Name The Billy Goat Tavern a national historic landmark

Everyone seems to agree that the Bill Goat drinking hole is a landmark. So why not? Name the Billy Goat Tavern a national historical landmark.

Or a Chicago landmark. Or one of the 10 most threatened Illinois landmarks.

Billy Goat1It's deserving: It's a small business, one that attracts tourists and helps define Chicago--at least the lower Michigan Ave./Wacker Drive part of it anyway.

The Goat meets  least two of the Landmarks Illinois' criteria for being listed on  the "Ten most threatened historic places:"

  1. A threatened historic place important to the community
  2. an irreplaceable local landmark fallen into disrepair

Number 2 fits the saloon to a T.

So, here's the National Park Service  form to nominate the Billy Goat as a place on the National Register of Historic Places.  Here's the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Here's the Billy Goat 2Commission on Chicago Landmarks. And here's Landmark Illinois.

Okay, now that I've gotten that little joke out of my system, I have to say that I never really was a fan--it's got bad food, surly service, a ratty setting, dirty fixtures, gawking tourists and excessive noise. I guess all of that is appealing  in a newspaper racket in which the ordinary and banal is celebrated as sort of  paeans to the common man. There always has been a kind of reverse elitism in the newspaper racket, in which one imagines himself  in touch with the neighborhoods and the ordinary folk, i.e. Slats Grobnick--Mike Royko's alter ego.

Not that there's anything wrong with that,  though the irony is that some newsies don't get out of their own neighborhoods all that much, often located somewhere on the trendy  North Side.

Never mind all that: If everyone else agrees with the media that the Billy Goat Tavern is a fine place worth preserving, so yes in the following poll:



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  • I'll only go along with the preservation if they have a wax figure of Mike Royko and a few of the other pickled and drunk on themselves reporters and columnists and media drones that we have to elevate to celebrity status, because we lack the real fluff of Hollywood.

  • As I pick myself up from a grease splattered floor on my way to a food coma of caloric ectasy I can only say MORE!

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