Billy Goat Tavern Archive

“Butt in Anytime”

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Lincoln Tavern

The Lincoln Tavern was Billy Goat Sianis’s first bar and predecessor to the Billy Goat Tavern. Sianis paid his first tavern with the proceeds from opening weekend and it was here that the original billy goat “Murphy” (simply labeled “Billy” in the photo) stumbled in and met his new master.


In the photo above, Billy Goat Sianis can be seen pouring a bottle of Blatz into the mouth of Murphy. You can see that the thirsty goat missed nary a drop. According to Bill Sianis, present day manager of the tavern and great nephew to Billy Goat Sianis, “That goat loved to drink.”

The Mascot

Standing in front of Billy Goat Sianis is one of Murphy’s descendants strapped to a ceremonial Warren Avenue 27th District wagon, perfectly sized for a billy goat, presumably in yet another one of Sianis’s publicity stunts.


Upon the passing of Billy Goat Sianis, the tradition lives on with Sam Sianis, nephew to Billy Goat Sianis, seen here in his younger days at the bar of the current Billy Goat Tavern along with one of Socrates’s descendants.

The Man, The Legend
Seen here in his later years, William “Billy Goat” Sianis is where the Legend of the Billy Goat begins. While causing heartache for Chicago Cub fans for almost 60 years, the originator of the “Billy Goat Curse” was also referred to as, “the city’s greatest tavern keeper,” according to infamous Chicago columnist Mike Royko.