Riptide’s Marie Wuczynski has died

 Marie Wuczynski photographed at Chicago's Riptide Lounge by Jim Newberry

Sad news from Bucktown: according to Chicagoist and the Tribune, Marie of the Riptide Lounge has died. I shot the portrait above back in 1991, when she was gracious enough to let me photograph her for my portfolio. Armitage Avenue will never be the same.

From the Trib article:

The ebullient queen of Marie’s Rip Tide Lounge on Armitage Avenue, known for her towering pouf of whitish-blonde hair and bawdy sense of humor, danced and sang along to tunes from the old-time jukebox into the wee hours, entertaining an ever-changing late-night crowd.

“That was Marie,” said Leo Zak, a bartender at the Riptide. “She made you feel like you belonged,”

Mrs. Wuczynski, 88, died of heart failure Monday, Feb. 7, at her home one flight above the tavern, said longtime friend and co-worker Tina Congenie.

Mrs. Wuczynski was working at the Armitage Avenue bar when she bought the building in 1961.