Maria and Ed Marszewski Photo: Martha Williams
A new kind of bar is opening Friday in Da Mare’s stomping grounds. Ed Marszewski—editor-publisher of Lumpen, festival host, gallerist, and general Chicago indie art world guy-around-town—has remodeled Kaplan’s Liquors, the Bridgeport bar owned by his mother Maria Marszewski since 1986, and reopened it with the name Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar. He and his brother, Mike, both of whom have worked behind the bar for the past twenty years, have “transformed the Nelson Algren experience of the former dive bar into a much-needed community bar environment,” according to the press release, refurbishing the “art deco” cooler, decorating the walls with work from local artists and inviting “a vast network of artists, musicians and cultural workers of all stripes” to DJ each night. The Marszewskis have enlisted the input of neighbors (though not Whistler bartender Paul McGee) on a “community-created cocktail menu,” as well as an assortment of ten beers on tap and 99 in bottles. Still, to Marszewski, Maria’s more than a bar: It’s “our contribution to making Bridgeport the Community of the Future.”
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, 960 W 31st St (773-890-0588). Sun–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am.