Shootout at the Northern Lights

Dorothy Kester, showgirl at the Northern Lights.

During Prohibition, Chicago was filled with mob-driven violence.  No one was exempt from getting in the line of fire, including Club Alabam founder Dan Blanco.

In 1924, Blanco was the proprietor of a Chicago roadhouse called Northern Lights, a “gangster friendly” café. One muggy summer night it became a crime scene.

Johnny Phillips, a classic puck, roughed up one of the showgirls, Dorothy Kester. The police were summoned.  Shooting ensued.  Phillips was killed and a policeman injured.

None of this was good for business and the officials put a padlock on Northern Lights. Remarkably, Dan Blanco escaped with his reputation intact.

Eager to read the full story?  It’s detailed in my newest book, The Blackest Sheep.


If you enjoy local history, especially the world of entertainment, follow me at or on the Facebook page: The Blackest Sheep.

The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris and Chicago’s Club Alabam is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online bookstores.

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