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Hart's Corner Is Vacant Again; Mariscos El Picudo Closes

A Mexican seafood restaurant couldn't make it in the Hart's Corner building.
A Mexican seafood restaurant couldn't make it in the Hart's Corner building.
Mark Antonation
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As a building, Hart's Corner has withstood the test of time, squatting at the corner of South Sheridan Boulevard and West Mississippi Avenue for nearly a century. Businesses have come and gone, but for most of its life, the old roadhouse has housed a series of divey bars and restaurants. Last spring, a new tenant, Mariscos El Picudo, moved in, serving Mexican seafood and micheladas.

But now El Picudo has gone the way of the many establishments that came before it. The restaurant is closed, and a "coming soon" banner hangs on the side of the building — though it doesn't specify exactly what is coming. For those in need of a fix of bold, coastal flavors and Clamato-based drinks brimming with shrimp, oysters, beef jerky and tamarind, nearby eateries El Coco Pirata and Mariscos El Licenciado offer a similar experience.

The Hart family, first Leo and then his brother Tommy, operated Hart's Corner as a service station and restaurant from 1924 to 1978. Since then, the place has had several other owners — but this most recent incarnation marked the first time that a different name graced the heart-shaped sign above the building.

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