Hegewisch Taverns and Saloons
What is a saloon or
a tavern? Well they can be defined as a place where people gather
to socialize, drink, talk, and to have good times and good laughs.
Saloons have been a part of Chicago for a long time.
Hegewisch itself had and still has many taverns. A lot
of them were established in the early 1900's and some even earlier than
that date. Many of them were family owned and family run. Others
were just owned by single men. A number of taverns operated in the
shopping district of Hegewisch.
liquor was outlawed and many taverns lost their business. Others
continued to operate as "speakeasies". After Prohibition ended taverns
needed to increase their sales. Tavern owners used different tactics
to attract people to come in. They had halls attached to the taverns
and rented them out for parties. They were also used as employment
halls to hire. Many people came in to get a job, though pay would
be very low. Some taverns had food for sale, too. You could
go in to have a drink and and to have a meal as well. Taverns in
desperate need of increasing sales offered free lunch. This attracted
people to come in to eat, but to also have a few drinks, even during Prohibition.
All the taverns that served food had small kitchens attached in the back.
With low sales during Prohibition, a lot of taverns were forced to be closed.
This would all change though, when Prohibition ended.
types of taverns operated in Hegewisch. Most of the time, people
would go to a tavern to have a drink and to talk with friends to socialize.
Some of the time, taverns were "men only" establishments. This meant
that only men would run these taverns and only men would drink in these
taverns. Other taverns were known as "stand up establishments."
This is where the guys would stand around to drink and talk. Then
there would be taverns that would favor and only allow only certain ethnic
groups into their saloon. Other taverns welcomed family business
especially those that served food.
Presently, a lot of
taverns once in business, are no longer in business. They were closed
down due to low liguor sales. This happened because of a declining
economy due to the closing of many of the area steel mills and a decline
in the amount of drinking in recent years. There is not as
great a demand for as many taverns as once existed. There are still
plenty of taverns open in Hegewisch today.
Click on the links at the left to tour