Hyde Park Bonfire Club T-shirts

The Doug Freitag-designed, Corey Gilkey-made Hyde Park Bonfire Club T-shirts

The Hyde Park Bonfire Club, the merry band of regulars from neighborhood bars who gather at the Iowa Building in Jackson Park for food, beverages and camaraderie, is selling T-shirts.

"What we're going to do is use some of the proceeds to help the homeless in the Hyde Park-Kenwood-Woodlawn area," said member Gerald Cook, a bartender at The Cove Lounge. He said that donations will be made to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and some area churches.

Chicago artist Doug Freitag designed the tees that Corey Gilkey of Leaders 1354, 1152 W. Madison St., manufactured. The limited run of 200 shirts sell for $50 apiece; more than half have already sold.

"When you have stuff designed by someone who's probably Chicago's biggest independent fashion label, we wanted to keep the price point high, because we wanted to have something significant to do for the homeless," Cook said. "It's not just a small check of $100 or $500. We wanted to give something substantial."

"We think, between the people we know in the Hyde Park area, at the bars, the music venues, The Promontory, the Woodlawn Tap, the Falcon Inn, we won't have any problem getting rid of these," he said. 

They are on sale at The Cove Lounge, 1750 E. 55th St., or from Cook at gacook2000@yahoo.com.

In other news, Cook says the Bonfire Club is doing some cold-weather indoor events but anticipating the summer, though he said the group is in a bit of a holding pattern amid ongoing Chicago Park District work on the Iowa Building, a relic of the World's Columbian Exhibition.

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