Jazz clubs, Chicago
If you want to feel Al Capone's spirit, then The Green Mill is where you want to go!
The Green Mill is one of Chicago's oldest jazz clubs (opened in 1907). It used to be own by "Machine Gun", Al Capone's right-hand man. Al Capone used to hang out there all the time, too!
I had an amazing time there. As soon as you enter, it's as if you're back in the 1920's. Girls wear vintage dresses and red lipstick and the big band music makes you dance and jive all night (there is a dancing area right in front of the band). There are still pictures of Al Capone all over the place and his booth is still there, too. The music itself is great, they always have very talented bands and singers play there!
Beware: the location is quite far from the city center. And the area can get a big dodgy at night so I recommend calling a cab.
Dress Code: Fancy / Casual fancy
Andy's Jazz Club is a great place for people who enjoy live music. It's perfectly located, too, and there's always a great gig to catch any day and/or any night of the week. They charge a small fee at the door like any other club but it's worth it. You can just sit at the bar or you can book a table for dinner. There are always wonderful bands and singers playing wonderful classics.
Dress Code: None
This place dates back to the 1920's and is the oldest jazz venue in the US. Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson are just a few that used this joint as a hangout. My favorite night is Sunday when they have the Poetry Slam, this is such a blast! Unless you arrive early expect to stand the entire time.
Dress Code: I would say the dress is casual but not shorts and flip-flops. More a business casual environment.
Superbe and classic jazz club! The Green Mill has been around since 1907!!! In the 20s, Al Capone used to frequent the club. Today, Patricia Barber late Monday nights is a must see!!! You will not be disappointed!!!
Dress Code: In Chicago, almost anything is fine anywhere, including jazz clubs, but I would suggest smart-casual or better for the Green Mill.
There are some really great jazz and blues bars in Chicago. Love Chicago! They have quite a tradition of great blues and jazz clubs, most any bar in Chicago has an outside option, but unless it's warm out they may not have the porch open. But most any of these bars are exquisite.
I hope you have a great time in Chicago, it's a gorgeous, friendly, excellent city
Jazz Bars: http://www.exciting-chicago-vacation.com/Chicago-jazz-clubs.html
Blues Bars: http://www.exciting-chicago-vacation.com/chicago-blues-clubs.html
Check out more ideas for places to eat, hotels to enjoy, and other things to do in Chicago.
Dress Code: Typically there is a dress code dress is generally business casual to business professional. Check with each club for details.
We visited Andy's Jazz Club during our Chicago visit in December. The club is located on E. Hubbard Street which is near the river, west of Michigan Avenue and just north of the House of Blues.
The club is of a moderate size, but busy and cosy inside. At the front there is a large round bar and behind this there are seated tables for diners with a music stage adjacent.
We had to pay $10 to enter and sat at the bar, there was a nice selection of quite highly priced drinks and a small menu of bar snacks. We watched the live music from the bar and had a pleasant evening. The band were great and the atmosphere was good.
Dress Code: Anywhere from elegant to casual
Today, I received an e-mail on VT from Marilyn Harris thanking me for my review!
On Sunday evening, June 11, 06, Allan & I accompanied Eric's Mother, Step-father, Uncle, & Aunt to the Old Bohemian neighborhood on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. 7:00 pm at Davenport's Cabaret we heard jazz singer, Marilyn Harris, perform. She was on a tour to promote her new CD, Round Trip.
What a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Astoundingly, Marilyn Harris i not only sings wonderfully,(with her crystal-clear voice), but she also writes clever, sophisticated, & passionate songs. On her new CD, she wrote 10 of 12 songs! She also plays a "wicked" piano. Who could ask for more?
Interestingly, Eric's aunt & uncle, Jan and Tom, knew her from her days in Chicago when she played at their mother/father's 50th Wedding Anniversary. (Small World)
At Davenport's Cabaret, there is no smoking at all, which is greatly appreciated by performers & audiences. There is a 2-drink minimum in addition to the admission fee. For Marilyn Harris's performance, the price was $15.00 per ticket.
It's a intimate room with small tables & some booth/tables. Allan & I enjoyed sitting in the booth/table for the sheer back comfort. The acoustics were wonderful, & Marilyn's powerful voice was a joy to behold. On tour, Marilyn is accompanied by one man (Larry Gray), but on her CD, she is with the entire L.A. Jazz All-Stars Big Band. I can attest to the fact that the band is terrific; I purchased one of her new CD's.
My favorite song of the evening's performance was "That Afternoon in Harlem", a haunting, lovely melody with words portraying a faded female jazz singer. My second favorite song was "They're Gonna Love Me", a clever satire about the music industry's appreciation of artists after they die. Her sharp commentary indicates that artists need acclaim within their own lifetimes.
Even when she sings someone else's songs, Marilyn's interpretations are her own.
Dress Code: It's interesting to note that the front room of Davenport's with the bar is not smoke free, & it also has live entertainment.
I don't think there's a dress code. We wore summer slacks and tops, sandles, and jackets. The men wore nice slacks & shirts. I don't think that cut-off jeans, t-shirts & baseball hats would be appropriate.
This is one of the best bars in the world...an absolute dream of a place to go and visit. There is nonstop champagne, flights and excellent tapa foods and desserts. There is a fireplace if it's cold...with big, comfy chairs...and a nice deck and patio outside with gardens surrounding you if it's warm enough to sit outdoors.
There is a 3 piece jazz band that sits up on top of platform and it's comforting...and a fun loving enviroment...and all the right ingredients for romance.
Dress Code: My guess would be no jeans or shorts?
The wicker park area of Chicago has a strong hipster vipe, but I love this little piano/cabaret venue. Davenport's features Chicago-bread talent with a few visiting performers. The piano bar is flashy in the front, subdued in the back and features a singing waitstaff and first rate sound equiptment.
Dress Code: Nice casual
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a great dive that used to be a speak-easy during the Prohibition days. It was a favorite spot of Al Capone and his henchmen.
Now it is a great place to catch a jazz act or spoken word poetry slams.
Chicago really is a music city, and of course it is the home of blues. This was one of my fave clubs If you like your nostalgic 70's and 80's music as well as a bit of jazz and blues thrown in this is a great place to head. Great bar and dance floor and a great bunch of people....
Dress Code: Smart/casual.
The Green Mill, the oldest continuously running jazz club in the US and possibly the world, is a popular nightspot and a chance to see a living piece of Chicago history. There is live jazz here every night of the week, and poetry on Sundays. The crowd is mixed and there is a good selection at the bar. Just know that during some performances no talking above a whisper is allowed.
The place has a great and colorful history. It got its start as The Green Mill Gardens in 1914 and was then leased to "Machine Gun" McGurn, a suspect in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, during Prohibition and turned into a speakeasy. There is still a trap door behind the bar that leads to a tunnel used to smuggle in alcohol. The Green Mill was exclusive and men had to wear a tuxedo to get in. It was a favorite hangout of many gangsters including Al Capone who had his own booth there. Charlie Chaplin was also a regular. Such acts as Billie Holiday, Al Jolson, and Benny Goodman were frequent.
Cover may be charged on some nights. Hours are 11am-4am Sunday, noon-4am Monday through Friday, and noon-5am Saturday. Street parking is available.
Dress Code: Casual
A good time can always be had at the Green Mill (est. 1910). Even Al Capone used to hang out here. Great atmosphere, I love the booths and decor, and the fact you sort of need to walk on the stage to get to the ladies room.
It can get pretty smoky in here- just like any other bar or club. But occasionally, a performer may request that there be no smoking the night they play.
Snaggin a table might be difficult, but on a weekday it'll be easier. This place gets paacked.
On a side note, I've heard that people get scolded for speaking too loudly, but it most likely depends on who's playing.
If you want to get a group of friends together for a loud'n'lively drink and chat, try Swing Night on Thursdays instead of, say, a Patricia Barber gig or something.
Take care to double-check how much the cover will be and what's goin on that night!
Dress Code: Dress up, dress down (not all the way down, of course)
The Green Mill, Uptown -- not the nicest neighborhood in the Chicago (and certainly not the meanest)-- but well worth the cab fare from the Loop or Streeterville. Simply the coolest jazz hive in the city, the place which has nurtured some of the best figures to come out of the Chicago jazz scene, particularly my faves Kurt Elling and Patricia Barber.
It used to be a Capone speakeasy, and still has some of that 'decayed' elegance of the bygone past.
Dress Code: Just whatever. The Green Mill is a place with no attitute.
Take the Red Line train to Lawrence, walk west to Broadway, and look for the glowing green lights.....there you'll find the Green Mill. Former mob hang-out, and now home to many of Chicago's top jazz artists and fans. The club is a beautiful landmark of Chicago's golden-age of jazz, but you won't find any dinosaurs hanging out in here. Hep cats, of all ages, (or at least 21), have been swinging at this joint since it opened in the early 1900s. I believe it is the oldest running jazz club in the US....and probably the world. Cover is still low, usually between $5 - 10. Mostly local favorites play here, but in recent years the stage has welcome some other national jazz artists. It is still very much a hang out for locals, and it is very crowded on the weekends. It is worth the trip, away from the tourist places downtown, if you want to experience a truly historic jazz club in Chicago.
Dress Code: All kinds are welcome, but clean up.....will ya!?!?! People come here in both jeans and suits, so you shouldn't have a problem, unless you have no shirt or shoes.