NOTE: The rumor of Elliott's Pine Log being a speakeasy, as stated on numerous websites online is false. Prohibition began in 1920 and ended on December 5, 1933. Elliott's Pine Log Restaurant and Lounge opened in 1939, six years after the end of prohibition. As rumor has it the speakeasy was really the "Morton House Restaurant" 8509 Railroad Avenue, Morton Grove, Illinois, destroyed by fire on January 2, 1954."
It was hard to believe you were in Skokie as it felt more like you were in a Wisconsin country inn or a Swiss Alps Chalet.
Adjacent to it was the "Keyhole Bar" with a sunken cocktail lounge with a raised wood-burning hearth. On Friday and Saturday nights, there was a piano player who would play your requests.
|Elliott's Pine Log Restaurant had the best-roasted duck, which I personally ordered every time I ate there.|
As it turns out, the total loss was $250,000. Chris Elliott told the Skokie News, " I don't know who released the earlier estimates of damages, 'around $100,000,' but I know that whoever it was never had the pleasure of eating in my restaurant." Fireman Jerome Burke and Robert Kutz receive awards for saving two firemen at the Elliot’s Pine Log Restaurant fire in 1956.
As the neighborhood changed in the 1980s, business dropped off, and the Pine Log was closed. There was a public auction held of all the restaurant's equipment, fixtures, antiques, collectibles, seating, etc., in Chicago on June 25, 1988.
|Classified Ad, Chicago Tribune, June 19, 1988|
WAS THE PINE LOG A SPEAKEASY?
The "Morton House" Restaurant (est.1869) at 8509 Railroad Avenue in Morton Grove, Illinois, was reported to be a speakeasy during prohibition. Click the link to find out. This building was destroyed by fire in 1954." The Morton House was rebuilt. (Article)
So, Jack Silverman writes this comment in a Skokie, Illinois, Facebook group when I posted this article in that group:
COMMENT POSTED TO SILVERMAN: "If his aunt was asked to leave it may be because of the way she was dressed. Elliott's had a dress code back then. She could have had too much to drink and was asked to leave because she was intoxicated. Perhaps she was embarrassed that she got asked to leave and played 'the Jew card.' But I can assure you that her getting booted, if true, had nothing to do with being Jewish!!!" (11/16/2020)
I loved the Pine Log so much that I recreated my favorite logo of Elliott's Pine Log Restaurant and Lounge. This is my 15oz mug. It's quality, heavy, and the printing doesn't wash off or fade, even after 5 years of dishwasher sterilization with high-heat drying. Many mug styles and colors to choose from and other items.