One Chicago: Dick Wolf Added 1 Common Theme in All 3 Shows

Fans of the One Chicago universe are well aware that the NBC shows Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med sometimes intersect in interesting ways. The shows have crossover episodes and even some familial relations. The characters in all three shows also frequent the same haunt. Creator Dick Wolf added this common theme that’s meant to unify and connect all three shows.

One Chicago's Kelly Severide leans across the bar at Molly's Bar to talk to Stella Kidd in 'Chicago Fire.'
Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd and Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide in ‘Chicago Fire’ | Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

One Chicago characters all hang out at Molly’s Bar

Otis, Hermann, and Dawson buy a bar after it catches fire in Chicago Fire Season 1. Thus, Molly’s Bar is born. The pub becomes the go-to spot for the crew at Firehouse 51. Molly’s has its fair share of financial trouble throughout the series, but things always seem to work out. The bar is not only featured in Chicago Fire. It also appears in its spinoff shows.

Molly’s Bar witnesses a lot of special moments in the franchise. Kim Burgess and Adam Ruzek share their first kiss after leaving Molly’s in season 1. Trudy Platt and Randall McHolland, aka Mouch, even get married in Molly’s Bar toward the end of Chicago Fire Season 4.

Dick Wolf wanted Molly’s Bar to unify the franchise

Although it’s clear that all three shows have their own unique characters and stories, they still share the same universe. Dick Wolf, the creator of all three shows, shared that he wanted Molly’s Bar to be a “unifying theme” among the shows, nine.com reports.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wolf even mandates that the shows end at Molly’s Bar. “It’s a great note on the end of every show that connects all the shows,” Chicago Fire showrunner Matt Olmstead told The Hollywood Reporter.

Crossover episodes have further linked the franchise’s shows. However, Molly’s Bar remains a subtle reminder of their connection. If you look carefully, you might spot a character from one show in the background of another show’s episode.

Is Molly’s Bar a real place?

Many scenes from the dramas were filmed in a real-life bar called Lottie’s Pub in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. The pub has been around for decades and was used to film scenes for Chicago Fire Seasons 1 and 2. However, midway through filming season 2, production was shifted from Lottie’s pub to a film studio with a replica of the bar.

Co-owner Mark Domitrovich explained to the Chicago Tribune that the decision was made because filming Chicago Fire at the pub became too difficult. “With Chicago PD also filming at the bar, it got to be a bit much,” Domitrovich said. “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.” Fortunately, fans can still pay Lottie’s Bar a visit.

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