CHICAGO — At the corner of Montrose Harbor Drive and Simonds, the Park Bait Shop is back open for business.
We first met Owner Stacy Greene two weeks ago at the time the bait shop had been closed down by the city for 17 weeks because of the pandemic. Her business, sitting on park district land, was ordered to shutter because of its proximity to the lakefront.
After posting a video, her plight gained traction. A GoFundMe page raised a few thousand dollars to help with back bills and part time employees…
The story was shared hundreds of times online.
“And my son said, see? People care about us,” she said. “I guess I realized how important and how much we did mean to a lot of people.”
A few days ago, Greene got the call. On Friday, her customers, two at a time, could come back for fishing gear,
The bait shop has been Greene’s entire life. Her dad, Willie, had the business since the 1950s and Greene took it over about 14 years ago. And while her dad is remembered on the walls, she feels him on this day, proud to see the doors to the shop back open.
“I know he would have been proud of how I took care of things,” she said.
It was a symbolic win for Greene and her loyal customers who are now able to enjoy their favorite sport and favorite stop.
“I just want to give an overall thank you to everybody,” she said. “Those who I know, those who I didn’t know, those who I met.”