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Chicago Clubs Schubas and Lincoln Hall Sold

The two venues were purchased by Audioleaf in a multi-million-dollar deal.

Chicago’s Schubas and Lincoln Hall, two music mainstays of the Windy City, were sold to Audioleaf this week in what is said to be a multi-million-dollar deal.

The news will mean the departure of beloved Chicago music industry figure Chris Schuba, 62, who, with his brother Mike, 58, purchased the historic 1903 Lakeview venue in 1998. In 2008, the siblings bought Lincoln Hall located in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Mike Schuba will continue to work as chief operations officer of the two venues, while talent booker Matt Rucins will retain his position along with some 70 staff members whose jobs the deal was contingent upon. Chris Schuba, however, has taken a job working in the Chicago Tribune’s advertising department.


Audioleaf is a multi-dimensional music company best known for its Audiotree Live concert series and is run in partnership with Greenleaf Companies out of Michigan. The latter is run by William Johnston, whose children Michael and Adam founded Audiotree.

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Over the years, scores of acts big and small played the intimate room at Schubas (capacity: 165), including Dave Matthews Band, Feist, Elvis Costello, The National, Fall Out Boy, Janelle Monáe and My Morning Jacket, to name a few.

Musician Bobby Bare, Jr. once said of the all-wooden music room that it’s “like playing inside an acoustic guitar.” In August 2011, Schubas was designated a Chicago Historic Landmark as a result of its history as a Schlitz Tied House.

Lincoln Hall, with a capacity of 550, first opened in 1912 as the Fullerton Theatre. According to the website, “In 1934, FBI sharpshooters were stationed atop what is now Lincoln Hall to prevent John Dillinger’s escape from the Biograph Theatre across the street on the night he was killed.”