One of the Originals

The Green Door Tavern 678 North Orleans Street Chicago

Chicago Scene
Written By Chicago Scene

“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago

The Drifter

Chicago and the Prohibition era go hand and hand. You can see that with the number of speakeasies that are buried throughout the city. One has an upper hand on them all. It’s not the cocktail list, live shows, or exclusivity, but the gritty authenticity. The Drifter was an actual speakeasy during the Prohibition era. Housed beneath The Green Door Tavern, which itself is the oldest wooden frame building in Chicago. 

If you notice the building leaning to the left, it’s not the cocktails, the building was built atop of fire ashes from the Great Chicago Fire. Legend has it that folks knew to look for the green door, which would lead them to the speakeasy. Present day, one could argue it’s even more obscure. Wander through The Green Door Tavern until you find a set of steps leading downstairs. You’ll find yourself between the restroom and a bookshelf, tug on the bookshelf and you’ll travel back in time to the early 1900s.   

Much of the décor is vintage, which adds to the grit of the place and what’s cooler than ordering your drinks from tarot cards? Cocktails vary each night along with the eclectic shows that start every night at 8pm. You can travel back in time Wednesday-Saturday 5pm-2am. 

In Plain Sight: Access to Chicago Speakeasies

One of the Originals

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