Once again CCGTCC convention 2011 was good to me. Unlike the BC T mold “Barton Club, I posted about last week, I knew what the Greyhound chips were the minute I saw them. Although Al Capone was visiting the “BIG BOOTLEGER DOWN UNDER” when the Greyhound chips were made there is no doubt it was his joint at one time. As you will read below the address operated under different names 1924 through 1962.
Once again Dave Brown was the largest contributor of info in this post, by far. He has a tremendous collection of Chicago chips and database information on the outfit joints that existed in Chicago. Thank you Dave.
I picked up a couple extra’s of the Greyhound chips in case John Binder and Dave Brown needed one. Dave said he had the Tan one but needed the Orange one. HUH? No Tan on the order card. David Spragg was still at my house and we examined what I had. Sure enough I had both Tan and Grey. After much back and forth we decided both were grey and the tan was due to handling and usage. I sent John and Dave each a chip. I had 1 orange and 3 grey’s left over. One grey was sent to an Illinois collector
A few days later while putting one each color in my chip database I took another look at my left over 2 grey chips. Just happened to be a tan and a grey. It was not by design just luck. I decided to find out for sure. The grey had a nick, so I nicked the Tan to match it. Both are two different colors thru and thru. I now think someone at Taylor used two different colored blanks by mistake while hot stamping them. Colors are close as you can see in the scan but are for sure 2 different colors.
Enough of that:
4831-4835 Cermak Rd
Chips delivered 1940-43
I have some articles on the Greyhound...will send something soon.
4831 Cermak, Cicero
I know you want clippings, but here's the basics: in the 30s the Greyhound club was Ralph Capone's jazz club. Not aware of gambling there at the time, but certainly next door. It was named after the nearby dog track. Later it was owned by Joseph Aiuppa, who was one of the owners of Taylor & Co, and also the top outfit guy in Cicero. Later Aiuppa would become the top boss of the Chicago outfit (1970s?). The chips are from the Aiuppa period. It was primarily known as a handbook at the time, but certainly would have hosted the floating table games on occasion. It also acted as Aiuppa's office and hangout.
Was part of a string of interconnected buildings at 4831-4835 Cermak Rd (22nd St) in Cicero that at various times was home to the Hawthorne Smoke Shop, Greyhound Club, Montmartre, Turf Club, and Towne Hotel... (I'm sure I'm forgetting something). This block of buildings was really the nerve center for the Capone gambling operations even if the big games often happened elsewhere.
I think I have pictures of this address from a decade or so later, when it was Turf Club.
I'm attaching an article that mentions the greyhound in connection with Ralph Capone. This predates it's days as a known gambling spot, but it was part of an interconnected group of buildings where the various gambling operations were overseen. I'll send more soon.
Here's an article covering Capone's tax trial in 1931. In describing the gambling operations at the Hawthorne Smoke Shop, at 4835 22nd, a picture shows this address as Montmartre. (The Capone trial was focused on events of 1924-1927, but trial took place in 1930-31)
The Taylor & Co chip orders are the only dated references that mention Greyhound Club that I have. FBI documents suggest Aiuppa bought the property in 1930, and 1930 articles have Ralph Capone denying ownership.
My note: Big surprise! A Capone denying ownership.
Here is an approximate timeline combining multiple sources:
1924-1928 Hawthorne Smoke Shop
1931-1938 Greyhound??? 1st incarnation??? not clear!
1939-1940 Paddock Lounge
1940-1950 Greyhound Club
1956-1962 Turf lounge
I'm not having much luck finding Greyhound Club news articles for you. I have some for other businesses that operated at the same address at various times, and others that may be from the Greyhound period that only mention an address. Most of the material in my notes is from FBI FOIA documents related to Aiuppa.
Here's a scan of a Greyhound Club matchbook. This one showing the 4835 address. Will send another that shows the 4831 address.
Not done yet! Here's a picture from my collection of negatives, showing this address ca1962 when it was Turf Lounge.
My note. The Greyhound Club existed? The Greyhound Club did not exist? Conflicting arguments abound.
IMO the chips say it all.