Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Traveling In Style : Correspondents' Choice : Where They Lingered

October 16, 1994| Judy Pasternak | Chicago bureau

Even the famous have to rest their feet sometimes. Five Times correspondents from around the world reveal the favorite rest-stops, loitering places and relaxing haunts of celebrities of an earlier time.

ZAGORSKI'S RATHSKELLER, Chicago

To Nelson Algren, author of "A Walk on the Wild Side" and "The Man with the Golden Arm," Chicago was "the city on the make." From the 1930s through the 1960s, he trapped in gritty prose its petty thieves, addicts, whores and gamblers. Nearly all of his characters were barflies, too, swilling Old Fitz or dime beers to fuel their adventures and ease their inevitable encounters with cruel cops and judges. They frequented joints like the real-life Zagorski's Rathskeller, owned by the lively--and, local lore has it, possibly male--Lottie Zagorski. Algren was a regular here, and everything that could happen in a tavern did: basement stripteases, betting on horses, all-night poker and (this is Chicago, after all) payoffs out the side door to the sergeant's "pension fund."

These days, Zagorski's is known as Lottie's Pub, in tribute to its founder. The Bucktown neighborhood is a mix of Polish old-timers, Latino immigrants, artists and the first wave of a yuppie invasion advancing west from the lakefront. The original mahogany bar accommodates them all. A photo of Lottie, in a floral print dress with one meaty fist clenched, hangs above the juke, as Algren called it. Coins can summon music by Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Barry White and Mr. Blotto. Excellent burgers are served, along with trendy beers like Samuel Adams and Bass Ale. There is no nod at all to Algren. "Who?" asked the bartender.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|