Editor's Note: We love hearing from former Uptown residents. The following e-mail was sent to us by Chris L., who has kindly given her permission to include it. If you have memories of Uptown to share, write to us and we'll include them here.
Thank you so much for your website and all the memories. My family moved to Eastwood Avenue in 1955 when I was in 2nd grade. I walked to St. Thomas of Canterbury and knew the neighborhood intimately. Once the Lennon sisters were playing the Aragon and our pastor got them to come and give us a 3-song concert in front of the school as we all stood outside.
The Aragon had Top 40 shows on Sunday afternoons. Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper were scheduled to play, but their plane went down in Iowa. I remember seeing Freddie Cannon and Bobby Rydell there. You could hang around the alley door and wait for autographs. BTW, I just Googled Bobby Rydell and he is still touring, if you can believe it!
I remember the Backstage on Wilson. You couldn’t see in, but there were black and white pictures of the girls wearing pasties in the front windows. Their dressing rooms were on the second floor and in the summer the windows would be open.
I can still smell the BBQ and hot grease from the exhaust fans of Ribs by Roberts on Sheridan Road. The Parthenon Theater on Sheridan was a dim echo of the fabulous Uptown, but its plaster columns, statues of gods and goddesses, and monster movie Saturday nights for kids – back-to-back Frankenstein, Dracula and Werewolf movies. Also on Sheridan was a very upscale Spaulding’s dress shop with several display windows on either side of its front door. The most glamorous outfits, cocktail dresses and suits with dyed fox collars and such, were nearest the door. Grayson’s was a more reasonable, but still nice, dress shop on the corner of Sheridan and Leland across the street from a card shop and kitty corner from a little snack shop. There were lots of bars, taverns, taps and liquor stores up and down the major arteries of Wilson, Sheridan and Lawrence.
I remember guys with jackets that said “Revels” on the back in turquoise script.
There was a bowling alley with several floors of pool tables above it on Wilson. Crittenden’s record store on Racine behind Goldblatt’s had a row of soundproof booths where you could listen to a few 45s they would pipe in to you from the counter.
The Peter Pan restaurant was on the northeast corner of Broadway and Lawrence. A very different Peter Pan from the Disney version leapt out in 3-D from above the front door holding a hamburger on a plate above his head. Kitty corner from it was the very classy Peter Pan dress shop. I always wondered if the same person owned both businesses. If not, how did they come to be named? One of life’s mysteries.
Anyway, thank you for letting me share these memories. It’s fun to reminisce.