“Bowling Alley and Bar”
Southport Lanes, first named The Nook, was built by the Schlitz Brewery sometime around 1900. Schlitz built several brew houses throughout Chicago and their buildings are marked by the Schlitz logo emblazoned on the facades. Federal laws later prohibited brewers from owning taverns. In 1922, The Nook’s name was changed to Southport Lanes and the 4 hand-set bowling lanes were added. Sometime during the 20’s, the tavern became a speakeasy with a brothel upstairs. Legend has it that Mayor Anton Cermak used to hold a weekly poker game in one of the secret rooms. Learn more of Southport Lanes history here. After prohibition ended, a new building was constructed to the east of the bar room (currently used as a billiards room). Originally, this building housed a gambling facility with direct lines to tracks around the country. In essence, it was an illegal off track betting parlor. In the 50’s the room became a beer hall for rent and a local polling place. Featured in Draft Magazine's "Pubs we Love."
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Southport Lanes & Billiards
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