Cabaret Woes, “Evilly Disposed Persons,” and the Dancing Tenor’s Divorce

CHAPTER 27 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER “Chicago’s cabaret industry was in the dumps to-day,” the Chicago Daily News remarked in April 1921.1 Aldermen were talking about a huge increase in license fees for public… Continue reading Cabaret Woes, “Evilly Disposed Persons,” and the Dancing Tenor’s Divorce

Cora Orthwein’s Trial: “I loved him and I killed him. It was all I could do.”

CHAPTER 25 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER There was much shouting and commotion at Green Mill Gardens on the night of February 28, 1921. An intoxicated man angrily threw his drink into a woman’s face.… Continue reading Cora Orthwein’s Trial: “I loved him and I killed him. It was all I could do.”

Ben Hecht and a Flapper Find “Nirvana” in Uptown

CHAPTER 24 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER Sex! Jazz! Booze! Beaches! Shopping! Movie palaces! Chicago’s Uptown had it all. During the Roaring Twenties, people flocked to the neighborhood when they wanted to have fun. “If… Continue reading Ben Hecht and a Flapper Find “Nirvana” in Uptown

The 1920 “Whisky Ring” and the Snitching Golfer

CHAPTER 23 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER As prohibition became the law of the land in 1920, many Chicagoans kept on drinking. “Chicago is as wet as it ever was,” the region’s chief prohibition officer,… Continue reading The 1920 “Whisky Ring” and the Snitching Golfer

Prohibition’s Dawn and the Great Zion Beer Grab

CHAPTER 21 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER On July 1, 1919, it became a crime to sell alcohol in the United States. Some of Chicago’s drinking establishments started the day by selling beers and… Continue reading Prohibition’s Dawn and the Great Zion Beer Grab

Chicago, June 30, 1919: John Barleycorn Must Die!

Chapter 20 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER—> “This is one of the biggest days in history,” the Chicago American wrote on June 30, 1919. “Nothing like this ever happened before. Nothing like this… Continue reading Chicago, June 30, 1919: John Barleycorn Must Die!

Building Chicago’s Riviera Theatre

Chapter 19 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> In the midst of Chicago’s turmoil over late-night cabarets, Tom Chamales expanded his local entertainment empire beyond Green Mill Gardens. In March 1916, the Chicago… Continue reading Building Chicago’s Riviera Theatre

Chicago’s 1918 War Against Fun

Chapter 18 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> The war against fun in Chicago reached a milestone in 1918. This was the year when the city’s aldermen voted to outlaw most live music… Continue reading Chicago’s 1918 War Against Fun