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Historic Bars of Chicago


LIQUID HISTORIES According to Sean Parnell, the last printed guidebook devoted exclusively to Chicago bars came out nine or ten years ago. But Historic Bars of Chicago, Parnell’s guide to 100 landmark drinkeries, isn’t concerned with bars that have opened in the interim decade. Instead, his book tells little-known stories about Chicago’s most famous old bars (You knew Capone hung at the Green Mill, but did you know it was a heroin-shooting gallery in the ’70s?) and gives historical background on watering holes that might not necessarily bring to mind social studies (The Hangge-Uppe was a Prohibition speakeasy?). Still, the bars in the book remain places to throw back beers, not sites for history-dork conventions. “These are not only the 100 most historic bars in Chicago,” says Parnell, who writes about his drinking escapades at the Chicago Bar Project ( “They’re also the best bars in Chicago. These have stood the test of time.”

Historic Bars of Chicago ($15.95, Lake Claremont Press) is available on and in bookstores now. To purchase a signed copy or to sign up for upcoming pub crawls led by Parnell, visit

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