In 1958, at 19 years old, Jessie Branham told his father he wanted to move to the big city. His dad gave him $20 to get there. By the time he made it to Chicago, Jessie had $7 left in his pocket.
After living on the street, a man took him in and gave him and place to stay and a job at his bar at Clark and Devon. That’s how Jessie found his way into the business.
Later, Jessie met his wife whose parents had owned the bar that is now Wrigleyville North since 1930. When his wife’s father died, his mother-in-law passed the bar on to the couple who will be celebrating their 31st year of ownership this year.
A lot of great players have been in that bar. Jessie says, when the hotel was open down the street, his mother-in-law served all the old players including Babe Ruth. And, even more Cubs fans have come to hang out at Wrigleyville North. Jessie says on average 50 to 75 fans are in the neighborhood bar drinking every game.
But, of all the fans that enter Wrigleyville North, Jessie might just be the biggest. Jessie doesn’t drink or smoke; he watches the Cubs. His Cubs hat sits on his head seven days a week: he puts it on every morning and takes it off every night. Jessie’s says, he’s hoping for a Cubs World Series so he and his wife can finally retire. And, he’s got a good feeling about this year.