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Green Door Tavern

View Map678 N. Orleans St., Chicago
Tel: (312) 664-5496
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Editorial Review of Green Door Tavern

Built in 1872 immediately following the Great Fire, the building that now houses the Green Door Tavern is a unique structure. It was built during a short period of time after the fire but before an ordinance was passed prohibiting wooden built commercial buildings in or around the loop. As a result, the structure stands out among its condo and high rise neighbors. Not only is it the oldest building on the block, and the only wooden one, but it's also leaning. This is most prominent at the front door, where the warp is very obvious. I suppose it straightens itself out after a few drinks.

The tavern itself is also unique. It's as old-fashioned and "Chicago" as it gets. Its history is blazoned across the walls, ceiling, and every crack and splinter that a hundred plus years afford a place. American and Chicago paraphernalia covers every inch of the bar; from sports to politics, toys to booze. Their collection is typical, but extensive.

The staff has a lazy diligence about them. They are professional but not in any serious hurry. The food is very good, and very reasonable. They offer unusual side dishes and traditionally hearty standards. The bar is moderately priced, well below their River North neighbors.

The Green Door is a rare survivor of gentrification, a place that stands idle while the world rushes past outside in hope of keeping up with progress. The Green Door remains marvelously unbothered after its opening in 1921. It is a reminder of "The Sting" era Chicago, and maybe visiting the Tavern should be mandatory for all Chicago residents. We'd all be a little drunker, at least, and well fed.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Adam Payne

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11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

Directions to Green Door Tavern

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Green Door Tavern was mentioned in these articles...

Tapping into Temperance, 1/28/08
Former speakeasies that went legit provide a heck of a history lesson along with your drink.

A Many-Martini Evening, 11/28/06
Looking for five-spot cocktails? Follow your way through the Green Door.


chicago, metromix