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The owners foresee the renovated theatre being the main draw of the newly reestablished venue. While Thalia Hall is being refurbished, the crew plans to maintain the look that was modeled after the historic Prague Opera House in the Czech Re-public. It’s doubtful that these historic connections the owners of Dusek’s have revived matter to the average visitor looking for a draft beer or a burger. These incoming visitors will be unaware of the his-tory of Dusek’s and the history of Pilsen as a whole. The upscale scene and higher prices for a bar and restaurant experiences will attract visitors who otherwise have no interest or affiliation with Pilsen and the culture, changing the landscape of the area ethnically and culturally.

I felt Dusek’s had a hip and rustic feeling as I stepped in on a Wednesday night. The patrons were mostly white and young and came either with a date or a large group. The food offerings are pricier and more varied than the standard Mexican menu in Pilsen. I enjoyed the Moroccan spiced vegetable tagine which was colorful and exotic. The atmosphere was friendly and the over-all energy picked up steam as the night pro-gressed. Dusek’s appears to be a quick hit and a potential mainstay.

The quick success of Dusek’s is a sign that Pilsen is moving from a predominately Mexican commu-nity into something that is more of a melting pot. Can the different cultures mesh, or will they clash? Carlos Tortolero of the Mexican Museum of Art recognizes the changes for the neighborhood but remains ultimately unfazed by the changes. He says, “East Pilsen is no longer Pilsen, but I think the neighborhood will ultimately remain mostly Mexican.”

Thalia Hall stands in the eastern quarter of Pilsen where gentrification is spreading most rapidly. The area surrounding 18th street has welcomed the coming of new thrift stores, co-operative food mar-kets, art galleries, and cafés. The area is seeing changes that are similar to those seen in other Chicago neighborhoods like Logan Square and Wicker Park. One of the men behind the revitaliza-tion of Thalia Hall has years of experience in up scaling the real-estate of neighborhoods. Co-owner of Dusek’s, Bruce Finkleman is a well-known restaurantuer and building manager. He

also has a reputation throughout Chicagoland as a successful business owner, and the revitalization of Thalia Hall appears to be his most ambitious project yet. Finkleman owns concert venues and restaurants so buying Thalia Hall was an obvious venture. In 2010,

Finkleman opened Longman & Eagle, a restaurant in the largely Latin neighborhood, Logan Square, which is similar to Dusek’s. Although Finkleman opened Longman in 2010, he says, “Logan began to change 9 years ago.” The changes in Pilsen ap-pear to be happening at a faster rate than this. When asked if he’s concerned about changing the Latin culture of Pilsen, Finkleman replied, “I don’t know if the roots will change, I hope what is there will remain.” Furthering his point, Finkleman said, “I hope to see more art and restaurants in the neighborhood.” Finkleman, and his partner, Craig Golden purchased Thalia Hall for $3.2 Million and seek to reopen the concert hall within the next year. The opening of Thalia Hall will attract a larger movement of art and restaurants exactly what Tortolero described as “not Pilsen”. The location that is now Dusek’s was a saloon at the turn of the 20th century. The current layout of the restaurant attempts to stay as close to that original, post-Civil War interior as possible. Many of the original features remain, including ornate tin ceilings, sparkling crystal chandeliers, and a host stand hoisted up by recycled floor boards. The

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