The Billy Goat Tavern: Serving Burgers and Curses

In sports, superstitions are as common as strike-outs. But there is no curse more infamous than the one inside the Billy Goat Tavern. It’s a story that has captivated baseball fans and bar-flys for centuries.

Once upon a time there lived a man named Billy Sianis, and he loved his goat. He went everywhere with his beloved Murphy. While most historians label Billy and Murphy as ‘close friends,’ this writer wishes to unequivocally state that there is nothing more beautiful than a love between a man and his goat. 

That was not the shared sentiment during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field, when the two were kicked out of the ballpark. It’s believed one of them was eating grass and defecating in the seats, but I’m not going to point fingers at which one it may have been. Billy Sianis is said to have laid a curse on the Cubs that they would never win a world series.

As word of the curse spread, so did the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago. Their iconic burgers and no-fries policy remain a staple of old-school Chicago flavors. No stranger to strange publicity, Sianis also requested a liquor license on the Moon, and his regulars were some of Chicago’s most important journalists and drinkers alike. Expanding across Chicago including Navy Pier, the only dry spell the city had was winning the world series (unless you count the White Sox, which few did at the time).

The curse lasted 71 years, possibly responsible for the unprecedented 108 years after their last win. If history is any predictor, we can expect another World Series win in 2124. It’s a story that proves superstition is real, and the deep love a man can have for his goat. 

Andre Baronov

Highlights

  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Site
  • The famous alleyway from a legendary crime
  • The haunted Chicago theatre

And a whole lot more!