Not to be confused with the Lucky Lady in River North, Pullman’s Lucky Lady Pub was once one of the oldest pubs in the city. Unfortunately, like nearby Hotel Florence and its Brass Tapper Bar and the Pullman Pub, the Lucky Lady Pub is now closed.
The Lucky Lady Pub was described as a classic Chicago tavern, dating back to 1909, and was located opposite the McDonald’s at the corner of 115th Street and St. Lawrence Avenue. The two-story, orange brick building featured a glass block façade with tiny windows overlooking 115th. Because Pullman has been in decline ever since George M. Pullman died in 1897, almost 20 years after creating the company town bearing his name to staff his sleeper car factory, patrons were only admitted into the Lucky Lady after being buzzed in by the bartender (just like Johnnie’s Lounge today). The décor of the pub consisted of old photographs and memorabilia of the windy city. A diverse blue collar crowd would stop by after work for cheap selection of renowned sandwiches (especially the corned beef), pasta and chili and a small selection of brews, mainly domestics, at the long bar or at the cocktail tables. Video poker, pool and the White Sox on TV provided entertainment.
“Actually, the original name of this Schlitz tavern was the 580 Club. I know this to be true because it was my grandfather’s tavern and they lived above it. When my grandfather had the tavern, there was no McDonald’s across the street, it was a frozen custard stand and all of the patrons where either local tradesmen or worked at the Sherwin Williams paint factory across the street, or the Jays potato chip factory nearby. My grandmother worked in the kitchen cooking, and my brothers and I had the run of the place on Sundays, since the tavern was closed. My grandfather would get up every night at 2:00am and go downstairs into the tavern, open the door so the guys getting off the third shift could get a beer, a shot and a sandwich before going home. it was a neighborhood place, it was a good place.”– C.C. (October 7, 2010)
Not even its name could save it from demise as the Lucky Lady was closed a few years ago and remains vacant today. It seems that there is simply not enough business to be had from the struggling neighborhood of Pullman to keep a tavern open, as the Cal-Harbor Restaurant and Lounge is the only watering hole left in the area and it closes at 5:45pm daily. Perhaps Pullman was always meant to be a dry town as Pullman himself had originally desired, with the Brass Tapper Bar in the Hotel Florence only open to visitors and not his resident workers. Head over to the East Side or Hegewisch for a pint instead if you’re in the area.