The well-loved community skating rink on the South Side has returned with a revamped ambiance after a lengthy renovation. After shutting down in November last year, The Rink at 1122 E. 87th St. reopened. The rink’s owners, Curtis and Ramona Pouncy are grateful neighborhood children have a new safe and clean skating rink to patronize again.
The couple stated that — because The Rink, after being a staple for over 50 years, has a significant cultural influence on the neighborhood — the two feel strongly about keeping it open. “If it was gone, it would leave a vacuum,” Ramona said. “We have generations that come in and say, ‘This rink has saved my life. Now I’m bringing my kids and their kids to skate.’ So, it’s a way of us preserving the family unit in our community and giving them something to do because there’s not a lot of things for the family to do on the South Side of Chicago.”
The Rink was purchased by the couple in 2019. They’re skaters who frequently visited the rink before the previous owner announced that he intended to sell it to a buyer who would keep it open as a skating rink. According to Curtis, they hadn’t even been in operation for long before the pandemic caused them to close. Despite closing in November to refurbish the building — which was formerly an energy firm before becoming a skating rink — they were finally able to reopen when pandemic limitations were lifted. The pair renovated the rink’s two levels, painted, and laid out new carpeting, flooring, and lighting. The façade was tuckpointed and landscaped.