Anyone who’s lived in Chicago long enough has definitely felt the heartbreak that occurs when a much-loved institution unexpectedly closes down (not just Hot Doug's). For better or for worse, the city is constantly evolving, and along the way we’ve had to bid adieu to some pretty damn important spots, including legendary jazz clubs and the world's biggest outdoor market. All of which make us wish someone would hurry up and invent a time machine ASAP (not just to change the outcome of a Blues/Blackhawks series).
The club that epitomized Golden Age entertainment.
While many establishments call themselves “world famous,” Chez Paree truly was. From 1938 to 1960, the club attracted both Chicago and Hollywood elite as guests. Peggy Schatz, wife of one of the club’s owners, described Chez Paree as “filled with the young, the old, the glamorous, the overdone, socialites, [and] wise guys” donned in “sparkling adornments, stunning couture, beautiful furs draped over the backs of chairs, and gold-and-jeweled cuff links.” During its 22-year run, some of the world’s greatest musicians, comedians, and performers graced Chez Paree’s stage, including Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Bob Hope, and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few, and many of the shows were broadcast live nationwide via radio. While Chez Paree closed its doors in 1960, the building has remained in the Schatz family. In a nod to its iconic past, the building now houses an event space called Chez and features an outdoor mural depicting Jimmy Durante performing at Chez Paree.
The legendary record company that shaped rock and roll history.
While you’re undoubtedly familiar with Rolling Stones songs such as "Gimme Shelter" and "Satisfaction," you may not be familiar with their 1964 song "2120 South Michigan Avenue," a reference to the address of the legendary Chicago-based record company Chess Records. The company not only launched the careers of Muddy Waters, Etta James, and Chuck Berry, but also played a key role in shaping the sound of rock 'n' roll. In fact, many songs recorded at Chess Records were reproduced by the Beatles, Eric Clapton, and the Beach Boys. In 2008, the story of Leonard Chess was shared in the musical biopic Cadillac Records.