For 30 years, customers and friends have patronized Horan’s Snug at the corner of Madison and Elgin, but the small watering hole was abruptly closed in recent weeks and owner Aaron Abajian said changes may be on the way.
Abajian and his wife bought the business and the building at 7218 Madison about 10 years ago. They’ve run the bar under the name given by its founder, Aeneas Horan, and even enjoyed the benefit of working closely with him as the Abajians worked to get a handle on the business. Time and money have changed things for the couple, however, and Abajian said he expects to sell the Snug.
“The bar business doesn’t exactly suit our lifestyle,” Abajian said of he and his wife, Roula.
A prospective buyer has come forward and Abajian said he’s hopeful the Snug will reopen in early September. The potential buyer, whom he declined to name, will likely introduce some renovations and a new concept to the space. Abajian said he isn’t sure whether the name of the bar would be changed.
Selling Horan’s Snug has been a goal for Abajian and his wife for months now, but handwritten notes taped to the doors of the tavern suggest a hasty closing. On July 27, local police carried out an order from the Illinois Department of Revenue to pull the bar’s liquor license. A debt of unpaid taxes prompted the decision.
“It’s an unfortunate coincidence,” Abajian said of the timing. “It was over money, we didn’t break any laws.”
Mayor Anthony Calderone, who holds the dual role of local liquor commissioner, confirmed that Horan’s Snug did not violate any rules governing alcohol service. In fact, the bar could remain open and serve food from its menu, said Calderone, but that decision was left to the owners.
It was “a day or two” after police enforced the state’s order, according to Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas, that an officer noticed the bar had been closed.
Abajian remains decidedly optimistic about the future of Horan’s and said he hopes the community will embrace the new ownership with the same enthusiasm that met his family 10 years ago.
“I want to do what I can to make sure this guy does gangbusters,” Abajian said.