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Ghosts Of Chicago Bars Past: Lincoln Park's Straight Arrow Tavern

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 15, 2015 4:00PM

There’s a reason the saying “never read the comments” has become a popular adage—commenting on the Internet is a Greek Chorus of Idiocy. But on rare occasions you’ll find a small nugget of gold if you pan through enough silt.

Example: this comment on the Chicagoist Facebook page, from our reblog of a DNAInfo Chicago story about some jackasses in Bridgeport who overreacted about their dibs being taken.


This is arguably the most Chicago comment ever. Not only does it invoke "back in the day," it references a long gone dive bar, organized crime, an era when Lincoln Park wasn't as bourgeois as it is today, dibs, street justice and happy nostalgia for all of it. And the guy now lives in New York state, to boot. Well played, Bob Good!

Another thing with never reading the comments: you never know what's true about what someone writes. Here's what we know: Lincoln Park during that time was sketchy and there were way more taverns in Chicago then. So we did some research for the Straight Arrow tavern.

Lo and behold, it existed. Our comrades at the Media Burn Archive have a 23-minute video from 1973 that captures a night at the Straight Arrow, which was located at 1157 W. Wrightwood. It was populated by neighborhood barflies, hippies and artists and the video is a nice trapped-in-amber slice of Lincoln Park in the early 1970s.

Care to guess what business currently calls 1157 W. Wrightwood home?

Who says you can't go home?