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Prospect Heights Nerd Bar the Way Station Permanently Closes

The popular bar will not reopen due to financial strain of the novel coronavirus pandemic

The exterior of the a bar called the Way Station with a bus stop in the foreground
Prospect Heights’ the Way Station is permanently closing after nearly a decade
The Way Station

The Way Station — a proudly self-described bar for nerds in Prospect Heights — will not be reopening after nearly ten years, owners announced on the website. Known for both some Doctor Who decor and a robust lineup of events and live music, the popular neighborhood bar would not have been able to make enough money in the next year and a half to stay open, the announcement note says.

Andy “Anders” Heidel, who used to work as a science fiction and fantasy publicist, opened the Way Station at 683 Washington Avenue near Prospect Place in 2011. It had a steampunk aesthetic, and it became a destination in part due to a reputation for being a Doctor Who-themed bar. The most notable element was a bathroom that looked like the time machine from the show.

In practice, though, the bar eschewed the gimmicks of a typical theme bar and became a well-known hangout for locals. It hosted plenty of trivia nights, karaoke events, and live music on a stage in one of the rooms, creating what NPR once called “a strong but occasionally weird music scene.”

Heidel says in the announcement that he plans to arrange “Away Stations” at different bars in the neighborhood to “congregate again in new places with familiar faces,” with the first one planned at Bilt Bar next February.

“I am sad to see our story conclude, but like all good books, this one has come to an end. Keep it fondly on a shelf in your heart. I can’t wait to read all of your fan fiction,” the note says.

Eater has reached out to the owners for more information. Read the full goodbye on the website.