Here Are Some More Long-Forgotten Taverns

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 14, 2012 11:15PM

It seems as though a few of you had an opinion or two about the declining number of neighborhood taverns in Chicago, so we decided to revisit the subject.

The folks at the Media Burn Archive have posted a one-hour video called "Bartalk" that takes a look at the highs and lows of the neighborhood tavern in Chicago. In this video, Tony Fitzpatrick talks about the day he quit drinking and what he missed about hanging in bars.

"The last drink I ever had was 8:30—Oct. 5, 1983—8:30 in the morning. All I can remember is that I looked up and the ceiling was black; the ceiling was pained black so it wouldn't show the smoke. And I thought, 'This is like a tomb.' I felt like I was dead."

...

"What I miss about bars, I guess, is the kind of stylized thing you see on Cheers. They never show someone puking their toenails out at 5 in the morning...

Why we're sharing the video link and the clip below, introduced by Media Burn founder Tom Weinberg, is that it highlights three Chicago taverns that are no longer around: O'Rourke's Public House, Lawry's Tavern and McCuddy's. That last one is near and dear to the hearts of White Sox fans who remember when they could leave a Sox game at old Comiskey Park and cross the street for a drink, a far cry from the parking lot graveyard that is U.S. Cellular Field today. Fans of Roger Ebert will want to read his masterful essay/oral history on O'Rourke's. The video below also has appearances from Mike Royko and Studs Terkel, two of the greatest products of the Golden Age of Chicago Taverns.