Chicago’s Chez Paree

Chicago’s Chez Paree.

Over the decades, Gene Harris’ Club Alabam had plenty of competition, however, many of Chicago’s nightclubs, such as Chez Paree, drew a different kind of clientele. Located at 610 N. Fairbanks Court, in contrast to Rush Street’s gritty atmosphere, it was a glamorous nightclub, featuring a chorus line of Chez Paree Adorables; cigarette girls who also carried cameras to snap pictures of the patrons enjoying a night on the town; and irresistible dice girls.

Mike Fritzel (known as the “Dean of Chicago nightclub proprietors”) opened Chez Paree in December of 1932.  It operated until 1960, booking big names such as Louis Armstrong, the Andrews Sisters, Danny Thomas, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Tony Bennett.

The establishment included a Key Club located behind the bandstand which required an actual key if a customer wanted access to the back room.


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