Chicago (CNN) – At first glance, the building resembles others in downtown Chicago. Now home to Harry Caray’s Steakhouse, its exterior is marked by a bright neon sign; for fans of Major League Baseball and the restaurant of the same name, this is a destination.
The walls of the restaurant are covered with MLB memorabilia and photos of everyone they have visited, from the likes of Mila Kunis to former US President Barack Obama.
Although celebrities have graced these corridors in the past few decades, there is a deeper and darker history within these walls. If these walls could talk, they would have told the story of many mafia operations during the Al Capone era.
Built in 1895, the building is located on the first block of Chicago; now one of over 20,000.
At that time, he passed through multiple owners, often known, and lived even more lives. It was a museum for taxidermal animals, a liquor distribution center with loot and housed illegal slot machines.
When Capone’s underworld in Chicago ended in 1931, his influence did not.
His right-hand man who became the mafia boss, Frank Nitti, a mobster known by the nickname Enforcer, bought the building in 1939 and continued to use it to distribute liquor. The fourth floor became Nitti’s home.
Each floor of this four-story building has secrets.
The current owners of Harry Caray’s Steakhouse have revealed these secrets since taking over the building in 1987. More than three decades later, brick walls are still making way for hidden safes in the bowels of the building.
In the basement, it is strangely silent. Dark and dusty tunnels run along the building, leading to what the current restaurant owner, Grant DePorter, says was once Chicago’s vast underground tunnel system.
It is in the same labyrinth of rooms where DePorter discovered a safe, which once opened, contained the Frank Nitti address book, a real repertoire of information on all those who occupied positions of power in Chicago at the time.
The latest DePorter discovery, which was made in 2018, is a box behind a brick wall. He is one who has yet to dig, but aims to do it soon. According to him, making holes and extracting bricks can be complicated.
More than 70 years after Al Capone’s death, the remains of his time are still uncovered. And the unwitting diners at Harry Caray’s Steakhouse are by no means the wisest.