Little Jim's, 3501 N. Halsted St., the oldest remaining bar on the Halsted Street strip, announced their 39th, and final anniversary celebration, will be held June 14 as the bar prepares to change its name and its ownership.
Little Jim's is the second oldest gay bar in Chicago, after Jeffrey Pub on the South Side, which was opened in the 1960s.
ChicagoPride.com reported June 10 that the bar will change hands July 1 and be known as LJ's. The bar will be now be owned by the building owner, who is proprietor of its neighboring businesses, The Ram, Cupid's and Leather Sport.
"A 'tradition' comes to an end," said a posting by the bar on its Facebook page. Property manager Jeff Shand emphasized in another posting that the bar would not be closing, and would continue to "remain open with the same staff … and the same love."
Billing itself as "the original hookup bar," Little Jim's was opened by Jim Gates in 1975, and was one of the first gay bars in the Boystown area.
"Jim you will be missed," Shand said in his posting.
Gates, who now spends most of his time in Florida, told Windy City Times that, "The time was rightI'm 76 years old, and the time was just right."
The landlord of the building, who Gates said is based in Philadelphia, had long been interested in purchasing the bar and "I was interested in selling," he added.
Gates has kept a low profile locally, mostly remaining in Florida, while the sale has transpired, but will be back for the anniversary.
"Once I'm out of it, that's it," Gates said. "I'm making a clear break. I've made a life for myself in Florida."
Chicago Pride's article is at: chicago.gopride.com/news/article.cfm/articleid/58017321/chicagos-longest-running-gay-bar-little-jims-to-be-sold