About Us

Combining a terrific restaurant, lounge and banquet facility with our timeless and tasty recipes, The Great Escape is truly the place to be for all occasions. Thank you for coming!


Our Story

Al and Marie Great opened their first restaurant on North Avenue in 1958 called The Drift Inn. It was a warm neighborhood place which specialized in the best baby back ribs and broasted chicken that the Chicago area had ever tasted. The business ran successfully until 1981 when Al and Marie sold the business and retired. Many years passed and people were asking when the Great family would get back into the restaurant business. Well here it is, revived by the entire family, we proudly bring you –

Building History

The bar and Banquet Room are still a part of the original structure built on this site in 1889. The bar is original and was hand carved by the Chicago Bar Company. The building was originally at street level. There were swinging doors leading out onto a dirt road with hitching posts for horses (Irving Park Road). The silent movie cowboy Tom Mix made a few of his movies here around 1900. They would use the Des Plaines River as the Rio Grande and our bar for saloon scenes. In the 1920’s, Al Capone sold the place booze and was spotted at the bar doing business with local gagsters. Witnesses say there were men seated on either side of him with shot guns watching the door. Before its current use, the banquet room was home to a general store, milk depot, post office, gas station, barber shop, pool hall, and restaurant. The Irving Park Viaduct was dug in 1926 and our entrance was moved to the east side of the building. The main dining room and kitchen were added on in the 1980’s to expand the restaurant business. The Great Escape took over in 1992 and has been preserving, maintaining, and improving the property ever since. We hope you agree!

Creating Lasting Memories 

Historic Bar

The bar and Banquet Room are still a part of the original structure built on this site in 1889. The bar is original and was hand carved by the Chicago Bar Company. 

Green Energy 

In an effort to be a leader in the use of clean energy, The Great Escape has constructed a 108kw wind turbine on our property. The turbine is sitting atop an 80 foot tower with 62 foot blades to catch the wind, with 30 feet of concrete for it’s base. The turbine produces over 100% of the electric power needed to operate the business. Any excess power the turbine produces goes out to the ComEd grid to supplement the power needs of the surrounding community with clean energy. During the night when the demand from the restaurant is low, it is estimated that the turbine will provide enough clean energy to power 20-30 homes, depending on the wind speed. Learn more about our green energy inititives. 

Onsite Gaming

Feeling lucky? Join us in our newly designed gaming area! We offer a variety of video slots and video poker games for your entertainment. Come check out our new machines. We have a total of 6 now

Our Hauntings

Did you know that we have had multiple Paranormal Detectives explore our property? We have had multiple reported cases of paranormal activity. For example, team members have reported seeing a man in a black suit carrying a clip board walks into a closet and disappears, that feeling that someone is standing right next to you, walking through a very cold spot in a dark hallway, the sounds of 1920′s music forming from the basement after hours, an antique radio plays without being touched and upon investigation it’s determined that there were no wires hooked up to it and the old tubes inside were burned out. Learn more about the paranormal activity at The Great Escape. 


“Five Stars!”

I had the chicken pot pie. The food is great! The margaritas have a punch! The Service is phenomenal!! I will definitely be back and advise you to check them out. No regrets💞

– Crystal R. 

Oh man what can I say
The atmosphere the waitress AND THE FOOD
great prime rib, chicken and ribs was delicious And the chicken pot pie was to die for

– David S. 

We have been going here for years now and everything is always fantastic from the French onion soup to the specials to the chicken pot pie the service was outstanding the waitress was Alexa, she provided excellent service and knew exactly what I was looking for in beer, food and expectations!! She was phenomenal. Great presentation by all

– Rick K. 

Visit Today

Visit Us

We are located next door to the Schiller Park Fire Department. We offer a historic bar, beautiful dining room, and fabulous outdoor dining space. 

Get IN touch

(847) 671-7171

9540 W. Irving Park Rd. 
Schiller Park, IL. 60176

Kitchen Hours

Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday: 11Am – 9pm

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 11am – 10pm

Bar may be open past 10pm

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