Page 39 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. Crane65th And Greenwood AvenueHaving grown up on Chicago’s South Side, I had the advantage of observing some of the remnants of the Worlds Fair or The Colombian Exposition of 1893 as it was known. There was one section of stores that were located at 65th and Greenwood Avenue that I swear were haunted based upon some of the events that took place. These series of stores had every appearance of having been taken from what one would expect to find in any English movie such as plate glass windows and heavy doors with the thick glass that you had to push hard to open and a door bell that tinkled upon your entry. All of the floors were made of wood and were heated by kerosene stoves.On the corner was a pharmacy or apothecary where prescriptions were filled from the basics instead of pouring or counting pills from a bottle. The pharmacist actually used a mortar and pestle and there were decorative glass globes with red and green liquid in each of them. The scene that was presented by the owner/pharmacist and his assistant was right out of the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart. There was a soda fountain and wire legged chairs and tables. While the fountain could dispense seltzer water and Coca-Cola to which could be added cherry syrup or dispense the drink, Green River, the ice cream was wrapped, rather than scooped, and came in individual packages of two that were like small cylinders that were placed in a double cylinder glass cup and flavored toppings were added.As you walked down the street towards the little shop with the heavy door and bell, you came upon an actual Pat’s Tavern (Note, not meant to be confused with the title of this book, “Pat’s Tavern”). The tavern had a long curved counter and a series of bar stools. Since this was in the early 1950’s, Pat’s had a black and white television with a large plastic magnifier to make the screen larger. On fight nights, which took place on Fridays, the tavern was always crowded. Teenagers were not allowed inside the tavern, therefore, we stood outside and either watched through the large plate glass window or screen door as this was the days before air conditioning. It was during those times that I watched some of the greatest boxing matches that ever took place. On the sidewalk and next to the curb was a push cart from which you could buy a hot-dog with all of the trimmings for 15 cents. Wrapped Tom Tom tamales were 10 cents a piece.39

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