Belmont Army Store Retreating, Will Close This Fall

Steve Miller
September 11, 2018 - 3:02 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After 43 years on the same Chicago street, Belmont Army is closing its doors at the end of October.

It was 1975 when Korean American Chang Yoo opened a military surplus store called Belmont Army on Belmont. He was in his late-20s.

"A lot of hippies moving in at that time,” he recalled this week.

The store is in its third location on the same street -- and its last. Yoo is closing the doors after October.

"I am too old,” he said.

Chang Yoo / WBBM Newsradio

Employee Tank Brooks says there will be a void in the neighborhood.

"Change is not always good because there are a lot of broken hearts because of this place. There are a lot of people who are going to miss it,” he said.

That said, Brooks says, Belmont near Halsted is not what it used to be. A vertical Target store opened across the street.

"Just the aura that this area has is kind of like, leaving and becoming more -- almost big box and commercial and a little boring,” he said.

Owner Chang Yoo says online retailing has kept people away. 

He's already sold the building. And at 74, he said, it's time to play some golf.