Chicago’s gay community lost a giant last week with the passing of Sidetrack bar manager Chuck Hyde. He was 55.
“You can’t mention gay Chicago without mentioning Chuck,” said Mark Hunter, co-owner of Hunters Nightclub. “He was a fixture in the community. A real icon.”
Hyde passed away on April 6 from complications following open-heart surgery, Hunter told SFGN. A celebration of life tribute to Hyde is in the works for next month at the Wilton Manors boutique nightclub.
“We’re all in shock,” Hunter said.
Hyde had moved from Chicago to South Florida and was helping the crew at Hunter’s. Mark Hunter described Hyde as a gentle and confidant man.
“Chuck was power with grace tempered by humanity,” Hunter said. “He had a great sense of humor, was funny and handsome. He was one of those rare people who seemed to have it all.”
Hyde went to work at Sidetrack, a popular video bar on Halsted Street in Chicago in 1982 and eventually rose to co-owner status. He is survived by his husband, Randy D’Agostino. The men married three years ago in Palm Springs, California and were nearing 24 years together as a couple.
“He was my husband, my best friend,” D’Agostino told the Windy City Times. “We traveled, and had adventures. We appreciated our friends very much.”
Hyde was inducted into the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2001. He had a reputation, friends say, of putting together successful fundraisers for various organizations ranging from Equality Illinois to Frontrunners Chicago to AIDS Legal Council of Chicago to the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives.
Hunter said Hyde was a humble man who preferred staying out of the “limelight” and did his best work behind the scenes. Sidetrack, a staple in Chicago’s “boystown” neighborhood, posted a tribute to Hyde on its Facebook page on Friday, saying Hyde “influenced much of what Sidetrack has done as a business.”