Under the current proposal, the business would offer gaming options.
By Amie Schaenzer
The supposed hideout for Al Capone in the 1920s in St. Charles could soon reopen as a bar and restaurant if Kane County approves a proposal by two restaurateurs, the Elgin Courier News reports.
The former Al Capone Hideaway, at 35w337 Riverside Drive in St. Charles Township, closed after 38 years of business in 2012, according to the article.
Jeremy and Nicholas Casiello, owners of Alley 64 in St. Charles and Dam Bar and Grill in Geneva, are seeking zoning approval to reopen the location as Hideaway 64 with a liquor license and gaming options, the newspaper reports.
Neighbors living in the surrounding unincorporated Valley View subdivision do not support the proposal and are worried about public safety, increased traffic, noise and a 2 a.m. closing time, according to the Elgin Courier-News.
The issues surrounding the barn-like structure re-opening as a restaurant and bar got a recent mention in a Curbed Chicago article.
“Perhaps the new Al Capone-themed restaurant will be true to the Prohibition era and only serve near beer,” according to Curbed Chicago.
Kern/Action Reporter Media
This Pub & Grub story is printed in the Action Sunday West on May 31, Action Advertiser on June 3 and The Reporter on June 4, see the print edition for coupons and news on local bars and restaurants
Big Al Capone’s, present day.(Photo: Taima Kern/Action Reporter Media)Buy Photo
The former hotel is said to be one of Al Capone's stops on business trips between northern Wisconsin and Chicago
Built in 1846, two years before Wisconsin achieved statehood, the former Stage Coach Inn and Fuhrman Hotel sits on the corner of Highway 151 and Count Trunk W in Pipe, as well as on the State Historical Registry, and presently houses two tenants, a pair of ghosts and one Big Al Capone's bar and restaurant.
Owned for the past five years by Annie and John Schmitz, former owners of Schmitty's Oar House, the building underwent only internal renovations, remaining recognizable when compared to a number of historical photos.
John said he bought the building to "finish the project that others had started" after he sold Schmitty's. He said that the building had stood empty for too many years and he wanted to do something with it. The first floor houses the restaurant and bar, the second floor has two apartments and the office space for the restaurant, and the third floor, Annie says, is left for the ghost.
"People in the community still say that they see her and a little boy beside her in the windows when they're driving past at two or three in the morning," said Annie.
Decorated with a definite gangster theme, a wax figure of Al Capone himself presides over a portion of the dining room and bar, seated beside half of a shot-up 1947 Chevy, representing the year he died. The former hotel is said to be one of Capone's stops on business trips between northern Wisconsin and Chicago.
Along the walls hang a wide variety of memorabilia, everything from an enlarged photo of Frank Sinatra's first mug shot to a collection of local historical photos of the Pipe/Malone area. In the back dining room, which was built in the 1950s, John has collected décor for a '50s theme.
Capone's serves pizza, paninis, hand-pressed burgers, pasta and sandwiches, as well as a Friday night fish fry, and boasts a full-service bar. It also offers a large back porch for the summer months, with a separate fully stocked bar.
On most Saturdays, Big Al Capone's is graced by a variety of county and rock 'n' roll musical acts, performing with no cover charge. On Packers, Brewers and Badgers game days, the bar takes on a sports swing and entertains guests with the TVs turned on.
Big Al Capone's also can be rented for private parties.
For more information, you can visit Facebook.com/BigAlCapones or caponesofpipe.com. The restaurant and bar is located at N10302 Highway 151 in Malone (Pipe) and can be reached at (920) 795-4140. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Taima Kern can be reached at email@example.com, (920) 907-7819; on Twitter @TaimaKern.
He survived the toughest gangland days in Chicago and a stint in Alcatraz for tax evasion but notorious mob boss Al Capone couldn't escape the ravages of dementia and syphilis that left him prone to violent outbursts.
Medical records and letters documenting the final years of the tough gangster boss who didn't give a second thought to killing rivals, offer an insight into the sad demise of the infamous Chicago mobster as he descended into dementia and violent outbursts caused by syphilis.
In it, Moore suggests Capone's family hire a male nurse posing as a chauffeur to protect the public from the gangster's violent outbursts caused by his dementia.
'If, by any chance, Mr Capone makes an unprovoked attack upon a stranger, he is very likely to find himself in court for disturbing the peace and, as a result of that, to be recognized insane by the judge and to be committed to a Florida psychiatric hospital,' Moore wrote in 1941.
Moore said treatment had increased Capone's mental and intelligence quotient from that of a seven-year-old to that of a 14-year-old.
'However he is still silly, childish and mentally deteriorated,' Moore told Phillips.
Moore treated Capone for several years after he was released from prison in 1939, after serving nearly eight years for tax evasion and bootlegging.
Phillips cared for him for the remainder of his life. According to the medical charts and physicians' letters, Capone became 'recognizably insane' near the end of his stint in Alcatraz prison.
In a letter to Phillips in 1941, Capone asks about the doctor's family before requesting more 'of them red pills for bowels movement'.
The Chicago Tribune and other media often reminisce about the past history of the mob and Chicagoland, regaling in stories about mob influence in communities like Melrose Park, Cicero, Oak Brook and so many others. But you rarely read a story in the Tribune about its own ties to the Chicago Outfit. And those ties ran deep.
By Ray Hanania
The legendary mobster Al Capone was sent away to an 11 year prison incarceration in May of 1932 after a long battle with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and special agents who had been involved in fighting the sale of alcohol in violation of prohibition laws.
Capone was charged with income tax evasion following an investigation by the IRS, ironically the same year that prohibition was ended. He was paroled and released from prison on Nov. 16, 1939, but he spent the remaining years battling his disease, dying on January 25, 1947.
Capone’s mob influence ended with his jailing and his physical ailments. But despite Capones incarceration in 1932 and his death in 1947, the Chicago Tribune and other media have continued to publish stories about Capone’s ties to suburban communities back in the 1920s.
Nearly 100 years after Capone’s fall, the news media continues to hold Capone up as a symbol to imply government corruption lingering in many suburbs. But what the news media doesn’t like to discuss is its own ties to Organized Crime that surpassed the crimes of even Al Capone.
About a year before Capone was sent to the hoosegow, the Chicago Tribune’s pre-eminent crime beat reporter, Alfred “Jake” Lingle Jr., was just enjoying what he thought would be another leisurely stroll to the Illinois Central (IC) terminal at Randolph Street downtown.
Al Capone’s reign as a mobster ended in 1930 and he was sent to jail in 1932. At the same time, Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle was murdered in 1930 and pulled the covers off of his close ties to Chicago’s Organized Crime. So why does the Tribune spend so much time writing about Al Capone and so little time exploring their own mobster connections?
Lingle had much to celebrate. He had just left the old Sherman House Hotel where he had received some inside racing tips from his mobster pals about horses at Homewood, a racetrack that had opened only a few years early at 17800 S. Halsted Street. The Homewood racetrack was popular through 1977 until it burned down in a fire.
But Lingle wasn’t think about the historic racetrack, where he would often consort with prostitutes and spend the late afternoon and evening boozing it up with bookies and bagmen he knew from Chicago’s seedy streets. It was his favorite place to go. The racetrack opened in 1926 the day after his birthday on July 2, and Lingle would often brag to his journalism colleagues that the track was built as a present just for him.
He’d go there often. And he had a lot of cash to burn on horse racing longshots. Although he only earned $65 a week in salary from the Chicago Tribune, clearing about $48 a week, Lingle enjoyed a disclosed annual income of more than $60,000 and some speculated even more that was not reported to the IRS.
[Editor’s Note: $60,000 in 1930 is the equivalent of just over $840,000 in today’s dollars.]
On June 9, 1930, as Lingle walked down the marbled staircase into the station, two men, one of whom described as a tall blond haired thug, raised a .38 calibre handgun to the back of Lingle’s head and blew his brains out along the foyer’s walls.
Some argue that Lingle technically was not a true reporter, but more of a “legman,” someone who “found” stories for the Tribune editors who assigned them to writers. But it was Lingle’s reporting that was carried in the newspaper articles that carried his byline and the byline often of another crime writer. Lingle would call in his stories by telephone and they were published as he reported the information to the desk.
Lingle’s killing was reportedly ordered by Al Capone, but the truth may be that Lingle had abandoned Capone when the heat increased and he began working for Bugs Moran. Although police questioned 664 suspects — more suspects questioned than in any previous murder at the time in part because of the heightened attention Lingle’s career as a journalist had raised among an outraged public — the culprit who ordered the hit was Moran’s “greaser” Jack Zuta — a “greaser” was someone who handed out money or “greased” the palms of sources for information or favors.
Several of Zuta’s colleagues were in the station when the Chicago Tribune’s celebrated crime writer had been gunned down in front of a dozen witnesses.
Zuta fled to Wisconsin to a resort lodge that was also a frequent host to several close associates of Chicago Tribune owner Col. Robert Rutherford McCormick. McCormick was a crusading publisher when it came to international affairs and championed wars and warriors internationally. But he coveted the power of his newspaper base in Chicago and exploited reporters like Lingle, who used his ties to muscle competition from stories and popular newsstand locations.
The Zuta-Lingle connection was ironic. Zuta was Jewish and so was Lingle, until he converted to Catholicism to strengthen his ties to the mainly Catholic mafiosa in Chicago.
It’s not a story the Tribune likes to showcase. In fact, so little has been written about the seedy years of Chicago’s largest and longest surviving daily print publication or the longstanding ties that the Chicago Outfit had with some journalists over the years.
But the Lingle connection to mobster corruption peeled back a little of the onion skin that supplied the mettle to the true face of Chicago’s journalism history.
Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.
His personal website is www.TheMediaOasis.com. Email him at: RayHanania@IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.
March 11, 2015 — Before a young Al Capone packed his bags and headed to the Windy City to make a name for himself in Chicago's organized crime circuit, he cut his teeth in Brooklyn, where he was born and bred. Capone and his family lived at 21 Garfield Place. He would go across the street to the poolroom at 20 Garfield Place, where his dad taught him how to play. That building still stands today, but not for long. DNAinfo reports that "plans are underway to build a four-story, eight-unit apartment building with a penthouse on Garfield Place between Fourth and Fifth avenues." Yep, we're losing another colorful piece of New York history, even if it’s a little notorious, because the buildings at 20 Garfield Place as well as 18 Garfield Place are going to be demolished to make way for the condo project. DNAinfo references an urban legend that claims Capone hid "riches inside the walls of one of his homes on the block." Nothing's ever come of it, but on the off chance no one has checked the poolroom, well, the demolition crew may have a shot at finding a nice surprise! Who doesn't love a bit of treasure?
Al Capone Hangout To Be Replaced by Condos
By Leslie Albrecht
PARK SLOPE — A Garfield Place condo development will knock down a building where notorious gangster Al Capone hung out as a young man.
Plans are underway to build a four-story, eight-unit apartment building with a penthouse on Garfield Place between Fourth and Fifth avenues. The project will demolish 18 Garfield Place and 20 Garfield Place, which was once a poolroom frequented by Capone, according to biographies of the Prohibition era's "Public Enemy No. 1."
Developer Farhad Bokhour, who filed permits for the project this week, said he knew of the Capone connection and joked that "Al Capone Condos" could be a fitting name for the development.
“Do you think we could get more money by connecting Al Capone to the project?” Bokhour asked with a laugh. "Maybe people can play pool with his ghost."
Though he was known as a Chicago organized crime figure, Capone was born in Brooklyn in 1899 and spent his formative years in the neighborhood. His family was among the waves of Italian immigrants who came to America to make a better life, said biographer Laurence Bergreen, author of "Capone: The Man and the Era."
The poolroom at 20 Garfield Place was a haunt of Capone's because his family lived across the street, at 21 Garfield Place. The Capones also resided at 46 Garfield Place, and, as a family of eight, they crammed into the second floor of a "cold-water tenement" at 38 Garfield, according to "Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone" by John Kobler.
Though the future bootlegger ran with street gangs such as the South Brooklyn Rippers and Five Points Juniors, his evolution into Scarface wasn't inevitable, Bergreen said.
“He was not a boy criminal or part of a crime dynasty or anything like it,” Bergreen told DNAinfo New York. “His family was honest and hardworking. It wasn’t like a 'Godfather' movie where you’re born into this tradition.”
Capone went to school at nearby P.S. 133, at Fourth Avenue and Butler Street, and earned B's until the sixth grade, when his academic performance and attendance plummeted so much that he was forced to repeat the grade. After a teacher hit him — corporal punishment was then a common occurrence at P.S. 133, Bergreen wrote — Capone fought back and landed in the principal's office.
The principal beat him too.
"Afterward, the boy vowed never to return to P.S. 133, and he never did,” according to Bergreen’s book.
Capone's father, Gabriele, played pool at the 20 Garfield Place club, and taught young Alphonse the game. Al eventually became a "neighborhood champion," Kobler wrote. The spot later played a pivotal role in young Capone's life. In 1920, Gabriele Capone collapsed in the poolroom after suffering a heart attack. He was carried to 38 Garfield, where he died. The loss may have helped propel Capone on the road to crime, Bergreen wrote.
Capone had so many connections to Garfield Place that an urban myth persisted for years about the gangster stashing some of his riches inside the walls of one of his homes on the block, Bergreen said.
“People were going back there to try to find it,” Bergreen said. “I got asked about it several times. [But] Capone lived there when he was a kid, before he had any riches.”
If it turns out Capone hid any ill-gotten gains inside his old poolroom, Bokhour isn't hopeful about finding the hidden treasure.
“If anybody is going to find anything, it’s going to be the demolition people, and they probably wouldn’t give it to us,” Bokhour said.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the location of the former pool hall is within the area generally regarded as Park Slope.
Condos Shall Eat Up Mobster Al Capone's Childhood Pool Hall
Hana R. Alberts
Chicago's most famous gangster, Al Capone, spent his earliest years on the streets of Gowanus. Along with his Italian-immigrant family, he lived in a few different places along Garfield Place, including No. 21. (It was up for sale in 2006.) Across the street at No. 20, according to author Troy Taylor, was a poolroom "where Capone and his father both played and Al became the neighborhood champion." Fast forward about a century. Now that quaint clapboard building, along with its neighbor No. 18, will be demolished to make way for a new batch o' condos.
Of coruse, the developer hopes it will help sales
The new building will is slated to rise four stories and have eight units. Developer Farhad Bokhour says he knows about the Capone connection. Naturally he hopes it'll help sell the apartments.
Developer Farhad Bokhour, who filed permits for the project this week, said he knew of the Capone connection and joked that "Al Capone Condos" could be a fitting name for the development.
"Do you think we could get more money by connecting Al Capone to the project?" he told DNAinfo. "Maybe people can play pool with his ghost."Bokhour also joked about calling them the Al Capone Condos. Please don't.
Travelling from the Friendly City to Chicago, Riess and her crew of six rode the same railway line Capone would have taken in the 1920s if he was an actual bootlegger smuggling alcohol into America during prohibition.
The director and producer of the film, Finding Al - A Documentary, talked to people in the towns along the railway line and was shocked with the stories she heard.
"I was expecting small stories to pop up like Capone getting his haircut in Moose Jaw. There were stories like that circulating, but then stories started coming out of other places in the province," said Riess.
"There might have been this triangle where he was working in the prairies from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw to Estevan."
The most shocking story Riess discovered was about a Moose Jaw woman who once dated Capone and possibly bore his child.
"She was living in Moose Jaw and she decided she wanted to be a dancing girl. Kind of like a Vegas showgirl, but in Chicago. According to the woman's family story, she moved to Chicago and started dating him."
The director worked with a genealogist to prove the validity of claims and has spent countless hours going through archives and reading books. She even interviewed Capone's family.
"A lot of times there are truth to these stories," said Riess. "The thing is, nobody has ever looked beyond Moose Jaw before and now we have all these stories coming forward of Capone being all over Saskatchewan and there does seem to be some truth to them."
Riess hasn't been able to find hard evidence, like a photo, but then again, he was a wanted criminal during his bootlegging days.
"He was a gangster and he wouldn't be announcing the fact that he was here. Without these photos, there will never be 100 per cent certainty. The more I've been working on this and the more research I've done, I definitely believe he had a strong business connection with Saskatchewan and it is likely he would have come here to meet his business partners."
Production of Finding Al - A Documentary is currently wrapping up and will air on CBC this summer. An extended cut version will also be available on Video On Demand.
In addition, a special screening will be shown in Moose Jaw including a Q&A session with the director.
To view the trailer of the upcoming documentary go to www.findingaldocumentary.com.
Mickey Djuric can be reached at 306-691-1263 or on Twitter @MickeyDjuric