During the times of Prohibition in the 20’s and early 30’s, to get a drink, you’d go down the stairs at a green doored restaurant and hidden behind a bookshelf or obscure wall was the entrance to a speakeasy where drinks and entertainment happened.
Went to a little speakeasy in Chicago last week for cocktails and entertainment – exceptional. It’s the oldest drinking establishment in Chicago. The Green Door Tavern was built one year after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. This is Chicago history.
On Saturday night, we attended one of America’s oldest and finest jazz clubs: The Green Mill. If only the walls could speak.
About The Green Mill: “sophisticated informality, warm glowing atmosphere steeped in the heady sounds of the early ’30s and ’40s; it was actually patterned after Clark Monroe’s Uptown House in Harlem as it was during the ’40s.
And, in the far corner, in all her alabaster glory, stands Ceres, Goddess of Harvest, rechristened Stella by Starlight by the house musicians. Stella complements the authenticity of the art deco/art nouveau décor in the light fixtures and artwork, embellished with lavishly scrolled frames. Shades of Al Capone’s heyday are found in the wall memorabilia as you enter and in the famous booth where he and his henchmen could keep a cautious eye on both doors.”
We sat up close to the Ari Brown Quintet that played on Saturday night. A regular patron at the table said, “To play at The Green Mill is a big #%&*’in deal – you’re in for a treat tonight!”
And we were.
The grand Kiwaii piano was miced to sound like a vintage instrument from the 40’s. The musicians in this band were exceptional: upright bass, drums, congas, piano, sax and an added guest trumpet player. When Ari Brown played both alto sax and soprano sax at the same time he made music happen. I was hooked on the vibe of this band.