High Fidelity | 2000
‘Championship Vinyl’, the record store of pop geek and serial rejectee Rob Gordon (John Cusack) was an empty store at 1500 North Milwaukee Avenue and North Honore Street (the interior was a studio set). In September 2008, the store was still vacant and boarded-up. Don’t be disappointed – you can pick up secondhand vinyl only a short distance away, at Reckless Records, 1379 North Milwaukee.
Rob’s high school is Lane Technical High School, 2501 West Addison Street, and he waits on the Armitage Street Station for a train to work.
The bar where Rob goes to hear Marie De Salle (Lisa Bonet) was Lounge Ax, 2438 North Lincoln Avenue, in the De Paul district, which closed in early 2000. The space is now Soiree Bar Lounge. It’s across from the famous Biograph Theatre where, as Rob points out, John Dillinger was shot dead – as you can see in Michael Mann's Public Enemies.
He sees a movie with Rejection No.2, film critic Penny, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue, and they drink after at Strega Nona, now revamped as Take Five, 3747 North Southport Avenue, next door. Hi Ricky Restaurant (now closed), 3730 North Southport Avenue is where he takes Rejection No. 4, messed-up Sarah (Lili Taylor).
It’s in jazz club the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, 4802 North Broadway Avenue at Lawrence, that Rob reminisces about Laura (Iben Hjejle). It's one of the Chicago hangouts where you really can believe the ‘Al Capone drank here often’ sign hanging behind the bar. During Prohibition, the club was part-owned by Jack McGurn, one of Capone's Chicago Outfit. In fact, you can see Capone's favorite booth directly west of the short end of the bar – it's one that gives conveniently clear views of both the front and back entrances.
Today the Green Mill, patterned after Monroe’s Uptown House in Harlem as it was during the ’40s, is the home of jazz performance, from New Orleans traditional to New York avant-garde.
You can see the Green Mill's glorious decor on-screen in Ocean’s 12, Thief, The Lake House and Prelude to a Kiss among other productions.
Meanwhile, Laura tells Rob’s sister Liz (real-life sister Joan Cusack) four pieces of uncomfortable information in steakhouse Smith & Wollensky, 318 North State Street in Marina City, alongside the river at the foot of Chicago’s giant ‘corncob’ towers.
On the Kinzie Street Bridge, Rob lists the things he misses about Laura, before tentatively proposing to her over a lunchtime drink at the laid-back The Rainbo Club, 1150 North Damen at Haddon Avenue.
It’s back to Wicker Park’s main drag, only a few hundred yards along from the ‘Championship Vinyl’ storefront for the launch party of ‘I Sold My Mom’s Wheelchair’, where Barry (Jack Black) finally gets to perform, which is famed music venue Double Door, 1572 North Milwaukee Avenue.