March 12, 2012

Of All the Grills I Have Known Before

Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

Uptown was a place where you could get something to eat almost any where you went and at any time.
Every drug store and dime store had a lunch counter. If I started out at Gary's Payless drug store in the Viceroy Hotel on the SW corner of Lawrence and Kenmore, I could get a grilled cheese sandwich at the long counter that ran parallel with Lawrence. Moving west, the next door was an entrance to the Viceroy Restaurant. Just past the alley was the Ritz Grill, cheese burgers,fries and chili, further up the street next to the El was Marquis Lunch, next to the Riveria and the Uptown were soda fountains that served sandwiches. The best hot dogs came from the deli in the basement of Goldblatts. On Leland and Broadway was Kresges Dime Store; they had a soda fountain and served food, complete with a menu.

South on Broadway at Wilson was Woolworths Dime Store, again counter and menu. At Wilson and Kenmore was Square Burgers, next to the bank (old Wilson Theater); SE corner was Angelos Pizza, NE corner was Thomsons Cafeteria. At Leland and Kenmore NW corner was Leibermans Drug Store with lunch counter. Wilson and Hazel had a Steinway Drug Store on the S.W. corner, also a Steinway Drug Store on the S.W corner of Lawrence and Sheridan.

Every Drugstore had a lunch counter/ soda fountain, and on the soda fountain end was a Big Blue Bromo Seltzer jar. The counter attendant / soda jerk would turn a lever on the stand of the jar and bromo crystals would come out into a little glass of soda water. The soda jerk would then make a big display of pouring the bromo and seltzer water back and forth from one glass to another several times before he served it; this was the hangover cure of the day.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't remember the Steinway Drug Store on Sheridan and Lawrence. I remember a Walgreen's which also had the soda fountain. That was there when I was a kid in the late 40's and early 50's for sure. When did Steinway go in?

Cheryl Peck Deters

Anonymous said...

Bill,
Do you remember a pizza place on Wilson, I believe under the El Tracks. It would have been on the leftside of the street if you turned right off of Sheridan onto Wilson. Graeme Stewart School would have been close behind it.

That was the very first pizza I had ever had. It was delicious.

Cheryl Peck Deters

Anonymous said...

With regard to the intersection of Lawrence and Sheridan, the best I can do is recall an ice cream shop on the north east corner back in 1965. I believe that Kemper was just up the street.

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