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In 2010 Mr. Chez (pronounced Chezz) paid $250,000 to buy the two-story building in a transitional area of Bucktown. The longtime neighborhood bar, known for its martinis and described in reviews as "cozy," closed in 2005. The owner, Chicago serial restaurateur Dion Antic, known for imaginately named spots such as Iggy's, the Haute & the Dog, and Toast, continued to use the place as his office until 2008. It then sat empty for two years, becoming what Mr. Chez describes as a "disaster"—boarded up, filled with needles and garbage.


The basement is where Mr. Chez goes to have fun. One room holds a built-in race-car simulator with three large, flat-screen TVs. Past a Kiss Juke box and a Kiss banner is a theater room with a 135-inch drop-down screen and plush maroon velvet theater-style armchairs. It also is decorated with Kiss paraphernalia—boots and a big neon sign with the Kiss logo. In the garage at the end of the hall is a lift so it fits three cars, including a Tesla and a Porsche Boxster.

"He's so much fun. He's kind of like a big kid who still does what he wants.

Featured in the Wall Street Journal

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