I am writing in reference to the Post No Bills from August 8. How strange a twist on the truth Peter Margasak put forth! The insinuation that the former owners of the Bop Shop and HotHouse are martyrs of the gentrification of Wicker Park is highly misleading. The Reader and Mr. Margasak seem to hold these business owners up as crusaders for the jazz scene in Chicago, their venues in Wicker Park now occupied by the Note and Liquid Kitty.

However, in this situation, we are not talking about the closing down of not-for-profit venues for starving artistes, but businesses; and as businesses are apt to do, they took money at the door and profited from drink sales. What the previous business owners of the Bop Shop and HotHouse failed to do was to pay their rent. Not paying one’s rent is bad for business, but it does not maketh a martyr; it maketh a bad businessperson. Gentrification is not the enemy; rather it is false elitism, the “culture police,” and journalists bemoaning the entry of new businesses into certain neighborhoods of which we should truly beware.

Emanuel Rodriguez

W. Chicago