Storied Drinking

Learn Chicago history through neighborhood bars.

Bar-hop down memory lane—or, as we like to call it, Old Town Triangle: a historic district part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Boardwalk Empire may not take place in Chicago, but when the HBO series did a documentary on speakeasies, it went straight to the city at the center of the moment and filmed scenes at Twin Anchors, which opened in 1932.


The building’s history dates back to 1881, once home to speakeasy Tante Lee Soft Drinks. In the ’50s, the neighborhood watering hole and temple to baby back ribs was a Frank Sinatra favorite. Today, those fall-off-the-bone ribs attract weekend crowds (with a piglets menu just for the kiddos).

Bathtub gin was “distilled” at speakeasy Victor Caruso’s Soft Drinks. Today, the 1885 building is home to Marge’s Still, which has been airily restored since its original days. The new owner named it after previous tavern owner Marge Lednick, the first woman to obtain a Chicago liquor license in 1957.