Choose Chicago® is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois. When you’re in Chicago, you’re home. With the countless experiences there are to have here, you're absolutely welcome to do any and all of them.
The 1920s was a time of tommy guns, marches for women's suffrage, jazz, the looming threat of a depression, organized crime, and of course -- alcohol. Throughout the Prohibition years, crime bosses could be seen frequenting a slew of disreputable joints, but one favorite was The Exchequer.
Known in the 20s as the 226 Club, The Exchequer was the classic green-door speakeasy. With a restaurant in front and a speakeasy out back, the 226 Club was the joint for a drink if you were a buddy of Al Capone.
Although we can only be sure that Al Capone dined at the 226 Club, there are more sinister rumors about the place. Some say that Capone might have run his operations from the club for a time and that escape tunnels beneath the Exchequer still exist. Although they are just rumors, it isn't hard to believe considering that The Green Mill has escape tunnels of its own.
All throughout Chicago are nooks and crannies where bits of mobster history peek out. Two such places are Schaller's Pump (now closed) and Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap.
Schaller's Pump was a Chicago speakeasy that got its name because they used to literally pump beer into their bar with a hose that led to the brewery next door. The restaurant is closed now, but the building is still standing at 3714 S Halsted St.
Although never a speakeasy or used to brew beer illegally, this bar and restaurant has an even stranger connection to Prohibition Chicago. The founder, Joseph DiBuono, was Al Capone's personal chef. The restaurant resides at 1073 W Vernon Park Pl.