Chicago’s Neighborhood Gems: A Closer Look at Uptown
From the advent of the film industry to Al Capone and Prohibition Era-gangsters to 1940s jazz, Uptown has a glamorous history of big stars and bigger secrets. After a long decline beginning with the Great Depression, this North Side neighborhood has experienced a revitalization that celebrates its diversity while honoring the past.
Chicago Neighborhoods - Uptown
An icon of Uptown—and arguably the best jazz club in the world – the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge once operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition and has been visited by patrons and performers such as Charlie Chaplin, Al Capone, Billie Holiday, and Frank Sinatra (to name a few). Today the bar is a thriving `40s era cocktail lounge where anyone can relax, enjoy a few drinks, and listen to some of the best jazz this side of anywhere. It also hosts the Uptown Poetry Slam, a Sunday night staple at the mill since 1986.
Another historic Uptown landmark is the Aragon Ballroom. Concert-goers can now see Tenacious D where Frank Sinatra once performed in Chicago’s oldest continually open ballroom. Built to imitate a Spanish palace, the architecture of this concert hall alone is worth a visit.
A newer installment in the neighborhood is the Annoyance Theatre, open since 1987. This theatre is known for its subversive humor and full-length plays based on improv. Alumni include Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Jane Lynch.
Theatres, `20s gangsters, and musical venues only represent a part of what Uptown has to offer. Take a walk down Argyle Street and you and your taste buds will understand. Also known as “Little Vietnam”, “Little Saigon”, and “New Chinatown”, this street is the place to find pan-Asian supermarkets and any Asian cuisine you could possibly desire. Try the Vietnamese noodle soup at Pho Xe Tang, the dim sum at Furama, or the Beijing duck at Sun Wah Bar-B-Q.
Once a thriving setting for the roaring `20s, Chicago’s up-and-coming Uptown neighborhood is without question a gem of the city!