If you find yourself in a mobster sort of mood after gawking at the late-night Zoot Suiters, head to Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, one of the Chicago’s (and the world’s) oldest jazz venues, having existed in some iteration since 1907. Arrive early to soak up the atmosphere where Al Capone and his henchmen used to lord over this former speakeasy. Throughout the last century, the venue played host to a plethora of big-name musicians (Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor) and served as a favorite haunt of the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson.
Rather than schedule two performers for dinner and late-night set, the club books one act for a 9 p.m.–1 a.m. stay, in the style of the all-night jazz extravaganzas of the Roaring ’20s, and the sets often run far into the early morning.
Some of the best up-and-coming and established jazz performers frequently pass through Green Mill, including artists such as Kurt Elling and Randy Brecker. The club also hosts one of the world’s first ongoing Slam Poetry sessions on Sunday nights. Also, for the night owl with nothing to do late on a Sunday night, stop in for the Kimberly Gordon Organ Trio with a very affordable $4 cover charge.
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Partially (the front door is accessible, the restrooms are not)
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 480 performances are presented each year. Monday–Thursday, sets are at 9 p.m.–1 a.m., Friday and Saturday two sets (8 p.m. and midnight)
- Ticket Prices: Range from free to $12.