So here’s the story. When Seth and I go places, we want history. We want places where only locals would hang out (like our newly met, yet entirely engaging friend Alan April). We don’t necessarily always go for all the touristy places. After walking Navy Pier, we were ready for something a little more…local. A few internet searches, we found the Green Mill.
It used to be an old speakeasy back in the 1920s and has totally retained its old 20s-40s charm. After a bit of research, we learned that there is a trap door underneath the bar that leads to tunnels underneath the street so people could run alcohol all over illegally Prohibition. It’s kind of in a sketchy part of town, but if you like jazz and history, it’s well worth your time. It’s the oldest bar in Chicago–so old that it actually got grandfathered in so it’s able to sell alcohol on Sunday mornings. We even hooked up with a local historian who told us all about the Green Mill and the area in general; he’d point to a round, plush booth and say, “Yep, Capone used to sit right over there in that there booth.” We drank it all in.
If you like history, this is the place for you. Complete with original, old-time jukebox and nightly jazz acts, the Green Mill gives you a taste of Chicago in the 1920s.
To stay and hear the jazz acts, you have to pay a cover charge which can be kind of pricey ($12), but the talent they bring in is worth seeing. It’s in a sketchier part of town as well.