In a scheme that had Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci written all over it, the Northsiders struck back on September 20, 1926.
From the intelligence he had gathered from kidnapped Capone bodyguards and drivers, Weiss knew Capone liked to stop at the Hawthorne Restaurant in Cicero, the town abutting West Chicago that Torrio and Capone took over in 1923. Along the 4800 block of West 22nd Street, a eighty-foot wide boulevard with two streetcar tracks and two-way traffic, were hotels, offices, banks, stores, and throngs of people shopping or in town for the opening of the horse racing season at nearby Hawthorne Park. The Anton Hotel, operated by Capone's organization, was on the block.
On Monday September 20th, Al Capone and one of his toughest bodyguards, Frankie Rio, sat together at a back table in the Hawthorne Restaurant, facing the front door for the obvious reasons of security. The place was full, with an estimated 60 people at the tables and lunch counter. No doubt Capone had his usual complement of perimeter security people stationed in the restaurant and outside.
With a pre-arranged signal (probably a Northsider operative in a phone booth amid the throngs of people on the sidewalks), a single speeding car raced down 22nd Street at 1:15PM, toward the Chicago city line two blocks away. It looked like a police flivver (car), with a mounted gong clanging loudly in the manner of 1920s police cars. When the sound of machinegun fire was clearly heard, Frankie Rio pulled Capone to the floor and reached for his gun. But as the car sped by the Hawthorne Restaurant, a Thompson machinegun chattering away through a window, there was no evidence of any damage-- no shattering of hotel or restaurant windows, no splattering of lead against building walls or sidewalks. Nevertheless, patrons in the restaurant headed for the back exits or hugged the floor; as the car sped off, some started to get up to peer out the windows.