A nod to the past: Club Arcada

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On December 29th, 1934 Club Arcada made its debut in downtown St. Charles. Hiring Marshall Field and Co., Lester and Dellora Norris wished to have the club modeled after the high-class club in New York, El Morroco. Replacing the Chronicle Publishing Company, Club Arcada was located on the first floor of the Arcada Theater and featured cocktails, fine dining, and live music every night. Opening night featured Don Fernando, the famous NBC radio star, and his string orchestra and Diane Quallaire. The club was a hit and soon everyone from St. Charles to Chicago had to experience it for him or herself. Live music acts were mostly swing music bands so the guests could dance and enjoy their evening. Jackie Heller, Harry Diekman’s Swingsters, The Swingsters Quartette, The Four McNallie Sisters, and many more graced the Club Arcada stage entertaining the multitudes of people that showed up.

Only five short years later Club Arcada closed its doors in 1939 and once again the space was used for retail purposes. It was not until Ron Onesti took over management of the Arcada Theater that the idea of another Club Arcada came back to St. Charles. In 2017, Ron officially opened Club Arcada, but this time it is located on the third floor of the theater building. Though the original club was 1930s, Ron’s Club Arcada is more of Roarin’ Twenties speakeasy, but still has some ties to 1930s. Open Wednesday through Sunday nights, the new Club Arcada keeps the tradition alive and features live music, cocktails, and dinner.  

Original Club Arcada

Modern Day Club Arcada

Check out what is going on now at the Club Arcada Speakeasy and Showroom at http://www.arcadalive.com/