Posted by: Jamie ()
Date: March 28, 2014 08:37PM

Hello! I've seen a few articles about "secret bars" lately and wondered if there are any speakeasies that have remained well-kept secrets since the days of Prohibition.



Re: Speakeasies
Date: March 28, 2014 08:44PM

[b]If you can get some addresses you can look up to see if a bar is at that location. I know that in the 1929 Polk's chicago directory the taverns were listed as soft drinks but still sold drinks. Speak easies furnished music and dancing as a front to sell drinks under the table.[/b]

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: Jamie ()
Date: March 30, 2014 02:33PM

Thanks, Richard. I guess what I'm wondering is if any of the "secret bars" that are all the rage these days for hipsters and other cool people (lol) were, at some point, speakeasies.

Like Room 13, whcih is featured in this article:

Echo Limousine - Proudly serving Chicago and the Tri-State area

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: WayOutWardell ()
Date: March 30, 2014 07:08PM

There was a restaurant a few years ago called Room 21 (2110 S. Wabash) which was in a supposed former Capone speakeasy, but I always thought that claim was BS...that area was the Levee, which was wide-open vice. Colosimo's, for example, was right next door, at 2126. Why hide illegal sale/consumption when every other cafe around was serving it openly?

The only history of the Room 21 building I could find was that it was an auto parts store.

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: ambrosemario ()
Date: March 31, 2014 02:10PM

There was a corner tavern/dance hall in the 5100 or 5200 block of south Ashland called Ringbaurs (sp?). Chicago Teachers College (now Chicago State University) used to hold dances there in the early 70's, which my friends and I attended. I vividly recall a door to a back room had one of those little sliding openings you would see in old gangster movies. The bar section was old, but nicely decorated in a Bavarian style. I recall one night watching the Dick Allen led White Sox in the bar when an older Polish gentleman told me that the owner, I think dead by then, had been a leader of the American German Bund. This was a German patriotic group that supported Hitler and the Nazis pretty much until our entrance into the war. I've seen pictures of their rallies in Soldier Field that look like they could have taken place in Munich, swastikas and all. I'd love to learn more about this place if anyone out there knows more about this place

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: Rayfotoman ()
Date: June 18, 2014 01:07PM

My wife's grandmother and her husband owned one that was hidden behind a furniture store on the 800 n block of Ashland. We have a photo of them behind the bar and a couple of guys sitting there with beers. The story goes that Capone was trying to hustle them for payoff money and before they paid him off he ended up in jail and they closed the bar and moved to the northwest side...

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: Eric F ()
Date: June 19, 2014 06:16PM

Ringbauer's had a banquet hall and a tavern a short distance from each other. I can look up the address, but the banquet hall was at the SE corner of 51st-Ashland, probably like 5159. They had another tavern at the NE corner of 53rd-Justine (5301 S Justine) It was a mosque last I saw of it. Ringbauer's were from St Augustine parish at 50th-Laflin.

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: b.a.hoarder ()
Date: June 19, 2014 11:01PM

The following is from a related post I made in November of 2010.

My grandparents had a tavern on the NW corner of 25th & Rockwell during that time and according to my dad their bar became a "tea house". Apparently the locals would gather for a spot of tea, but of course they also had the stuff everyone was really after. There was a Sgt. on the police force that was the bagman for whoever it was that got the payoffs that kept the heat off. Also, according to family lore Luther St. (2442 S. from 2600 to 2658 W.) was known as Moonshine Alley, with many on the street making 'shine.

Re: Speakeasies
Posted by: cookie1952 ()
Date: August 04, 2014 07:31PM

This might be a little off topic, but is anyone aware of any current "smokeasies" in Chicago, or preferably, the far suburbs (north or west)?

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