What is The Gatsby?

The Gatsby is a prohibition era inspired speakeasy that is hidden directly above The Bourgeois Pig Cafe, in the center of the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. As fortune would have it, The Gatsby just so happens to be about a block away from where the infamous bank robber and gangster John Dillinger was shot and killed by federal agents nearly 100 years ago! What’s more, The Gatsby even uses THE very speakeasy door that was located across the street from where he was killed outside The Biograph Theater, as it’s final point of entry. It is believed that Dillinger and other notorious gangsters most likely frequented that speakeasy and walked through this very door.

In what could best be described as “the library study” of  J. Gatsby’s West Egg mansion, The Gatsby Speakeasy is reminiscent of various scenes from one of the greatest American novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby.” Based on the themes in the novel, The Gatsby Speakeasy is overflowing with original antique oil paintings and frames, dating as far back as 1820. All of the lighting in the Gatsby comes from period crystal and bronze chandeliers and heavily adorned candelabras burning wax tapered candles. Persian carpets, Victorian sofas and carved wooden tables and chairs lend romantically to the warmth of the experience. A myriad of antique tomes fill the many bookcases, and burgundy Anaglypta, an early Victorian textured wall paper, adorns the walls. Behind the custom made oak bar you will find a magnificent, hand carved Victorian buffet from Naples, Italy, circa 1880. Atop the buffet is an unknown coat of arms, and carved into the backbar are 24 distinct, individually carved heads. Can you find them all? Brought over from Italy during Covid, this signature piece brings a commanding presence and central focus to the main room.

Grandfather clocks chime on the hour, and more than a half dozen mounted boar heads, all of them named after distinguished gentlemen, keep watch over the various rooms. Dimmed lighting and swanky, classic jazz and big band crooners fill the air as you escape back in time.

Our cocktails are curated to fit the current novel in focus. While our very first offerings were tuned to “The Great Gatsby,” our vision is to explore various other novels and literary giants as we create cocktails to reflect exciting new themes based on these literary references. All of our bespoke cocktails are handcrafted to order, designed to invoke a reflection of the novel or quote that inspired it. Our next offerings will be inspired by the beloved novel by Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland.”

The Entrance:

After you check in with the host, make your way to the second floor above the Bourgeois Pig. From here you will make your way down the hallway, passing under the watchful gaze of multiple wardens of the past, until you at long last come to the library. To enter the secret vetting room you must use the clues given by the host downstairs. Hint: The paintings on the walls have nothing to to with entering. (Please, do not touch or move the paintings!) Once inside, close the door firmly behind you and turn on the light. When prompted, provide the password given to you. Enjoy. Escape. Partake!