The Truth About One Chicago's Iconic Molly's Bar

Since 2012, viewers have been transported to Chicago, Illinois, to get a glimpse into the lives of firefighters, police officers, healthcare workers, lawyers, and paramedics in the "One Chicago" NBC universe, which includes "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D.," "Chicago Med," and, for one season, "Chicago Justice," per NBC.


All of the shows in the "One Chicago" franchise are actually shot on location in Chicago. According to The Cinemaholic, the real-life Rush University Medical Center, located on West Congress Parkway in Chicago, serves as the fictional Gaffney Medical Center. The outdoor scenes and some of the interior shots are done in the Rush University Medical Center. Meanwhile, the exterior of the "Chicago Fire" station house is actually the Old Maxwell Street Police Station in Chicago, via The Sun. Although, the majority of the filming actually takes place at the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

Show creator Dick Wolf chose Chicago as the location for the franchise for its wholesome qualities. "Anything that is considered true blue, all-American, it's believable in Chicago more than the strips on the coast," Wolf told the Chicago Tribune. "This is literally the heart of the country, and all those Midwestern values are understandable to the country."


If you're a fan of the "One Chicago" franchise, you'll know that many episodes end with the characters paying a visit to Molly's Bar to unwind after a long day on the job. But, what is the truth about the iconic bar?

Molly's is inspired by a real-life bar

During ach season of the "One Chicago" franchise, characters from the shows often pay a visit to Molly's Bar. For the first two seasons, the scenes at Molly's Bar were actually filmed inside of the real-life Chicago bar, Lottie's Pub, per Showbiz CheatSheet. Lottie's Pub is located in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago and has been open, on and off, since 1934, according to the pub's website. "The show was looking for a corner tavern in the middle of a neighborhood," the pub's co-owner, Mark Domitrovich, revealed. "That's a dying breed. They said we were the No. 1 pick and that they didn't have much of a backup."


During the second season of "Chicago Fire," filming in Lottie's Pub ceased and the crew built a lookalike set where each scene in Molly's Bar is now filmed. "With 'Chicago P.D.' also filming at the bar, it got to be a bit much," Domitrovich told the Chicago Tribune in 2013. "It's just such a big part of the story. For them to have to pay to shut us down a day, set up, break everything down — it was a lot of work on their end."

According to Showbiz CheatSheet, the pub now offers guests a chance to munch on the "Chicago Fire" burger, the "Chicago Med" turkey burger, and the "Chicago P.D." burger — all of which are inspired by the franchise.