Good Times at Gold Star

Chicago IL

Wicker Park's Best Kept Secrets/Good Times at Gold Star
Holiday Jones Hostel
Written By Holiday Jones Hostel

The top rated Chicago hostel, Holiday Jones offers private and shared rooms with the most affordable nightly rates in the city. Just one stop away from downtown.

Legends or true stories?

Gold Star is far from a glamorous bar with a solid DJ lineup, plush seating, or 100 beers on tap. However, it’s a great place to have a chill night out with buddies while keeping your budget under control. Inside, you'll find a golden hue and all the décor of an old Chicago neighborhood joint: ancient wooden floors, a high, green-painted tin ceiling, scuffed white and red-painted walls, and a worn wooden bar that extends halfway down the room on the left side. Locals love the welcoming vibe and the sense of community that you find at this establishment.

Although the customer base has evolved over the decades, Gold Star is a standing icon of the shady history of the 1950s Polish Broadway. During Prohibition, Division Street was known for speakeasies, whorehouses and gambling dens. After Prohibition, many of the speakeasies turned into Polish polka bars and the whorehouses and gambling dens continued on. Back then, Gold Star was a Saloon owned by a Polish Woman who also ran a questionable “hotel” upstairs. In other words, speakeasy meets brothel.

Today, customers can shoot pool, listen to indie tunes on the classic Jukebox, and chat with bartenders and friends. However, it’s been reported that ghosts from the violent bothel-fueled past appear every now and then. This is in part due to an incident in the 1950's when the bartender on duty shot and killed a would-be robber in the tavern’s front door. Visitors have reported an “odd feeling” in the doorway and a psychic has also noted a presence in the bar’s front door. An apparition of a girl in a lime green dress and a man in a straw hat have also been reported by Gold Star patrons and staff. These are just some of the stories that you’ll hear about at Gold Star. We hope you don’t freak out and skip this portion of the adventure, because you’d be skipping on cheap good fun!

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Wicker Park's Best Kept Secrets

Good Times at Gold Star

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