Many consider Jan. 17, 1920 a very dark day in our country’s history. Why? The government took away our ability — nay, right! — to drink alcohol. How dare they abscond with our whiskey, our beer, our wine! Despite the law and dirty looks from some very religious folks, Prohibition didn’t really stop people from finding booze and getting their hooch on. Speakeasies popped up all over the country (the CAA’s was where the Milk Room bar now sits – the club’s gentlemen would order their whiskey in a coffee mug to disguise the true contents) and parties ensued.
Then on Dec. 5, 1933, Congress ratified the 21st Amendment, thus repealing the 18th Amendment allowing people to once again drink in public. Or private. Sometimes starting in private and spilling out into public spaces. These days, we celebrate Repeal Day every Dec. 5 and bars across the city welcome you with open arms. Below are some of our favorite places where you can get well-made classic cocktails and toast to Repeal Day with friends.
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel bars: Game Room, Milk Room, Cherry Circle Room and Cindy’s Rooftop are all at 12 S. Michigan (Loop)
The Drifter: 676 N. Orleans (River North)
Scofflaw: 3201 W. Armitage (Logan Square)
Berkshire Room: 15 E. Ohio (River North)
Estereo: 2450 N. Milwaukee (Logan Square)
Violet Hour: 1520 N. Damen (Wicker Park)
Moneygun: 660 W. Lake (West Loop)
GreenRiver: 259 E. Erie (Streeterville)
The Aviary: 955 W. Fulton (Fulton Market)
The Barrelhouse Flat: 2624 N. Lincoln (Lincoln Park)
Lost Lake: 3154 W. Diversey (Logan Square)
Billy Sunday: 3143 W. Logan (Logan Square)
Sable Kitchen & Bar: 505 N. State (River North)