Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Lace WAS the Place

So Chantilly Lace is up for sale. Business is bad and it’s going to close. It happens to every establishment sooner or later and Chantilly has had a pretty damn good run. I first went in there about 17 or so years ago when it had a ‘50s/nostalgia theme. It became somewhat of a meat market in the late 90s at a time when I was between marriages (so, yes, I admit I was there a lot). It actually had a good setup with a large and loud dance floor on one side and a quieter bar area on the other side.

But I think it’s hilarious that owner Kevin Davlin is blaming the smoking ban for Chantilly’s declining customer base. Although my days of partying there are long gone, I do know it has gotten kind of a bad reputation over the years and people are just going elsewhere. New places become the new hot spots, it happens all the time in that business. Blaming the smoking ban is lame. For one thing, the ban is now universal in Illinois; the playing field is level. Chantilly is just old news and the crowds have moved on.

Now, I said the first time I was in Chantilly was about 17 years ago and, technically, that’s true. However, I used to go in to that building a lot some 40 years ago when it was Shakey’s Pizza. As kid we went there all the time, for birthdays a lot as I recall. They had wooden benches and long tables, a piano player and a huge window into the kitchen where you could see them making the pizzas. They also gave the kids these styrofoam hats which we would have broken and in pieces before the end of the night there.

So I actually have a lot of memories and long history with that place. It’ll be sad to see it torn down and replaced with a drug store or gas station, but that's just the way it goes.


Anonymous said...

When visitors from out of town asked about Chantilly I told them it was the best place in town to pick up a 40 year old hooker. The smoking ban wasn't the problem.

Marie said...

Dave, my memories of Shakey's are similar to yours. As for Chantilly, I've been there twice in the last 20 years, and that was enough of that.

Anonymous said...

I met the woman I eventually married (someplace else) because "the lace" sucked so bad, 17 years ago.

Dave said...


If one of your visits to Chantilly was in 1997 or 1998, I apologize for my behavior.