Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gin-mill n.

also whiskey-mill
[SE gin + mill + pun on gin, a type of mill]
(US)

1. a bar or nightclub, orig. a speakeasy specializing in cheap, and prob. adulterated, liquor; thus gin-millist, a bartender; gin-mill row, a street of bars.

[UK]Manchester Times 7 June 2/4: The industrious man may be a mere jog-trot, gin-mill person, incapable of comprehensive views, ignorant [etc.].
[US]N.Y. Herald 20 May n.p: This man once kept a gin mill here, and when Florida seceded he hoisted the rebel flag.
[US]N.Y. Times 16 Jan. 8: MIDNIGHT DOMICILIARY VISITS. The Lodging Dens of the Sixth Ward Squalor and Filth of the Fever Nests — ‘Gin Mills’ and their Customers — A Glimpse Into the Very Depths of Human Misery.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Roughing It 303: There were [...] hotels, theatres, ‘hurdy-gurdy houses,’ wide-open gambling palaces [...] a whiskey mill every fifteen steps.
[US]St Louis Globe-Democrat 19 Jan. n.p.: The sober friend [...] wants to know if they will never ‘let up on pop and gun business,’ and talk no more about ‘faking’ the ‘gin-millist’.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 30 Mar. 2/4: The proprietor of a ‘gin-mill’ had a large ice-box given to him.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 27 Sept. 14/4: Houses of assignation are to be found everywhere about, while the gin-mills almost elbow each other on Third avenue.
[[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Nov. 13/4: If Kate wants to make money she ought to start a ‘whisky-mill’].
[US]F. Francis Jr Saddle and Mocassin 142: A load of goods for the ‘gin mill’ there.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 106: I ain’t allowin’ for my old mother in Missoury to be told as how I dies in no gin-mill.
[US]C.L. Cullen More Ex-Tank Tales 223: The gin-millist was to get his’n as the provider of the plant for the display and the raffling of the goods.
[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 162: Every ginmill open after hours, or on Sunday, should be pinched.
[US]F.P. Dunne Mr Dooley Says 100: Up at Fort Shurdan they had a ginmill where th’ warryors cud go an’ besot thimsilves.
[US]H. Asbury Gangs of N.Y. 63: The thugs who infested the Fourth Ward and swarmed each night into its dives and gin-mills.
[US]G. Milburn ‘Down in the Mohawk Valley’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 48: I ran the village gin mill and I made lots of jack, too.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dead Don’t Dream’ in Hollywood Detective July [Internet] How can you hang around gin mills without buying a jorum once in a while?
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 144: The ginmills doing the best business are those which cater to the intermediate sex.
[US]W. Brown Teen-Age Mafia 11: The cops always had an eye on the water-front gin mills.
[US]S. Sullivan Shortest, Gladdest Years (1963) 109: He [...] spent a couple of hours in one of the twenty-cents-a-gin mills on Third Avenue.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 95: I dug you outa that gin mill on Alvarado st.
[US]R. Campbell Alice in La-La Land (1999) 97: Roger was just a small-time comic [...] working the gin mills across the country.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 237: They got to Fin’s favorite gin mill.
K. Kerner Pussy in Boots 191: ‘You smell like a gin mill,’ Bob said. ‘I just came from a gin mill’.
J.J. Leonardo Puppet Suit 285: Danny took some of his earnings and opened up a new gin mill, called Goggles.
[Aus] A. Bergen ‘Dread Fellow Churls’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] Next stop watering hole — Ziggy’s gin mill.

2. a liquor store.

[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 297: Ed came sauntering out of the gin mill [...] the owner of the store stood in the doorway.