‘Alley saloons’

In a 1922 column, Illinois State Journal writer John E. Vaughn explained why many saloons in 19th-century Springfield were located in alleys. See The Sazarac.

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4 Responses to ‘Alley saloons’

  1. Al Farmer says:

    My Grandma cooked at the Sazarac from about 1955 to 1961, when she retired. She brought her wonderful homemade Springfield Chilli there that she had also cooked at the North Grand Club, post-WWII for a few years. She and my Dad also marketed it in frozen loaf-pan-size bricks to local taverns to use on their steam tables and lunches.

    My question is this: In my high school years [1963-1966], I boxed Golden Gloves [not very successfully]. Don Dyke, who had the barber shop at the entrance to the old State Theater on Washington, was our coach.

    Our gym was downstairs of a pool hall in what what I think was the 400 block of E. Washington, up from Broadwell’s. Behind our sparring ring was a locked door with a two-way glass. The room behind there was filled with gambling equipment, including some slots, Craps tables, Roulette wheels, card tables, etc.

    I think I have the location right: North side of Washington St., the block across Washington from Myers Brothers building. The pool hall ‘might’ have been named Carl’s, although I think that might have just been the name of the manager.

    The downstairs alley door also had a ‘speakeasy’ type door with a peep-hole, so this leads me to wonder if maybe it was another of the alley saloons, back in the day?

    • editor says:

      Al: I remember playing pool once in that pool hall about the same time you were boxing there. Don’t remember the name, and I knew nothing about any back room. What I do remember was a girl pool player — younger than me and my friends, which would have made her 13 or so; she wore a snap-brim fedora and would have cleaned any of our clocks at 8-ball. And I also remember seeing a kid running hell-for-leather in the door of the pool room and out the back, followed by a fat cop tearing after him. Looked like the kid was going to win that race. An interesting joint. … Thanks for the memory.

  2. Bill Secker says:

    This pool hall was the M and M pool hall owned by the Hornstein family.

    Bill Secker

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