BOOZE IS ROUTED WHEN WAR
COMES TO NORTH CLARK
Cabarets and Bars to Close Doors as the Cost Mounts.
North Clark street is dying — slowly dying. Jug and Jazz bands are blowing their last. The Tile bar cabaret goes out of existence at midnight tonight. The Casino cafélast nigh was dead. The only dancing women in the place were painted on the walls.
Cart loads of two and a half and three ounce whisky glasses were thrown into the discard last night, and the two ounce measures, fresh and new, took their place on the bars.
An inhabitant of the north side levee entered, tosses a quarter on a bar, and said, "Dry Martini." The bartender rung up 25 cents and gave no change. The visitor’s jaw dropped and he "took his medicine."
"Little Fellow" Must Go.
John Reeves, manager of the Casino, was moved to speech. He said:
"In thirty days these drinks will be three for a dollar. In another year there won’t be more than five saloons in the twenty blocks from the river to North avenue. The little fellows, who haven’t foreseen, who haven’t laid in stocks of whisky, will all go.
"Government tax is costing us 80 cents a quart, $3.20 a gallon, right now. We’ve got $10,000 worth of whisky in bond. On it we’ll have to pay $32,000 tax. The saloon business is wrecked. Of the 7,000 saloons in Chicago 6,000 would be out of business today if they had to pay all their bills and square up.
"We made $20,000 last year. They took our music away last week and the place is dead. If we cant get our music back —"
Cabaret Will Close Tonight
M. Frank, owner of the Tile Bar cabaret, said:
"Everything is high: liquor, food — all! Tomorrow night at midnight I close my cabaret. Ten entertainers will go. The boys are all gone to war. We can’t sell to anyone under draft age, and the fellows over 31 don’t go cabareting. Only the bare here will run. The caféwill become a quiet restaurant. I’m closing voluntarily."
At the Erie caféI. Silverstein was found seeing that the dancing kept "within the law." He said that the familiar old stein has vanished from Clark Street. Beer has gone up $1 a barrel.
"The price of all drinks have gone up," he said. "We’re just changing the prices today. If the war lasts two years, there won’t be any whisky drinkers any more. I guess it’s just as well."
Lease Changes Business
Morris Bloom, manager of the Royal café, brought out a set of architects plans. He had planned to branch out, grow bigger.
"I made a lease two months ago for ten years at $180 a month," he said. "I planned to spend $5,000 opening up larger rooms. The game is dead. I’ve got the lease on my hands. I guess it’s a barber shop and a cigar store for me. Business is half what it was. If the war lasts two years we’re all done for." A man entered the bar, laid 30 cents upon the polished mahogany, and said: "A half pint of whisky."
"It’s 40 cents today — the war tax — you know," said the bartender.
The man picked up his 30 cents and said:
"I’m done with drinking whiskey."
"Rooming Houses" Close.
At the East Chicago avenue police station it was said that 97 per cent of the "rooming houses," places of disguised vice, are for sale — going out of business.
A man reputed to have made a million in his dealings with the people of the underworld as it was tried to bail out a woman only two nights ago. The police yanked him in, spoke to him roughly, and demanded to know the part he played. This man was once a king in the bailiwick — told coppers, sergeants, lieutenants, and captains how to go about their way.
Lieut. William F. Shoemaker of the East Chicago avenue station last night raided a cabaret at 744 North Clark street, the headquarters of the old Ferndale club, and arrested three men and three girls, the latter being minors.