• The lovable dive

Cal’s Bar, the lovable, grimy hole-in-the-wall at Wells and Van Buren, will officially be closing its doors on New Year’s Day. Cal’s has sat virtually unchanged in its corner of the South Loop for 65 years, refusing to back down to gentrification, remaining as dim and dirty as ever even as the high-rise condos started arriving. Unfortunately, the building that has housed the bar since 1947 was recently sold, and it turns out that the dive wasn’t part of the property owner’s future plans. Cal’s announced last week that at closing time on New Year’s Eve, their bartenders would be shouting “last call” for the final time.