On December 23, 1963, our third born was finally a boy, however, he resembled a middle European immigrant (don’t ask) that had just gotten off the boat. As the lad grew and was able to differentiate sounds, his father would arrive home from work and greet the boy with a hearty jak sie masz (Polish for hello, how are you). As time progressed and he was able to parrot the phrase it always came out Yak Zies. In early November of 1966, a lease was signed for a basement space on Diversey. I was told by friends that a basement saloon would never work, so then it came to me, if my son can’t pronunciate correctly and a basement won’t work: the proverbial light bulb went off.
The saloon opened in 1966 in a dimlit basement on West Diversey Pkwy. Two years later the logo was developed via our way of life, picture the sun rising over the horizon of Lake Michigan about 5 a.m. on any given Sunday summer morning and you're walking out of a basement. The face on the logo could be mine, yours or anybody else who might have spent the prior evening imbibing in our underground environment. We have all made it home to look in the mirror and saw the bloodshot eyes at half mast as we place a cool ice pack on top of our cranial area.