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A look back at 50 years of the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue

It was 50 years ago last week that Sam Sianis opened the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue. The original was opened up by Sianis’ uncle, William, in 1934 on West Madison.

However, it was Sam’s Billy Goat that became famous for its “cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger. Cheeps, no fries, Coke, no Pepsi,” thanks in part to that famous Saturday Night Live skit from 1978.

Here’s a look back the place that’s a Chicago icon:

Billy Goat Tavern owner Sam Sianis, center, laughs as Gov. Pat Quinn, right, speaks at the tavern Saturday in Chicago. Gov. Quinn proclaimed Dec. 26 “Billy Goat Tavern Day.” | Sun-Times file photo

Sam Sianis owner of the Billy Goat Tavern at Taste of Chicago 1981 in Grant Park. | Sun-Times file photo

Overflow crowd cheering the 1984 Cubs at Billy Goat Tavern. | Sun-Times file photo

Bartender Markos Constantinou (R), Jessica Granchelli (back) and Deanne Lang watch as President Barack Obama announces that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is stepping down from his position. | Getty Images

Jim Thompson campaigns with Sec George Ryan at the Billy Goat Tavern in 1998. | AP file photo

Hillary Clinton made an appearance at the Billy Goat in 1996. | Sun-Times file photo

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias chats with Sam Sianis in 2010. | Getty Images

A short piece by WTTW-TV:

Mike Royko at the Billy Goat: