Jillys Piano Bar
"An Italian Night Out"


At times I venture off into Chicago’s nightlife to see old friends I’ve worked with throughout the years down on Rush Street. I stopped by the infamous Jilly's Piano Bar, across from Gibson’s Steakhouse among other great places. I worked for the Jilly’s organization for many years and I was wondering how the place has changed since I left, so as long as I was out I decided to stop by to see the place.

For those of you not familiar with Jilly’s let me give you a little history. Jilly Rizzo was Frank Sinatra’s best friend and a friend of Nick Caruso Sr., who founded Jilly’s on May 6, 1995. Uncle Nick, as we affectionately called him, opened Jilly’s Piano Bar at 1007 North Rush Street to pay tribute to Jilly, Sinatra and his music. One of the best parts of working there was hearing Uncle Nick tell some of his great Sinatra stories.

I couldn’t keep track of the celebrities that walk through the doors almost on a daily basis. I remember Don Rickles, who was there celebrating one of his birthdays, giving me a twenty dollar tip and saying “Always take care of the man who takes care of the bar”. Not to mention Rita Moreno dancing around like she just came out of “West Side Story”. One of the best times was walking into Jilly’s Piano Bar and there was Tom Jones singing with the band or when Uncle Nick hosted the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame dinners and the room was full of legendary sportsmen like Jake LaMotta, Tony Esposito, Carmine Basilio and Muhammad Ali. These are just a few of the people that came in to see Uncle Nick when they were in town and the list goes on and on. We definitely had some great times at Jilly’s.

Unfortunately, Nick Caruso Sr. passed away awhile back and will be dearly missed. Thanks Uncle Nick for the opportunity of working for you and for the memories that will last me a lifetime.

Jilly’s has been one of the most remarkable entertainment venues on Rush St. for many years. With entertainment such as Nick Russo, Tony Ocean, Colby Beserra & The Party Faithful and Gerald McClendon, just to name a few you can't go wrong. When you walk into the place you know your in for a good time. Dance all night or sit back and enjoy some of their signature cocktails. This is definitely the place to see and be seen. Tables are always reserved so it's best to phone first.

Jilly’s Piano Bar is open seven days a week 4:00p.m. to 2:00a.m., 3:00a.m. on Saturday. They are located at 1007 North Rush St., Chicago, Illinois. Visit their website at www.jillyschicago.com or phone 312-664-1001

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