A reader writes:
As a former newspaperman and lifelong Chicagoan, I just wanted to point out that The Mirage Bar wasn't run by the feds, as your reader stated. It was run by the Chicago Sun-Times, in one of the great undercover investigative journalism pieces of all time.
Can you imagine a newspaper today doing actual investigative work like that? I know, totally ridiculous. They'd be too busy telling us why we don't need wikileaks because they find out everything there is to know and tell us what's important.
Read more about the amazing story in The Mirage, by investigative journalists Zay N. Smith and Pamela Zekman. And there's more about the city's pubs in Sean Parnell's Historic Bars Of Chicago. Randy Kohl covered that book in an article called "The Gastropub Revolution":
According to Parnell, "Chicago bars are becoming more like the taverns of our grandparents' generation. Much like you'll still find in Ireland and the UK, our pubs are once again appealing to all with fine food, quality drink and a smoke-free atmospherethough with one major improvement: in bygone days, the tavern's clientele reflected the ethnic profile of the neighborhood and were largely unwelcoming to outsiders. Today, gastropubs and gastrolounges are opening all over town, encouraging both residents and visitors to explore the city's rich tapestry of neighborhoods, particularly lesser known places like Andersonville, Logan Square, Noble Square, and River West."