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Lincoln Hall, Chicago

#65 of 158 in Nightlife in Chicago
Theater · Concert / Show
Lincoln Hall:

Located at 2424 N Lincoln Avenue, the building which houses Lincoln Hall first opened in 1912 as the Fullerton Theatre, a nickelodeon. Since then, the building has housed a garage and machine shop, the Crest Theatre and, most recently, the 3 Penny Cinema. In 1934, FBI sharpshooters were stationed atop what is now Lincoln Hall to prevent John Dillinger's escape from the Biograph Theatre across the street on the night he was killed. After 20 years as owner/operators of Schubas Tavern at 3159 N. Southport in Chicago, Mike and Chris Schuba opened Lincoln Hall in this historic building. “We’ve been looking three years for a building that would create a human-scale, intimate experience where we can put the music first,” said Chris Schuba in 2009 as he walked the dust-covered mezzanine while construction workers welded, sawed and hammered around him. (Greg Kot, 8/5/2009)


The building that houses Schubas Tavern is a brick and masonry neo-Gothic treasure that's been a Lake View neighborhood landmark for 100 years. Built in 1903 as part of a project undertaken by the Schlitz Brewery, the building was one of hundreds erected at the turn of the century. This project included structures housing everything from corner taps to opulent hotels, and stretched from Minneapolis through Wisconsin to the far reaches of Chicago's Pullman district.

Schubas remains one of a handful of these elegant buildings still operating as a saloon. In 1988 Chris and Michael Schuba bought the building, and set upon refurbishing it to its original glory. This extensive renovation included restoring the 30' Brunswick mahogany bar, tin ceilings and walnut wainscotting in the bar room, and a full makeover of the back music hall. The ornate exterior, featuring two-toned herringbone patterned brickwork, copper parapets and cornice caps and two Schlitz globe logos in terra cotta bas relief, has been carefully cleaned and restored. Several years ago the second floor saloon-keeper's flat was changed to an elegant private banquet facility, complete with its own mahogany bar.

Completing this renovation in 1997 was the expansion of Schubas' dining operation into the building next door. A full-service kitchen and an adjacent 80-seat dining room make up the Harmony Grill. This addition offers an expanded selection of Schubas' signature home-cooked American regional cuisine and seasonal specials. Good weather permits us to open up the dining room onto a sidewalk cafe on Southport.

In August of 2011, Schubas was designated a Chicago Historic Landmark as a result of its history as a Schlitz Tied House.
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Lincoln Hall reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
42 reviews
  • Just recently came here to see Ali Gatie perform! The venue itself seemed very spacious for the amount of people there. There was enough room to not feel cramped or stuck in one spot during the...  more »
  • We saw Billy Bragg at this venue. It’s small and intimate with great acoustics. They have acoustical lining in the ceiling. There is seating on the 2nd floor as well as a bar and bathrooms. The....  more »
  • It's a good venue. I went for both a concert and a comedy show. The sound on both was good and the view was good from everywhere in the room. Reasonably priced drinks and nice bartenders. It's small though so be prepared to pack in a bit but I'd definitely go see a show again.
  • Absolutely fantastic venue. They always have great beer, great atmosphere, and great artists. It's the perfect size for a lot of mid-to-large musicians and front bar design makes it easier to wait for doors. Haven't had a bad doors yet.

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