Step High, Stoop Low, Leave Your Dignity Outside: Entrance to the Dill Pickle Club, 18 Tooker Alley

Dill Pickle Club Records, Box 2, Folder 32, Newberry Library.

Among Chicago's most unusual contributions to the culture of modern urban life was the Dill Pickle Club, located at 18 Tooker Alley just east of Bughouse Square. Operating as a coffeehouse, art gallery, and speakeasy, “The Pickle” welcomed hoboes, prostitutes, professors, and every variety of nonconformist passing through Chicago. The club hosted weekend jazz dance parties and little theater productions of Strindberg, Ibsen, O'Neill, and local playwrights. It hosted serious lectures by university professors and spoof debates staged for pure entertainment. In its early years, the Pickle was a meeting place for some of Chicago's most famous authors, intellectuals, and radicals, including Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, Floyd Dell, Clarence Darrow, Ben Reitman, Lucy Parsons, Ralph Chaplin, Ben Hecht, Harriet Monroe, and Vachel Lindsay.

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