Paul Bunyan of Old Town

1355 N. Wells (1400N, 200W) Chicago, IL 60614 R.I.P.

I recently ran across a blurb on this thought provoking establishment that used to inhabit Chicago’s Old Town. If you know more about this place, please email us. In the meantime, head to Lincoln Tavern or The Lodge for all log cabin action in Chicago at present.

“Chicago’s biggest log cabin aggressively decorated in logging camp paraphernalia and subject to great swings in menu. One year the big specialty was pancakes and northern fried chicken; another year it was oysters, clams, shirmp—all you could eat. The food isn’t gourmet but you can’t go away hungry, and the prices are moderate. 11 AM to 2 AM.”

– Excerpt from Chicago, an Extraordinary Guide by Jory Graham (1967)

“I worked at a place called the Gazebo on Wells. It was next store to Bunyan’s – the hang out in those days were Mother Blues and Poor Richard’s.”

– D.E. (April 12, 2006)

“1355 N. Wells, once home to Paul Bunyon’s, later housed a gay club called Carol’s Speakeasy. That is where Jeffrey Dahmer picked up most of the young men he murdered. The space currently sits empty as the owner cannot rent it to anyone.”

– Rick Karlin, Chicago Free Press (June 1, 2009)

It’s not the bar, but the Paul Bunyan “tilted room” exhibit formerly shown at the Museum of Science and Industry (see below)

“Chicago: I swear the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago that used to have a room that slanted, and you were in a house, at tree level, and one window you could see Paul Bunyan’s right hand, one window you saw his head, and his eyes moved, and the other hand was in the other window…. [Daniel Hanna] The last time I was at the Museum of Science and Industry they still had the log cabin with Paul looking in the window. About an 8 foot diagonal face — the cabin was tilted like a mystery spot but the impression was that Paul had picked it up. [K. Bartlett-Sloan] The exhibit is long gone and was taken down in the 1970’s. It was there for many years in the wood exhibit area. Paul would tell tall tales and move his eyes. There were knot holes in the wall that one could peek in and see related Bunyan characters. Kids who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s will certainly remember this icon. [Mark Edwards]”

– Excerpt from