El Rancho Orphanage
Shortly before the adjoining Congress Theatre reopened and began hosting punk shows, the infamous Chicago punk house collective, The El Rancho Orphanage, or ERO, formed in August of 2000 in the storefront on the corner of Milwaukee and Rockwell in Logan Square. The space was the former home of El Rancho Supermercado, a Mexican supermarket.
The El Rancho Orphanage got its name from the local Hispanic residents, who called the people living there Huérfanos, or Orphans, likely because at the time Logan Square was not gentrified, and they suddenly saw a large group of very young poor people with tattered clothes living in a large space. The original market’s sign remained, thus the residents became the El Rancho Orphans and the “house” became The El Rancho Orphanage.
ERO hosted shows for its shortly lived but infamous existence as a collective. The A-Zone, a.k.a. The Autonomous Zone, also moved to the other adjoining side of The Congress Theatre in 2001 – southeast of The Congress. El Rancho moved to a different location in 2002.
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