Jack Schaller, proprietor of Schaller’s Pump, passes away
July 1, 2016

John “Jack” Schaller, proprietor of the Schaller’s Pump bar and restaurant at 3714 S. Halsted St., passed away on May 26. He was 92.

Schaller’s Pump is the oldest continuously running tavern in Chicago. Mr. Schaller’s grandfather, George, started the business in 1881 and continued to operate as a speakeasy during Prohibition.

The word “pump” in its name comes from an era in the tavern’s history when a brewery located next door pumped beer directly to the tavern.

Jack Schaller took over the business in the early 1960s, after having worked there since 1945. He lived in an apartment above the restaurant.

Mr. Schaller attended Leo High School and then joined the Army during World War II. After returning from the Army, he went to work for the restaurant and continued to do so for the next 70 years. His sons, daughters, and grandchildren will continue to run Schaller’s Pump. He was a member of the Canaryville Veterans Association.

Ald. Patrick D. Thompson (11th Ward) called Mr. Schaller “a dedicated family man, a lifelong White Sox fan, and a treasure to the Bridgeport neighborhood.”

Thompson added, “His passing was a loss. He was a friend, and as a business owner he contributed greatly to our entire community.

“He had three generations working at Schaller’s Pump. I think that in itself tells a lot about him. He really focused on his family and working with them for so many years. We’ll miss going in there and not seeing Mr. Schaller there,” Thompson said.

Mr. Schaller is survived by his wife, Betty; children Sue (Leo) Weber, James (Michelle), Colleen (Jack) Sheehan, Betty Jo (Bob) Bailey, Kim (George) Shinnick, and Jay. He was the grandfather of 18 and great-grandfather of six. His son Jack, husband of Melissa, preceded him in death.

Mass of the Resurrection was at Nativity of Our Lord Church, and interment is at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

— William S. Bike and Patrick Butler