In 1920, the brewery was shut down by national Prohibition. They soon re-opened after receiving a permit to produce non-alcoholic beverages (“Primalt”) there, but closed again in 1925. Prima merged with Bismarck Brewing after prohibition was repealed in 1933 and began production again for another five years until the repeal sales boom ended. The Manhattan Brewing Company, which had associations with Al Capone and organized crime, eventually seized the property, used the equipment and shut down operations in 1938, although sales continued for another decade or so. Prima’s slogan was “America’s Finest Beer.”
These ghost signs for Prima have are still visible around the city.
- 1421 W. Augusta Boulevard in Noble Square, not too far from the original brewery site.
- 2541 N. Sheffield Avenue in Lakeview. It had been covered up by billboards for a while but is now visible.
- 69th and South Vernon in Woodlawn.
- 1370 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. This one is unique because it’s also a former Chicago Daily News ghost sign. Both have equally faded over time and overlap each other.