Before The Great Escape the building was home to a general store, mile depot, post office, gas station, barber shop, pool hall, and restaurant. The Irving Park Viaduct was dug in 1926 and our entrance was moved to the east side of the building.
The Bar & Banquet Room are still a part of the original structure built on this site in 1889. The Bar is original and was hand carved by the Chicago Bar Company. The building was originally at street level. There were swinging doors leading out onto a dirt road with hitching posts for horses (Irving Park Road).
The silent movie cowboy Tom Mix made a few of his movies here around 1900. They would use the Des Plaines River as the Rio Grande and our bar for saloon scenes. In the 1920’s, Al Capone sold the place booze and was spotted at the bar doing business with local gangsters. Witnesses say there were men seated on either side of him with shot guns watching the door.