Re: River boat casino in the sixties?
Date: January 04, 2015 07:51PM
It was the Sari S.
Here's a copy of the Tribs obit for its owner. It contains the basic info.
Services for Joseph H. Salon, 73, owner of a Chicago trucking company and, in the 1960s, the operator of a riverboat restaurant docked on the Chicago River, will be said at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the chapel at 111 Skokie Blvd., Wilmette.
Mr. Salon, a Skokie resident, died Monday in a nursing home in north suburban Riverwoods.
He retired about 20 years ago as the owner of Salon Trucking Co. But Mr. Salon was best known for his Showboat Sari S nightclub and restaurant, which was docked on the river off Ontario Street, near his truck company property at 600 N. Kingsbury St.
The boat, named for Mr. Salon`s daughter, had been a Mississippi River paddle steamer that was built in the 1890s. Mr. Salon bought it from the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Natchez, Miss., brought it to Chicago under its own power and then poured about $250,000 into renovations before opening it as a restaurant-nightclub in 1963. The Sari S remained in operation until about 1970.
At the time, most Chicago night spots were concentrated on or near Rush Street and opening one block away in the largely industrial River North area was considered a daring gambit. Currently, the neighborhood near the old Sari S site is a booming nightclub and restaurant area.
Over the years, Mr. Salon also was a founding member of three Skokie synagogues, Congregation B`nai Emunah, 9131 Niles Center Rd.; Skokie Valley Traditional Synagogue, 8825 E. Prairie Rd.; and Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster St. He was a World War II Navy veteran.
Mr. Salon is survived by two sons, Michael and Richard; a daughter, Sari Cohen; a brother; two sisters; and five granchildren.