Crystal Pistol – Chicago, Illinois


1452 N. Wells – Chicago – WH 4-9231
Western Style Steak, home-made Chili, Steer Berger, Served by Our Pistol Packin Mamas! Featuring Largest Stein in Old Town – 12 oz.
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The Crystal Pistol opened sometime in the 1960s as a sort of Old West burlesque saloon in the middle of Old Town Chicago. Enticing customers with swinging doors and go-go dancers in the windows, the Crystal Pistol served up stiff drinks and bawdy nightlife.

Chicago Tribune – April 25, 1973

The atmosphere would change in 1973, as the Crystal Pistol and 13 other establishments in Old town were raided and charge with illegal solicitation of drinks and/or keeping a disorderly house.


The Crystal Pistol didn’t last much longer. The best I can figure is that the raid, combined with changing tastes were the causes of death.

2 thoughts on “Crystal Pistol – Chicago, Illinois

  1. Thanks for posting this story and the postcard pic of the Pistol. It was my grandparent’s place. I knew nothing of the raids, but my grandfather passed in 1972, and grandmother moved down to Florida… and continued running their strip club in the Miami area for several more years 🙂

    1. Michael, you might want to check out fireplace inn. They essentially have a tribute to the Crystal Pistol in the bar now.

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