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Chicagoist and the Volstead Act: Green Door Tavern

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 3, 2008 4:00PM

2008_12_green_door.jpgThe Green Door Tavern in River North (676 N. Orleans, 312-664-5496) manages to walk the balance between classic tavern and tourist trap with aplomb. Housed in a 130-year-old wood frame building built shortly after the Great Chicago Fire (the last building of its kind built that close to the Loop) if you look at it hard enough you'll see that it has a noticeable lean..

The Green Door set up shop in 1921. The centerpiece of its main room is a Brunswick bar, one of the last made by the Chicago-based company before they shifted their focus to producing bowling alleys and pool tables. That bar still has a brass draught fixture and cash register, and is loaded with enough tchotchkes and memorabilia to rival a Bennigan's or T.G.I. Fridays. According to Sean Parnell's excellent write up of Green Door at his Chicago Bar Project website, the bar allegedly survived Prohibition as a speakeasy. one can assume that the six-foot high letters atop the building announcing its presence were not there at the time