Club Alabam, 747 Rush Street

Club Alabam Matchbook. “Dine and Dance.”

Club Alabam was a Rush Street favorite from 1927 until Gene Harris’ death in 1964.

Proprietors Dan Blanco and Gene Harris knew how to adjust to changing tastes in food, as well as entertainment.  From cheap Chinese cuisine to fried chicken and waffles to gourmet dining — the variable menu satisfied conventioneers and Chicago regulars alike.

In 1931, John Drury highlighted the club as a late-night hot spot in his Dining in Chicago:

CLUB ALABAM, 747 Rush Street: More dusk to dawn diversion on the near north side. Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was a big drawing card when she was here recently. Dan Blanco is host, Slater Brockman does the mastering, and Willie Newberger’s orchestra furnishes the music—which, by the by, is nothing if not “hot.” Floor shows and vaudeville entertainers and Chinese and Southern dishes—what a combination. Cover charge, $1.00. Delaware 0808.


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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.