Does anyone remember the little coffeeshop in the 333 N. Michigan building called Lower Level Louies? The other forgotten ones were Eric & Me's on Wabash and Wacker, Cohassset Punch on Madison. I also remember going to a deli next to the Schubert Theater on Monroe called Rice's Deli located in a really narrow space. I'm also trying to figure out where The Stop & Shop was in the loop. Davidsons Bakery was another place that had 2 or 3 locations. Any memories are welcome.
Yes, I remember Lower Level Louie's very well!!!! I used to get food from there almost every day and bring it back to my office at 111 E. Wacker. I remember old Louie taking the orders and putting them down at the window behind him. There was a counter there that was kind of S-shaped and a few waitresses that were there for years! Great place for breakfast, too! I was so disappointed when I stopped in there about 10 years ago and it wasn't there. I guess I thought it would be one of the things that would always be there. Great memories! Thanks for bringing it up!
The Stop & Shop was on Washington on the north side of the street between State and Dearborn. There was a Hillman's next door. The Woolworth (with the two entrances) was across the street. The new WBBM studios are where it once stood. That was a great place, too! I have lots of memories there. You could get a huge ice cream cone, and just walk around the store looking at all the unusual things.
There was a French restaurant called Le Bordeaux on Madison just a doorway or two west of State Street on the south side of the street. You would go into the door and then down a dark flight of stairs. I remember bringing a date there once, and he was a little wary of what he would find at the bottom of the stairs only to be surprised by a wonderful, delicious, kind of fancy French restaurant. This was a true hidden gem!
This is a little north of the loop, but in the early 1980s I remember a delicious "Healthy" food restaurant on North Michigan Avenue in the 444 N. Michigan building called "Chapman Sisters." Delicious soups, vegetarian chili and other goodies. Made me realize that healthy food can be tasty, too! I wish I had the recipe for that Vegetarian Chili!!! I've tried many, but none could compare to theirs!
> There was a French restaurant called Le Bordeaux
> on Madison just a doorway or two west of State
> Street on the south side of the street. You would
> go into the door and then down a dark flight of
> stairs. I remember bringing a date there once,
> and he was a little wary of what he would find at
> the bottom of the stairs only to be surprised by a
> wonderful, delicious, kind of fancy French
> restaurant. This was a true hidden gem!
Nice review! I went and dug up a photo that I took of Le Bordeaux (or the sign, anyway) around '91. It was obviously long gone by then, but the signs on the building were just left to fall apart:
I remember there was a really nice coffee shop or restaurant in the old Palmer House. I think the entrance was on Wabash.I can't quite remember what the specialty was- chowder or a soup of some kind- hope someone remembers.
There was a Mayflower donut shop with a long bar that went from front to back and the motto " As you travel on through life, brother, keep you eye upon the donut not upon the hole" was on the wall across from the bar.
There was a great restaurant called The Cart. I think it was near the Mart. The chef- my cousin- in law- Dick Wack would carve either roast beef or ham from a huge roast that was on a carving table lit up like a stage.
Wimpie's was always good for a cheap fast burger.
Rickett's( spelling) near the Water Tower was a wonderful place for ladies lunch after a stroll down Michigan Avenue.
LIke Stray KItten, I remember the wonderful Stop and Shop with all the irresistible goodies. I'd beg my parents to let me wander around while they'd pick out fresh fruit to take home.
Didn't the PIttsfield Building have an eatery on the first floor?
Thanks, susabel, fun topic!
Many years ago, while attending college, I worked as an office boy/messenger for a law firm in the Prudential Building. When being a messenger, my travels took me all over the Loop. Especially on very cold days I would stop at a lot of the restaurants just to keep warm. I clearly remember Round the Clock, Mayflower, and the cheap steak joints on State near Randolph. The best bang for your buck was the hotdog stand in the Illinois Central Commuter Station underneath Michigan and Randolph. It could be entered directly from the Prudential Building. I think a hotdog and coke was less than a dollar. There were many other really nice shops in that station.
Other nice places for a quick cup of coffee were the 2 Walgreends cafeterias at State and Madison and State and Randolph. They had everything you could possibly want at reasonable prices.
A "Cheap steak" place was Ronnies Steak House at 17 W. Randolph. It looked like a chalet from the outside, and inside had plenty of seating, which had to have been a ballroom with the railings and such inside. In the late 70's, there was a single door to a back room with a daytime disco happening.
They had cheap breakfast, and pizza by the slice or whole, and was open on Sundays in the 70's, which was rare for downtown.
Also, on Wacker near Wabash was The Little Corporal, which was a decent lunchtime diner.
There is still a luch spot in the Pittsfield building.
I remember well Bob Elfman's! The sign near the door read "Joel Elfman, the Prince of State Street" and had his picture wearing a crown sitting on a throne. There was the first time I had a tongue sandwich. They also had the best roast beef and corned beef (which I really never cared for). There was very little space between the tables and if you went in during the lunch rush good luck finding a space to set down a shopping bag or small suitcase. Yes, very fond memories. Didn't it move to Randolph St. in the 1980s? I left for California in 1982 and came back in 2010. The Loop is really alien territory for me now.
Yes, The Loop does seem desolate now, Compared to some 30-40 years ago. Many places, Though some schlocky. Were REAL treats. Especially with Tad's Steaks, Wieboldt's, Marshall Field & Co, Carson Pirie & Scott, Woolworth's, SS Kresge, Treasure Chest, Out-Of-Town Newsstand, Hoe Kow, Stop & Shop, Greyhound & Trailways Bus Depots, et al.........
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2012 12:34PM by Chipast.
Going way back in my family, a trip downtown meant lunch at Berghoffs. Does anyone have a picture? I know it's gone now, but I heard some member of the Berghoff family was going to open elsewhere...any update on that?
Early 1970's .... Jerry's Corned Beef right around the corner from the John Hancock building. A tiny standup restaurant run by him and his brother. Thick hot corned beef on rye with swiss cheese a pickle and a bottle of beer ... yum ! At noon the line of people at the door extended a ways down the street to get in. I was warned by friends before I got in the door I better know exactly what I want to order. When ordering if you dare to hesitate Jerry would yell, " you don't know what in the hell you want .... get in the back of the line" .... ha ha ..... they put on a good show. While standing up and eating you were also entertained.