Congress Arcade (Mill Bowl)


Congress Arcade (Mill Bowl)

2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.

22 Responses to “Congress Arcade (Mill Bowl)”

  1. Bill Ottawatz Says:

    The lanes were on the second and third floors. Benny Dudek owned Congress during the sixties, and he put in candlepins on the third floor. This was the only place in Chicago that had them.

  2. Tom Brainard Says:

    I believe you are mistaken. The lanes were on the 2nd and 3rd floors, 32 in all. The candle pins were a temporary addition on the 4th floor.
    Tom Brainard

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I think Tom may be correct about the candlepin lanes being on the fourth floor. I’m not certain, since I bowled candlepins at Congress only two or three times. The building is still there, but the fourth floor has been cut off–you can see it from the ‘L’ train.

  3. Patrick Says:

    IS the Mill Bowl still open ????

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Congress Arcade/Mill Bowl has been closed for many years. All the houses in “Old Chicago Bowling Alleys” are out of business.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Thanks J.R.

    I remember going there to Mill Bowl in 1972 when I was 7 years old.

    My brother and I went to private school and had the day off. We found some silver dollars in our Mom’s dresser and took them to go bowling. When we paid for our games, the lady let us bowl a free game and we did not understand why ????? Well our mother let us know these were 1880″ silver dollars and worth much more than the $13 face values for 13 of them. THAT was a whipping I will not forget.


  5. Patrick Says:

    Dr. Jake – would you happen to have any pics form the interior of Mill Bowl ??? I remember the old fashioned painting above the lanes that looked enormous as kids.


  6. Joe Says:

    any pics of the furniture store across the street?

  7. Thomas Twarogowski Says:

    There was a. Sunday bowling doors locked
    Serving liquor in am!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I worked for benny

  8. Carol Says:

    Mill Bowl was the best ever. Pictures of Rip Van Winkle and the dwarfs on the wall above the lanes. Fun for all who went there.
    Ed was the greatest.

  9. Jennifer Sprengel Says:

    My Grandfather and Grandmother “Eddie” Sikora and Irene Sikora owned Mill Bowl from 1966-the mid 80’s. Irene sold it shortly after my grandfather died. (Benny Dedek was a partner till he and “Eddie” had an argument-and he was bought out). The building was getting old and the 4th floor was removed for the safety. I have an actual bowling pin from Mill Bowl.

    What found memories we all have of Mill Bowl. I’ll see if any family members have interior pics. I remember the entrance way…There was a painted mural of a lady on the ceiling – I used to think it was my grandma, Irene.

  10. johndcramer Says:

    Hi there: I’m writing a blog post on my own blog about the architecture of the Congress Arcade. Would you mind if I included this photo in my post and linked it to this page?


  11. georgelembas Says:

    The lanes were actually on the 3rd & 5th floors. The 2nd floor had offices & for a time a pool hall which my cousin ran when his father,my uncle Ben owned it. The 4th floor had more rooms & a coat & hat check room.

  12. werET Says:


  13. Tim O'Callaghan Says:

    Benny was the Best….I worked with him at Ridge Bowl…..He loved Cubs games and brought his thermos filled with Gin & Tonic., That generation was the Greatest!!! Old school!!! LOL

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