If I had to pick my favorite spot in the city of Chicago, this tiny uptown cocktail lounge would be it. The Green Mill has been in business for over a century, and oh, the stories it could tell. A few years after the roadhouse opened, it became part of the enormous Green Mill Gardens that spanned the block; now the little lounge is all that is left. It made it through Prohibition -- be sure to say hello to Al Capone's favorite booth -- and went on to host an incredible assortment of musicians. Look it up -- there are far too many stories to tell here.
Julia [who took the first photo] and I have been going for years now, long enough to have a "the usual, ladies?" at the bar and working knowledge of the graffiti in the bathroom. Our traditional evening is Wednesday, when Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan play an amazing selection of gypsy swing, but a couple of weeks ago, Alexandra, Jeff, and I changed it up and headed out on a Thursday night to belatedly celebrate my birthday.
What an event! Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra was playing big band music all night, with old radio ads and announcements in between. There was an incredible range of ages and some fantastic dancing. We realized partway through the evening, gin martinis and Manhattans in hand, that this was the kind of evening that our grandparents could have had out on the town. I would imagine that we had just as much fun, although our dancing is not up to snuff. Our beloved bartender conned the lead singer into taking me for a spin on the floor; I only stepped on him three times. He was very gracious.
|One of our previous adventures out; it's all darkness and wonderfully cozy.|
We did a last minute dress-up and photo shoot before we left the apartment -- no pictures of Jeff in the suspenders, alas -- we're determined to make it a Thursday night tradition.
Just a taste -- not our video, but it was that kind of night! Our band boys were in suits, ooo la la!