The Green Mill has been open since 1907. As the twenties roared, The Green Mill became mobster territory when Al Capone’s henchman, “Machinegun” Jack McGurn, gained a 25% ownership of the club. Manager Danny Cohen had given McGurn the 25% stake to “persuade” comedian/singer Joe E. Lewis from moving his act south to the New Rendezvous Café at Clark and Diversey. McGurn managed to convince Lewis by slitting his throat and cutting off his tongue. Miraculously, Lewis recovered, but his songs never regained their lush sound. The incident was later immortalized in the movie The Joker is Wild, with Frank Sinatra as Joe E. Lewis and a Hollywood soundstage as The Green Mill. Of course, his interest piqued, Sinatra had to visit the club.
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It’s pretty crazy to think that Al Capone may have been sitting in the same booth and dancing on the same old floor that we were on last night.
We did some dancing, and when this old guy Pete asked me to dance, I happily accepted. Ryan thought that was pretty hilarious.
Sweet Home Chicago