Marengo Parade Speakeasy Floats Bring Back Memories with Political Aspects from a Chicago College Bartender

Posted as a comment under the second Marengo Settlers Days Parade article by AJ:

606 Club

How about a ‘Speakeasy’ themed story from the old days?

Gather round kids and I’ll tell a story, from my heady days of bartending in the old Rush Street area, as a poor student living in Chicago.

A tale I heard several times, was this Speakeasy on Wabash that was converted to one of the bawdy clubs 50’s Chicago was famous for.

Now Chicago was a destination for Conventions and were even a big deal when I bartended, but it wasn’t McCormick Place and Hotels that attracted the Conventions, it was the ‘nightlife’ and it’s ‘chrome pole circuit’.

Said converted Speakeasy was the 606 Club owned by some Dem apparatchik, later convicted of Voter Fraud, but was still able to keep his clubhouse for his Dem pals.

From the June 16, 2005, Chicago Tribune story on the 606 Club comes this photo with the description, “Louis Nathan, right, owner of the 606 Club, and Gaetano Alviti, manager of the 606 Club, leave a federal courtroom on Jan. 18, 1956 after receiving prison sentences in a vote fraud case.”

It’s supposed to be the site as the story goes, where a young Mass. Pol named Jack Kennedy and one of those Daley fellows, hatched their plan to ‘deliver’ enough Chicago votes for the 60 Election.

True?

Who knows.

But it came from several ‘reliable’ drunken sources that I attended, in several old-timey walks of life.

Too add a sidebar, a young publisher who frequented the 606, used it as his template for his new club he opened in 60 called the Playboy Club.


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