Kingston Mines (blues club)

Coordinates: 41°55′43″N 87°38′57″W / 41.9287°N 87.6491°W / 41.9287; -87.6491
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kingston Mines
Address2548 N Halsted
Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois
United States
Public transit
  • Bus interchange9 Halsted bus
  • RedFullerton stop on the Red/Brown Lines
ParkingLimited street parking
TypeBlues nightclub

Kingston Mines is a blues nightclub in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. It is named after Kingston Mines, Illinois, and is "the oldest, continuously operating blues club in Chicago."


The club derived its name from the Kingston Mines Theatre Company founded by June Pyskacek in 1969 at 2356 N. Lincoln Avenue[1] and named after Kingston Mines, Illinois, where the father of one of its actors, Jack Wallace, worked. Pyskacek allowed Harry Hoch and a partner open a café and performance space in the front of the building called the Kingston Mines Company Store.[2][3]

The company was acquired in 1972 by Lenin "Doc" Pellegrino, M.D., and renamed the Kingston Mines Café.[4] The original production of Grease was written and first premiered at the Kingston Mines Theatre in 1971 before moving to Broadway a year later.[5] The theatre company expired in 1973, while the Café survived as a blues club. It moved to its current location at 2548 N. Halsted in 1982.[4][6]

After Doc Pelligrino died in 2018, he passed ownership to his daughters, Donna and Lisa Pellegrino.[7][4]

The club closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7][8] Fans donated over $60,000 to a GoFundMe to help the club reopen.[9] Before the pandemic, Kingston Mines showcased a variety of blues by two separate bands, every night year-round, on two stages.[8] As of 2023, the club is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.[10]

Kingston Mines is still owned by the Pellegrino family and it is "the oldest, continuously operating blues club in Chicago."[11][7][12] Doc Pellegrino's motto was: "Hear Blues. Drink Booze. Talk Loud. You're Among Friends."[4]


Kingston Mines showcases blues music ranging from delta blues to Chicago blues. Their featured artists cover a broad and diverse spectrum of the genre.

Blues legends such as Koko Taylor, Carl Weathersby, and Magic Slim have played there; among a myriad more. The Kingston Mines has two alternating "headline" performances on its two stages into the early morning. Carl Weathersby, Linsey Alexander, Eddie Shaw, Mike Wheeler, Peaches Staten, and Ronnie Hicks are regular performers.[13][14] Joanna Connor has played at the club regularly since 2005.[6][9] The Rolling Stones performed at the club in 1978.[15]


  • 2014 - "Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues Clubs" by the Blues Foundation[13]
  • 2016 - Chicago Reader's Best Blues Club[12][16]
  • 2016 - Chicago Music Awards Most Popular Blues Club Award[12]
  • 2016 - Torch Bearer of Blues in Chicago[4]
  • 2019 - TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence[17]
  • 2019 - Chicago Concierge Favorites Award[17][18]


  1. ^ "McGovern supporters schedule fund-raisers". News Journal. 1972-10-08. p. 13. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  2. ^ Austin, Jack (2021-06-18). "Late nights and top notch talent attract eclectic crowds from Chicago and beyond to historic Kingston Mines blues bar Performers and fans praise Kingston Mines for lively atmosphere, quality music". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  3. ^ "Will sing here". Chicago Hyde Park Herald. 1973-10-10. p. 17.
  4. ^ a b c d e Ihejirika, Maudlyne (2018-05-05). "'Doc' Pellegrino, founder of Chicago's legendary Kingston Mines, dies at 92". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  5. ^ "Kingston Mines is auditioning for an original musical "Grease"". Chicago Tribune. 1970-11-14. p. 14.
  6. ^ a b Reynolds, Christopher (2018-09-07). "Chasing Those Chicago Blues". Santa Barbara News Press. p. 7. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  7. ^ a b c Wittich, Jake (2020-08-26). "Kingston Mines Says 'Permanent Closure Is Looming' As Historic Blues Bar Raises Money To Reopen". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  8. ^ a b Gallardo, Michelle (2020-08-27). "Kingston Mines, legendary Chicago blues club, turns to crowdfunding to stay open during COVID-19 pandemic". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  9. ^ a b Austin, Jack (2021-03-11). "Chicago musicians say the blues will never die". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  10. ^ "FAQ – Kingston Mines". Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  11. ^ "Kingston Mines". Chicago.Metromix.ocm. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Barnas, Tom (2022-06-20). "World famous Kingston Mines: Family owned for over 50 years". WGN-TV. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  13. ^ a b Kerzner, Barry (January 27, 2014). "Kingston Mines Earns 2014 Keeping The Blues Alive Award". chicagoblues.ocm. Chicago Blues. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Kingston Mines Schedule". Kingston Mines. Archived from the original on April 25, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  15. ^ Cook, Marlene (July 16, 1978). "Front and Center". Oak Forest Star Herald. p. 42. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  16. ^ "Best blues club". Chicago Reader. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  17. ^ a b "Kingston Mines – Chicago Blues Center Since 1968". Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  18. ^ Holst, Amber (2018-11-16). "Concierges' Favorite 40 Nightlife Destinations - 2019". Concierge Preferred. Retrieved 2023-10-13.

41°55′43″N 87°38′57″W / 41.9287°N 87.6491°W / 41.9287; -87.6491