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 a Mr. Lawrence P. Ek who ran it as a grocery store with living quarters in the rear cottage.
Following the fire, Chicago passed a fire code ordinance prohibiting construction of wooden commercial buildings in the Central Business District. 678 North Orleans is one of the few remaining frame structures built prior to this fire ordinance.
The Racking (leaning) of the building occurred shortly after the building settled and has been that way for over 100 years. In 1921, Vito Giacomo opened the restaurant on the 1st floor and many of the bar fixtures installed in the 20’s still exist in the present bar & restaurant.
Over the years, the restaurant was sold and renamed the Green Door Tavern, which was originated because if the door of a restaurant was painted green during prohibition indicated the presence of a speakeasy in that establishment.
Today, the Green Door remains true to its historic Chicago roots.
From its earliest days, The Green Door Tavern has been a neighborhood favorite. It’s warm wooden interiors, decorative backsplash of memorabilia from days long past, and down-to-earth staff have kept its many loyal customers happy through Chicago’s bitter winters to its hot, summer nights.
Over the years the menu has changed, but the theme has remained the same – “eat, drink, be merry”…and occasionally cheer for Chicago’s winning sports stars – the Bears, Bulls, Hawks, Sox and Cubs.
The Green Door staff is committed to making every visit memorable and to satisfy every hungry mouth that wanders in off Orleans Street . We hope you’ll agree that our pub is your home away from home – be it out of state, out of country, or just down the street.