Cabin Inn

3119 South Cottage Grove Avenue

One of Chicago’s famous queer cabaret’s, the Cabin Inn (or Cozy Cabin Inn) opened in Bronzeville in 1933 just south of the World’s Fair grounds. Owned by Jack Hardy and Nathan “Big” Ivy, the fan dancing Gilda Gray was the venue’s original hostess and the club featured the Brown Mae West (aka female impersonator Dick Barrow). While strategic bribes enabled the venue to avoid some of the scrutiny heaped on Near North Side venues during the time, its patrons, performers, and management were still subject to raids and arrests.’

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