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Originally named Pop Morse's Roadhouse when it opened in 1907, the Green Mill became a hotspot for mobsters during prohibition. "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn, a thug in Capone's gang, was a part-time owner of the joint and attacked the singer Joe E. Lewis in 1927 after Lewis refused to take his act to the Green Mill.
Capone's favorite booth is still in the Green Mill today, and if you ask a waiter about it, he or she will lead you to a seat that has both the front and rear exits of the building in sight-- all the better to make a quick escape.
One of the reasons that Capone and his gang frequented the Green Mill so often was because of the complex of tunnels that run beneath it.
The tunnels, originally used for the transportation of coal to big buildings in Chicago, became a common escape route for Capone and his gang. When Prohibition ended and The Green Mill became more reputable, the tunnels became nothing more than a fascinating oddity.
After ditching its mobster leanings, the Green Mill slowly began to pick up fame as one of Chicago's best jazz clubs. Musicians such as Von Freeman, Franz Jackson, and Wilbur Campbell have all played there, and the classy laid-back attitude of the place is almost a time capsule from the 20s and Capone's Chicago.
In 1986 a man named Marc Smith founded the Uptown Poetry Slam -- a poetry competition that has since recieved international aclaim.
In Marc Smith's poetry, one gets a sense of Chicago, a bustling city with a strange and diverse past. In the music at the Green Mill, the audience can catch a glimpse of Chicago as it is and as it was, maybe even when Al Capone roamed the streets.