Green Mill Jazz Club - Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 58.152 W 087° 39.588
16T E 445330 N 4646567
Quick Description: An historic cocktail lounge and jazz club, located in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. JAZZ till the wee hours – traditional, bebop, contemporary, improvisational!
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/23/2013 1:40:25 PM
Waymark Code: WMJJ79
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Team GPSaxophone
Views: 0

Long Description:
I visited during the October 2013 Open House Chicago event. From the Open House Chicago site at (visit link)
"One of Uptown’s most historic spots, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge (formerly Pop Morse's Roadhouse and Green Mill Gardens) was a popular hangout for actors at nearby Essanay Studios dating back to 1907. The current building, built in 1914, is the remaining portion of a much larger complex demolished to build the Uptown Theater. Converted into an elegant speakeasy in the mid-1920s, it attracted such jazz luminaries as Billie Holiday, Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. Forever associated with Al Capone's Chicago Outfit, it is said that the famous mobster would sneak in and out of the club through a secret passage to elude the authorities. The Green Mill was re-opened as a jazz club in 1986 and still features music and poetry seven nights a week."

From their website (visit link)
"The Green Mill is sophisticated informality, warm glowing atmosphere steeped in the heady sounds of the early ’30s and ’40s; it was actually patterned after Clark Monroe’s Uptown House in Harlem (as it was during the ’40s).

And, in the far corner, in all her alabaster glory, stands Ceres, Goddess of Harvest, rechristened Stella by Starlight by the house musicians. Stella was salvaged from the lower depths of the Green Mill, dusted off, and returned to complement the authenticity of the art deco/art nouveau décor in the light fixtures and artwork, embellished with lavishly scrolled frames. Shades of Al Capone’s heyday are found in the wall memorabilia as you enter and in the famous booth where he and his henchmen could keep a cautious eye on both doors."

The historical view from Weird Chicago: (visit link)

From a handout provided at the bar:
"The Early Days
With a history that goes back to the 1880s, this watering hole is one of Uptown's most storied spots. In the 1880s, Pop Morse's Roadhouse operated a long, low building with a sprawling front porch, a restaurant, and outdoor beer garden on the site. (Outdoor beer gardens were a popular option in the decades prior to air conditioning). Pop Morse's was a popular destination, particularly with its large sunken beer garden, for Chicagoans visiting St. Boniface's Cemetery at Clark and Lawrence. Around 1910, the enterprising Tom Chamales bought the establishment from Morse, added outdoor dancing and entertainment in an enlarged sunken garden, installed the "Rhumba Room" on the second floor, and constructed a large green windmill on the roof to go along with its new name, the "Green Mill Gardens." The name "Green Mill" was inspired by the infamous Moulin Rouge in Paris (French for "red mill") and "green" was chosen to avoid confusion with any establishments in the red light districts around town. Around that time, Uptown was also known as the "Hollywood by the Lake." and the Green Mill Gardens was more of a roadhouse spanning the entire block than a cocktail lounge. Back then, Charlie Chaplin himself used to come in for a drink after working at Essanay Studios on Argyle.

The Green Mill is best known for serving as a gangster hangout and speakeasy during Prohibition. During this time, the Green Mill was leased by the Chamales Brothers to the mob, including James Vincenzo (Gebardi) DeMora - better known as Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn - who held a quarter stake in the club. McGurn is suspected of being the primary gunmen in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre that took place behind a garage on Clark Street, though he was never charged. Jack McGurn happened to work for Al Capone and the Green Mill become a favorite hangout.

Though these Green Mill personalities have passed on, the place still has some of its speakeasy legacy."

By the way, several movies have used the Green Mill's interior and exterior as a cool backdrop:

The Dilemma
Ocean’s 12
High Fidelity
Family Thing
The Lake House
V.I. Warshawski
Kissing a Fool
Next of Kin
Soul Food
Prelude to a Kiss
Excessive Force

Located at 4802 N. Broadway.
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