FIRST PLAYBOY CLUB OPENED IN CHICAGO 56 YEARS AGO TODAY
Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) Fifty-six years ago today, February 29, 1960, the first Playboy Club was opened here in the Windy City by Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner. The club was located at 116 E. Walton Street.
During its first month, the Playboy Club had 17,000 visitors and in the last three months of 1961, it had 132,000 visitors. Two more clubs opened in 1961, one in Miami and another in New Orleans.
The year 1962 saw more Playboy Clubs appear in St. Louis, New York City and Phoenix, and in 1963 still another was opened in Detroit. By the time Hefner was through, 33 Playboy Clubs were operating, one in Japan and another in Manila.
The Playboy Clubs were incorporated as key clubs. Memberships were originally $25 a year. The members had access to a living room, bar, dining room and club room, and, of course, were served by the signature Playboy Bunny.
Playboy ran the following advertisement to attract bunnies...
"If you are pretty and personable, between 21 and 24, married or single, you probably qualify."
Pay was quoted as $200 to $300 a week. The work may not have been worth it. Gloria Steinam, who wrote an undercover report titled "A Bunny's Tale" in 1963, described the life of a Bunny as a...
"low paying slog through long nights of heavy drink trays, sore feet, too-tight costumes, and boorish customers."
"A Bunny Thing Happened: An Oral History of the Playboy Clubs" by Bruce Handy, Vanity Fair, www.vanityfair.com/
"Bunnies take a hop down memory lane," by Nina Metz, September 14, 2011, Chicago Tribune, www.articles.chicagotribune.com/
Playboy Club Bar