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Happy Repeal Day! Celebrate the end of Prohibition at one of these famous ex-speakeasies.

December 5, 2012


Source: Chicago Now

Happy Repeal Day! On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed, ending the famous era known as Prohibition. Can you believe that for 13 years, alcohol was illegal in the United States? Prohibition was a wild time in Chicago, but fortunately you can now visit your favorite bar without worrying about the cops raiding the joint. If you want to celebrate Repeal Day in style, here are a list of famous Chicago watering holes that served as illegal speakeasies back in the day.

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Uptown
The Green Mill was the place for the Capone gang during Prohibition. One of Capone's key men, Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn, held a quarter stake in the club. The club openly served alcohol thanks to a pay-off to the Chicago police. Even though Capone had a speakeasy across the street, he preferred the Green Mill. While the cocktail lounge has seen several owners through the years, each has kept the famous trap door behind the bar where a hydraulic elevator once brought up booze to serve patrons.

John Barleycorn, Lincoln Park
The building that houses the Lincoln Park Barleycorn has stood since 1890 and has been some sort of saloon through almost its entire history. During Prohibition, the building was boarded up to appear vacant but inside was a rowdy speakeasy. The back of the building used to be a laundry mat, and bootleggers would bring in supplies of booze in laundry carts and then down to the basement. John Dillinger was a frequent guest.

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To read more visit Chicago Now.


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