Chicago, IL

This Secret Strange Speakeasy Sits Under a Haunted Chicago Famous Bar.

Chicago Food King

This strange and unique hidden speakeasy bar is not advertised anywhere. To find it, one must follow a strange staircase down the back of an old haunted bar. You then go through a secret passageway behind a bookshelf to the entrance. Are you intrigued yet?

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Inside main dining roomPhoto by Tripadvisor

The Green Door has an interesting history. In 1872, immediately following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, James McCole built this two-story balloon frame wooden structure with a detached cottage in the rear. Engineer McCole rented the front of the building to Mr. Lawrence P. Ek who ran it as a grocery store. Vito Giacomo then purchased it in the 1920s and made the first floor a restaurant. He painted the front door green to indicate a speakeasy was on the premises and renamed it The Green Door Tavern.

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outside restaurantPhoto by Yelp.

The Green Door Tavern from the outside looks like any other Chicago bar, but once inside a secret lies below. If you walk in through the front door and make your way to the back, there is a staircase. Once you get to the staircase, walk down. There will be a bookshelf with no signs or indications something is behind it. Look around, find a handle and turn. This will lead you to a secret strange Prohibition-era-looking speakeasy called The Drifter Chicago.

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Staircase leading to the secret door.Photo by Tripadvisor

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The secret entrance to The Drifter ChicagoPhoto by Yelp.

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The Drifter Chicago.Photo by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.

Once inside, you will see vintage Betty Page era movies playing on a big screen. Strange live acts perform multiple times throughout the night. Be warned, they are not for the faint of heart. Try and find yourself a seat. It can get very busy with a capacity of around 35 patrons. Once seated, order one of their cocktails off of a Tarot card.

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The projector screenplays random cinema.Photo by Yelp.

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Tarot drink menu.Photo by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.

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Drinks.Photo by Yelp.

The Drifter is not for everyone. You will definitely need to enter with an open mind. Many of the nightly acts can be very strange and risque. The acts range from comedians to exotic dancers or piano players. The live shows run every 45 minutes for 10-15 minutes per show.

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Various nightly acts.Photo by Yelp.

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Various nightly acts.Photo by Yelp.

There is also a fun game they host. For 10 dollars, you can buy a fortune cookie and whatever drink is revealed in the fortune, they will make it for you.

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Menu.Photo by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.

They do not accept reservations, so it is first come first serve. Also, drinks are pre-made, so substitutions are not able to be accommodated.

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The Drifter Chicago rules.Photo by Yelp.

I want to also mention that many have claimed this establishment to be haunted, so be ready to see anything.

I really enjoyed my time when I visited here. The Rum and banana drink was my favorite. It can get really packed and the wait time to get in can be long, so be prepared for that. I will say it is a unique experience and I would suggest checking this out even just for a one-time experience.

© Frank S ChicagoFoodKing , 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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