Established in 1885, Marge’s Still is one of the oldest running taverns in Chicago. In its earliest days, Marge’s was called “Victor Caruso’s Soft Drinks” but trust us, there was nothing soft about these drinks. This combination barber shop and corner saloon became infamous during the prohibition era as a speakeasy, where the neighborhood came together over a love of, well, drinking.
Patrons would enter through the side staircase which can still be seen right outside, along with the original wooden bar, at Marge's today. Not only did Caruso's provide spirits and great company, they actually distilled and fermented their own gin in a bathtub on the second floor. This practice was even continued by Marge later on when she purchased the establishment.
In 1957, Marge Landeck took ownership of the bar, becoming the first woman in the city of Chicago to obtain a liquor license.
As a beloved resident and business owner in Old Town, Marge's passion for bringing people together created an undeniable impact on her community. After her passing in 2001, her children inherited the bar, and in 2004, the current owners invested in this neighborhood gem. Inspired by the incredible story behind the bar, they set out to restore the bar to its former glory. Honoring the late Marge with the name "Marge's Still", serving prohibition themed cocktails, and introducing a delicious menu of elevated pub food, we are celebrating the memories made in this historic space, while bringing it into the modern era.
The woman, the myth, the legend
Marge was always said to be a tough cookie on the outside, but warm and friendly on the inside. as the first female owner of a Chicago liquor license, she was a motivated, no-nonsense woman who knew what she wanted, and got it. It wouldn't be a shock to see Marge throwing fully grown men out of her bar if she thought they were too intoxicated. She wasn't only the owner, she was the bartender, bouncer, and waitress too when duty called. Marge's passion for her community inspired her to create an environment where everyone was welcome, and good times could be had by all.