It ain’t Bennigan’s, that’s for damn sure.
As the Goat — which has moved to 430 Lower Michigan Avenue below the Wrigley Building and added seven other locations — celebrates its 75th year in Chicago, what is Mr. Sianis’s favorite story?
“There are too many stories,” he said this week as he took a break from flipping the cheezborgers made famous on “Saturday Night Live.” But he did fondly recall one exchange with
Mike Royko, the columnist who spent as much time at the Goat as behind a typewriter.
“Royko says to me, ‘What would you do if someone gave you $1 million?’ So I said: ‘I’ll tell you what I would do. I’d take the money and go home, and then I’d turn around and come right back down here.’ ”
Perplexed, Royko said, “Why wouldn’t you take a vacation and go see somebody?” Mr. Sianis, smiling as he stood in his bar crammed with tourists, said he told him: “This is my vacation. Why go anywhere to see anyone? They all come here to see me.”
[Click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – The Pulse – Where Everybody Knows His Name – NYTimes.com]
I took my folks to the original Billy Goat Tavern on a recent visit, but had to convince them to keep walking long enough to find the place (unless you remember the Billy Goat’s specific address, it can be a bit difficult to find down below Michigan Avenue). Glad we did, I had a beer, and shared a burger with my uncle1. The walls of the Billy Goat are stained with the brown of years worth of story telling and cigarette smoking…Footnotes:
- who didn’t put a single condiment on his burger, just bread and meat [↩]