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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Green Mill Reopens With New Outdoor Patio — But No Live Music

The legendary jazz club closed for the coronavirus shutdown, reopened in June, was forced to close in July and has now reopened with an outdoor patio.

The Green Mill's new patio is open for service starting Thursday, Sept. 3.
Facebook/Green Mill
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UPTOWN — Green Mill Cocktail Lounge — one of the city’s oldest establishments — is debuting a new feature Thursday: a sidewalk cafe.

The legendary jazz club at 4802 N. Broadway reopened 4 p.m. Thursday with patio service. It marks the second time Green Mill is reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like all other bars and music venues, the Green Mill closed in March for the city’s stay at home order. As business restrictions were lifted, the club reopened in late June, becoming one of the first entertainment venues to host live music following the lockdown.

That lasted for a month, as bars and vendors that do not serve food were forced to shut down indoor services in late July.

The Green Mill improvised once again and livestreamed concerts from the venue that fans could pay to view at home.

The venue once again will serve customers, this time on its new patio.

“It should be better than nothing,” owner Dave Jemilo said. “I’ll have two-to-three people working and some dough coming in. That’s a good thing.”

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The Green Mill in Uptown on the first day of Phase Four of reopening in Illinois on Friday, June 26, 2020.

There wont be any music on the patio, as an impromptu sidewalk concert the bar hosted earlier this summer drew reprimand from the city.

The patio should be able to seat 25 to 35 people. The Green Mill has partnered with Fiesta Mexicana to allow customers to order food from the neighboring restaurant, Jemilo said.

Jemilo said he understood there should be restrictions to help slow the coronavirus, but he felt the decision to close non-food serving establishments was arbitrary.

Plus, there are costs associated with closing and reopening — like replacing kegged beer — that can hurt already struggling businesses, Jemilo said.

“Bars with food, you can go and get snockered, and that’s OK,” he said. “But if I have music and tell people to whisper and keep their distance, that’s not OK. That’s not fair.”

The Green Mill opened in 1914 and originally included a large “sunken garden” that had seating for outdoor entertainment. An advertisement from the era calls it “the only real sunken gardens in America.”

The garden seating was removed in the 1920s to make way for the Uptown Theatre, according to reports.

The Green Mill will be open daily from 4-11 p.m.

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