What is the meaning of the name "Four Farthings?"
According to bar historian Bill Hemme, "The name Four Farthings comes from the writing of popular fantasy fiction writer J.R.R. Tolkien. In his books, geographical points were said to be in the East Farthing, West Farthing, North Farthing, or South Farthing. To be at the Four Farthings was to be in the center of the world where the Farthings all met." This helps explain why, to this day, people from all over Chicago and the known world continue to meet at the Four Farthings and have a good time.
How long has the Four Farthings been in business?
The Nordhem family took over the bar of the same name in 1981 and extensively redesigned. Going back to the late 60's, the bar was a beatnik or hippie-type hangout, as was much of Lincoln Park before gentrification. It is possible and somewhat likely that some of the plans to disrupt the 1968 Democratic Convention were discussed over a few cold ones at the Tavern. The restaurant side was formerly a used book store. No doubt it was the kind of bookstore where you might find books by Tolkien.
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