Who remembers old town when it use to have Bizarre Bizarre, Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, Barbara's original book store, The Earl of Old Town Pub (got a chance to meet him once) and a host of other cool old shops and stores. I saw it in the mid to late 70's before it all started to disappear. Anyone have any good stories? What where some of the other places you remember in that area. The only thing left standing is what's left of Second City and Green flower shop. Oh and New Leaf to. I felt lucky to catch it before it disappeared. Use to love go visit Old Town back in the day.
The Old Town Ale House on the SW corner of North Avenue and Wieland Street, on weekends, in the mid 60s. I understand that there is an OTAH now located on the SE corner, across Wieland, on North. And, frequent visits to Barbara's Book Store during the same time frame. My great uncle operated a saloon on the NW corner of Wells and North Avenue, before Prohibition, in 1918.
You can see quite a bit of late 60s Old Town in a movie filmed here called "The Young Runaways" (1968) with Richard Dreiyfuss. It isn't on home video, TCM used to show it years ago but not recently.
[url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063827/combined]Young Runaways at imdb[/url]
clips on youtube but I don't know if they include the Wells St scenes.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 11:17AM by EricV.
Oh yes I forgot about the little Chocolate shop, below ground level and I think the aquarium store was there back then also. There use to be a tiny Italian restaurant just behind what is now Boston Market. I read that Luciano Pavarati would go there to eat dinner anytime he was in town. I forget the name of it but it closed and became a candle store for awhile and then closed again and they tore it down. Last time I was there it was still an empty lot.
Anyone remember that little coffee-snack kind of shop that use to sit on the corner of Wells and Eugenie St. on the northwest corner? They had a couch or a couple of couches, small tables and chairs you could go in order something and just hang out. I think it had a big metal coke sign or something on the side of the building outside. Possibly it was a mural. It was sort of an old Beatnik hangout it seemed. Today it's a Chase Bank. I use to love stopping in that place. Anyone remember the name of that place with further details?
That little strip of the street from Eugenie to the Green plant shop had some neat little shops.
Was Nookies there in the 70's as well? I don't remember it.
I remember when Piper's Alley was an open alley still before they added the glass doors some years later. And I remember when Crate & Barrel was just a small shop with solid doors between North and Division. You had to go in to see what they had. It was nothing like the Crate & Barrel of today.
It is so hard to find anything on Old Town on-line. Photos are rare.
A very long time ago, Old Town was called the "Cabbage Patch," because cabbages were grown on the land by farmers, who later built the first homes of Old Town; not a very sophisticated name, back then. ;-)
Thanks rjmachon. I don't remember the Plugged Nickel but I bet it was fun. Yup, that area was one of the more fun sections of the city. Those where REAL neighborhoods back then before they became yuppiefied.
Hung out in Old Town on Saturday nights in the late 60's and early 70's as a teenager. There was Peacock Alley just North of the entrance to Second City. There was That Steak Joynt, just beneath Second City. My wife and I ate there several times in the 70's. It always struck me as what I imagined a Victorian era bordello would have looked like, lots of red velvet curtains, upholstery, etc. Great steaks though. There were the stores of Maiden Lane, on Wells south of North Avenue on the east side of the street. There were several head shops on Wells at that time and one clothing store that advertised pants for $5.00. Nevre bought any pants for that price but bought several pairs there over the years. Therewas the Fireside on the west side of Wells, south of North Avenue. There was Pickles Restaurant and a a place that advertised it had the largest organ in the world. Also remember the Earl,saw many great folk singers there and the Second City performers used to go there after performances. Met Belushi and several others there late night Saturdays.