representatives denied his request. Ranee Berliant, the Real Estate Asset Manager for the university, declined to answer any questions regarding Hundo’s lease.
“We’d like to stay in Evanston,” Anton said. It will be difficult to find a space as close to Northwestern as the current location. Anton said many of his current employees would continue working for him if Hundo stays in Evanston.
Though Anton is sad to be leaving his current location, he is looking to the future. The bar will host tailgates, open bars, and karaoke nights to attract as many students in the final months, and Anton has already begun looking for a new location for Hundo.
Weinberg sophomore Mike Sharifi and McCormick junior Andy Day are in charge of planning and publicizing tailgates and drink specials for the away Northwestern football games, two hour open bars every Wednesdays and open mic nights on Fridays. The owner wants to “go out with a bang,” Sharifi said.
Anton hired Day and Sharifi on the recommendation of a mutual friend. The two student promoters have continued a Hundo tradition of word-of-mouth advertising that has resulted, in part from strict building regulations that prohibit advertising in the windows and outside the bar, according to Anton.
Sharifi said Hundo is more than just convenient, it’s important to Northwestern students.
“In a college town like Evanston, there are very few college-esque bars,” Sharifi said. “Besides the Keg, Hundo’s the only place that really embraced NU.”
To cater to the student community, the bar offers cheap drink specials and hosts open bars, beer pong and flip cup even, Sharifi pointed out, on “off-nights.”
Despite this, business has been “dead” lately, according to Hundo employee Thomas Catomer. Sharifi said he thinks when students learn that the bar is closing, business will pick up.
Anton said he did not know explicitly why the University — with which he said Hundo has had a “good relationship” — is terminating the lease. He speculated Northwestern “probably had a vision of what that space would be, obviously Hundo’s not it.” Catomer added that, when he began working at Hundo five months ago, there was already talk of the bar closing.
Though he will cut his ties with his landlord in March, Anton said he will not end his connection with Northwestern students.