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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

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LittleJill / August 3, 2010 7:28 AM

The Local Grind at the 6 corners in Wicker Park.

J / August 3, 2010 8:01 AM

Maybe not that long but Don Roth's in Wheeling.

Christopher J / August 3, 2010 8:05 AM

Filter, Gouramond, Mas.

Dennis Fritz / August 3, 2010 8:26 AM

Sally's Stage, Hobby Models, The Nortown Theater--all near Devon and Western.

Christopher J / August 3, 2010 8:45 AM

Oh, and Charybdis.

Sam B. / August 3, 2010 8:59 AM

Mas and Pasta Diablo

trm / August 3, 2010 9:03 AM

the original Bottom Lounge

Seth Anderson / August 3, 2010 9:04 AM

The Lounge Ax of course

bob / August 3, 2010 9:06 AM

not long at all, but rather recent - dona lolis, a great mexican joint on clark street in rogers park. sniff, sniff.

Benjy / August 3, 2010 9:12 AM

Bub City Crab Shack - a Cajun crab/seafood place over on Weed St. where Sangria is now.

Hillary's Urban Eatery -- great brunch buffet, good chiquiles

Dmitry Samarov / August 3, 2010 9:26 AM

Leo's Lunchroom

JR / August 3, 2010 9:27 AM

There was a little Japanese/Korean restaurant across from the Soup Box on Broadway in Lakeview. I always forgot the name.

Anyway, they had the best teriyaki tofu, which was served bento-style with really good Japanese mashed potatoes.

Does anyone know the place I'm talking about?

I used to make a special trip to Lakeview just to eat there at least once per month. I teared up a little when I showed up one day and found it closed.

yaj / August 3, 2010 9:28 AM

To Pho Vietnamese restaurant on Wabash

Island on North Ave & Sheffield

Joel / August 3, 2010 9:35 AM

+1 for Bub City. That is where I first learned how to crack a crab.

Also, Far East Chicago on Diversey. Biggest and best crab rangoon I've ever had.

Helen / August 3, 2010 9:45 AM

Leo's Lunchroom on Division, they had vegetarian biscuits n gravy. And I 2nd the H.U.E. buffet. Jinx Cafe on Division, for their Crush Floats and Peanut Butter shakes. Scenes cafe at Belmont & Clark, before Starbucks paid off their landlord to kick them out. Borderline at 6 corners in Wicker Park. Maxwell St and it's clubs and food and the original market. I think I just miss old(er) Chicago in general, in the last 10 years it's become hardly recognizable.

flange / August 3, 2010 10:02 AM

i'll add to the leo's lunchroom list. sigh.

also, down the street a little, katherine august's twilight.

there used to be a sandwich shop near montrose & damen... mimi's. she was a character and the sandwiches were amazing. (and so cheap i assume she drove herself out of business.)

and yeah, the old maxwell street.

wackpuma / August 3, 2010 10:10 AM

Ten56, Iggy's (the first one on Milwaukee)

wackpuma / August 3, 2010 10:13 AM

Oh yeah, and Celluloid/Liquid Kitty on Division.

Dunl / August 3, 2010 10:17 AM

The Lounge Ax.

Ciral's House of Tiki.

Tim / August 3, 2010 10:49 AM

Calliope Cafe on Lincoln/Racine/Diversey. Awesome sandwiches.

I also enjoyed Filter.

Cheryl / August 3, 2010 11:30 AM

ComEd has put a bunch of damn decorated refrigerators out on Michigan Avenue. It makes me miss the cows

Anton / August 3, 2010 11:46 AM


kate / August 3, 2010 1:33 PM

Lounge Ax, Bottom Lounge, Artful Dodger, Ten56, Leo's, Tuman's AAC.

Charlie D. / August 3, 2010 1:57 PM

Max Tavern
Active Endeavors
Picasso - Rogers Park pasta joint
Cafe Express

paul / August 3, 2010 1:59 PM

Club 950, Medusas, Tip Top Tap.

(Okay I'm not really old enough for that last one)

Mucky Fingers / August 3, 2010 2:41 PM

The Adelphi theater, the Devon theater and Maxwell St.

Tom / August 3, 2010 2:46 PM

The Parkway Theater. The Little Corporal. Pago Pago. Comiskey Park. The Magikist lips on the expressways. Rose Records. Hillman's.

daruma / August 3, 2010 2:57 PM

Club 950, Artful Dodger, Hilary's Urban Eatery, and most especially, Bento

dsf / August 3, 2010 3:14 PM

Not a business, but something I miss: the "this is grand" announcement. Now it says "This is grand and whatever the cross street is."

It's just not the same. :(

printdude / August 3, 2010 3:37 PM

I miss Dreamerz and the German-American Bar. Especially the G-A, where we smelly punks could drink with Norm vanLier on cheaply on Friday (with free sausages!)

Doggo / August 3, 2010 4:00 PM

Urbis Orbis.

The Busy Bee.

The Baby Doll Polka Club.

Sigh...the list just keeps getting longer and longer...

BG / August 3, 2010 4:02 PM

Times Square arcade on Broadway north of Diversey; Zak's Lounge on Honore.

BG / August 3, 2010 4:03 PM

Oh yes, The Busy Bee. That was like old Polish man's heaven.

Steve / August 3, 2010 4:20 PM

The Cheese Stands Alone. It was an awesome cheese shop and the folks who ran it were nothing but cool.

Mo / August 3, 2010 4:20 PM

I haven't lived in Chicago all that long (~8 years), but Hi Ricky. It was integral to my first year in the city.

whoever / August 3, 2010 4:36 PM

@#2 Wheeling? is that in Chicago?

Frances / August 3, 2010 5:23 PM

I can't remember the name but it was an Italian bakery, south side of Grand, sort of near Ashland, across from an elementary school, and they made great great subs.

amf / August 3, 2010 5:28 PM

My Pi, the Belden Deli, Far East on Diversey, Sally's Stage (player pianos still freak me out), Tivoli Gardens (weird little shop at Clark and Belden), Harry Weese Associates (my dad worked there, we used to play hide and seek in the office on weekends), old Exit (Thunderdome), 950, G-Spot, Circuits, Three Penny, Red Lion, GOD I'M OLD!!

Carrie / August 3, 2010 5:58 PM

The Planet Cafe on Lincoln, near Damen and Irving. It was a great diner and had the best waiter, Kevin. He'd let me and my girlfriends go behind the counter to refill our pop, which when you're 12 and never get to drink pop, is a big deal.

Sarah / August 3, 2010 6:03 PM

It's kind of heartwarming to see Leo's Lunchroom appear so many times on this thread. That's the place I thought of immediately. I miss it so much! I also have to second the House of Tiki, which technically used to be in Hyde Park, but was more like another planet.

fluffy / August 3, 2010 6:56 PM

Leo's, Busy Bee, Berghof

dragonslayer / August 3, 2010 7:12 PM

Fun Town
Kroch's & Brentano's
Tiki Hut
the Normal theater
The Loop skating rink
that steakhouse on about 123rd and Vincennes
Gately's in Roseland (they had the most beautiful elevator I've ever seen)
the Warehouse nightclub
the gameroom in the Loop Greyhound bus station (where I learned to play 'Track & Field')
the gameroom at Evergreen Plaza (where I learned to play 'Centipede', 'Spy Hunter' & 'Sinistar')
that gameroom on Broadway just north of Diversey (testing ground for Williams pinball machines)

Tracie / August 3, 2010 7:22 PM

Augenblick, Lounge Ax, and there was a great restaurant on the corner of Clark and Foster that sold middle eastern food, Olive something...I also miss any number of independent bookstores around town.

LaShawn Williams / August 3, 2010 7:48 PM

Dragonslayer, are you a native South Sider? You took quite a few of mine! :-)

(Fun Town, Normal Theater
The Loop skating rink
Gately's, the gameroom in Evergreen Plaza) :-)

Spook / August 3, 2010 9:03 PM

Packaged Goods aka The Pizza Lounge
The Woods Theatre

yaj / August 3, 2010 9:04 PM

The Fine Arts theater on Michigan Ave.

Mike / August 3, 2010 11:59 PM

Cafe Boost, Delwood Pickle, Angel's and B&C Tap. Balmoral and Clark: heartache junction.

- Viennese Kaffe Haus (Coobah!!)
- West Lakeview Bowl (stunning and exciting condos with Subway and H&R Block!!)
- Simply Ray's (The Rail!!)
- Butera on Lincoln (first CB2, now nothing!!)

There are more but it's too depressing.

Mike / August 4, 2010 12:04 AM

Tracie, the place at Clark and Foster was the Olive Tree. I can still picture it. After years of vacancy and then that stupid Corner Grille diner, I was convinced that space was cursed ... until Ikosium Kafe opened. That place is great.

Cinnamon / August 4, 2010 7:46 AM

The BC Tap was great. Drank quite a few "Stupids" there thinking about their carpet.
There was a bead store at 111 N. Wabash, that place was like craft mecca, as was the fabric store that was above Central Camera on Wabash. Perfect blend of thrift store organization/pricing, but good owners.

Christopher J / August 4, 2010 8:36 AM

Good call Steve -- also miss The Cheese Stands Alone. What a fantastic shop that was open woefully too brief.

George / August 4, 2010 9:22 AM

I miss Wax Trax (Lincoln and then Damen locations

Healing Earth Resources when it was on Ashland

Hi Ricky, OMG I miss those Singapore Noodles.

bob / August 4, 2010 9:48 AM

Oh my, yes, Gately's Peoples Store! And the Fine Art Theater in the Fine Art Building.

Jamie / August 4, 2010 10:43 AM

Fan Si Pan on Chicago...Filter at 6 corners...Ann Sathers on Milwaukee.

jennifer / August 4, 2010 11:22 AM

I'll echo Leo's and Lounge Ax.

Also, Pacific Cafe on Damen, Letizia's before it got super expanded, Earwax before it moved, Myopic before it moved, Fireside before it went back to being a bowling alley. Basically, I want it to be 1999/2000 again.

jima / August 4, 2010 11:29 AM

Don't forget Quimby's before it moved, and Steven Svymbersky was still working there. The golden age of zines!

I know Amy would want to add Rainbo Roller Rink, and I'll also kick in Marigold Bowl. *The* best place to bowl on a Sunday morning.

b / August 4, 2010 11:38 AM

Hong Min in Chinatown.

David / August 4, 2010 11:49 AM

Veggies To Go in Hyde Park. Man, their vegan BBQ sandwiches were awesome.

esskaycee / August 4, 2010 12:04 PM

I'll echo a lot of the sentiments above - especially Ciral's House of Tiki, the Fine Arts Theatre, the Fireside (as a music venue), and Tuman's AAC - and add Cafe Neurosis (or Neurosis Cafe, or Neurosis Coffee House, or whatever it was called.)

jayloy / August 4, 2010 12:09 PM

I miss Cubbie Dog. It was a hole in the wall just south of Addison on Clark. It was your typical greasy beef/hot dog/gyro place but the italian beef there was amazing. The door never fully opened because the bottom of it would catch on the floor and it had a disco ball hanging from the ceiling for no good reason.

zoenotcool / August 4, 2010 12:29 PM

Lincoln Square area: Square Kitchen, Zephyr.

Riggio's on Western (now a condo building).

Quilt shop that was open near Rockwell and Leland for under 6 mos. in 2003 or so?

I'm sure there are many more that I'm forgetting right now. I really liked Hilary's Urban Eatery, too.

annie / August 4, 2010 12:29 PM

Artful Dodger, Island (we need a tiki bar for winter months), Leo's but most of all, The Purple Cow.

Joanna / August 4, 2010 1:57 PM

@zoenotcool: I LOVED Zephyrs in college. I had completely forgotten about the marathon milkshakes. Where can we get 64 oz anywhere else?!

Bob / August 4, 2010 2:13 PM

The Leopard Lounge, on Cortland, in Bucktown.

curmudgeon / August 4, 2010 2:24 PM

The OLD Chernin Shoes on Roosevelt Rd and The Bakery Restaurant on Lincoln Ave.

Spook / August 4, 2010 2:26 PM

Oh, that's what I forgot to add!

Literary X ( aka Lit X ) book store that was right under neath what is now Starbucks in Wicker Park.

"Watch your head"

Dolly Lava / August 4, 2010 2:33 PM

I miss River Kwai on Belmont. That late Night Thai place that moved in after them is not nearly as good or interesting.

And for those that miss Filter-its back, it moved a little farther up Milwaukee.

GXM / August 4, 2010 2:36 PM

DEFINITELY 2nd Fan Si Pan on Chicago, that place and every thing about it was absolutely amazing, and I miss it every day. Honestly.

HUE as well, they had AMAZING coffee, and the food was always delicious and flavorful...

Kev / August 4, 2010 3:18 PM

I was going to say the Patio Theater, Irving and Austin, but it's re-opening!!!

Tracie / August 4, 2010 3:39 PM

I forgot about Urbis Orbis in Wicker Park, where the Cheetah Gym now sits. It was always great for some hipster attitude, and they had zines and graphic novels long before they were cool! In addition not really a place, but I miss the old "Around the Coyote" when artists really did open their houses to the public, and you could go see a theater piece in someone's living room and notice that they hadn't done their dishes in about a week!

Slow bicycle society / August 4, 2010 4:23 PM

3rd Coast on Delaware. Tiki Lounge. Fine Arts Theatre. Is No Exit Cafe still on Glenwood? My first cafe visit in 7th grade with my older sis, a Loyola alum. And thank you for bringing up Sally Stage...very few people remember the Liberace-type pianist and the show/theatre.dissent the grand piano raise from below the stage?

Jasmine's / August 4, 2010 4:25 PM

* Ciral's House of Tiki

* The Lounge Ax

* Tuman's when it was better known as the Alcohol Abuse Center

Slowbikesociety / August 4, 2010 4:25 PM

And Stuart Brent books on Michigan.

fred / August 4, 2010 6:38 PM

Nightlife: Club 950, Medusa's, Exit on Wells, Industry, Aftermath, Avalon, Orbit Room, Europia, Limelight

Food: Busy Bee, Demon Dogs, Bizzoni's, Solly's, Orignal France's Deli, Freddy's Ribs, Roma, Marks Chop Suey on Broadway, Larsen's

Retail: Guild Books, Wax Trax! on Lincoln, McClurg Ct big theater, Cineplex Odeon at the Biograph , Chestnut Station and Water Tower, Arcadia stores, Bizzare Bazar on Wells, Jay's Italian Ice

Bucktown Bars: Bushia's, Larry & Lydia's, Poreda's, Friendly Stop

fred / August 4, 2010 6:38 PM

Nightlife: Club 950, Medusa's, Exit on Wells, Industry, Aftermath, Avalon, Orbit Room, Europia, Limelight

Food: Busy Bee, Demon Dogs, Bizzoni's, Solly's, Orignal France's Deli, Freddy's Ribs, Roma, Marks Chop Suey on Broadway, Larsen's

Retail: Guild Books, Wax Trax! on Lincoln, McClurg Ct big theater, Cineplex Odeon at the Biograph , Chestnut Station and Water Tower, Arcadia stores, Bizzare Bazar on Wells, Jay's Italian Ice, MARSHALL FIELDS!!!

Bucktown Bars: Bushia's, Larry & Lydia's, Poreda's, Friendly Stop

stevej / August 4, 2010 6:43 PM

dragonslayer: Times Square on Broadway, the basement gameroom at the Century Mall (name anyone?) AND Chicago Game Company on Western across from Lane Tech.

John C / August 4, 2010 7:36 PM

The Golden Ox on clybourn.

JACK / August 4, 2010 7:50 PM

IOLA'S SNACK SHOP & RESTAURANT at 8934 South Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60619

joshua / August 4, 2010 10:01 PM

the original Trader Vic's. love those tikis!

Mike / August 4, 2010 10:29 PM

Don's Coffee Club

Mike / August 4, 2010 10:29 PM

Don's Coffee Club

violettrainwreck / August 4, 2010 10:57 PM

peters diner on fullerton at lincoln
The Red Lion
The original Bergoff
DeMars coffee shop (chicago/paulina)
The frock shop
Flashy trash

eric / August 5, 2010 10:25 AM

demon dogs and filter at the 6 corners. i know filter recently reopened, but it's just not the same.

trm / August 5, 2010 12:14 PM

forgot about prairie avenue bookshop

JCNelson / August 5, 2010 1:11 PM

Zoom Kitchen and Slow Down, Life's Too Short

shmi75 / August 5, 2010 1:57 PM

Sweet Thang on North Ave. - best croissants ever served by real french people. I remember they didn't serve such a thing as skim lattes.

I loved Del Toro before it turned into Violet Hour

mrdplus / August 5, 2010 2:36 PM

Kroch's & Brentano's Books on Wabash. Henry's office (the "Saints and Sinners' Corner") was upstairs in back; he kept the photography shelves well-stocked.

Rose Records has been mentioned, but Joe Segal also had a small (by late standards) jazz record store at more than one address on the west side of State Street in the Loop.

DT / August 5, 2010 3:33 PM

River Kwai: so much character and so many characters. And spicy noodle... oh, spicy noodle! Super friendly owner/cook... I feel terrible that I have forgotten his name. Has it been that long?

rickone23 / August 5, 2010 5:41 PM

i miss wicker park...
club dreamerz...el chino tacos right across the street..whose old building is still vacant!!...quaker goes deaf records that was on north ave. and urabis orbis however you spell it...that was the original coffee shop in that hood...
man i'm old

Marc / August 6, 2010 12:00 AM

Boom Boom at Red Dog
Wax Trax
Sweet Thang

Leah / August 6, 2010 12:10 AM

Another vote for Leo's Lunchroom. It was one of my few meals out each week when I moved to Chicago and Wicker Park 8 years ago.

Those breakfast potatoes and the Reader Matches made for a good Sunday morning.

I never went there, but I was sad to see Standee's go in Edgewater - our only 24 hour joint. And I miss when LaSabre (Damen and Montrose) kept true 24/7 hours. Oh Gypsy Skillet, I miss you.

mike-ts / August 6, 2010 12:29 AM

Sometimes it's remembering the names of places. Like the internet coffee shop that was in Lakeview where IRC chats had meet-ups. And that used camera store in the south loop south of Dearborn Station that went under before I saved up to buy a bunch of stuff there. ("A" Camera Shop?) And what was the name of the bar on Institute that was nightclub upstairs and all billiards downstairs - Lucky's?

Anyway, Baha Beach Club in North Pier for good tourist watching. Yup, Urbis Orbis. Smart Bar before renovation, when it looked like someone's unfinished basement. The Mash Potato Club for being the train wreck of a restaurant that it was - what it lacked in customer service it made up for in unintended entertainment. The Chicago Pizza Factory that was in the Santa Fe building in the Loop. Rose Records for their free concert tickets to Monday night shows at Cabaret Metro. Arthur Anderssen at 55 W Monroe, where I had one of my coolest temp jobs ever. Art Ketchum Studios on Michigan south of Roosevelt, where I learned all I needed to know about portrait photography in his Sunday seminars - not just the tech stuff, but the interaction, the whole experience. I tried looking him up around Christmas with no luck. And the guy who ran the newspaper booth in front of the old library on Randolph (the one seen at the beginning of "Bosom Buddies") who used to shave the back half of his dog in the summer.

Suzanne / August 6, 2010 9:29 AM

I miss The Belden Deli on Belden and Clark. My Grandma used to take me there when I was little to get chocolate fosfates (sp?). Also, there was a pet shop at Grant and Clark, that was where I first learned about the amazing verbal abilities of a parrot and could not BELIEVE it. Also, the drug store on the southwest corner of Fullerton and Clark, before it was a Wolf Camera and now a Five Guys. That was where I fell in love with comic books, my Grandma would buy me an Archie comic every week... more...

JAChicago / August 6, 2010 9:17 PM

Demon Dogs! Oh, the memories...

Brian / August 7, 2010 10:19 AM

  • The Busy Bee (What? I grew up on this place!)
  • The Brighton Diner on S. Pulaski & 46th (It’s a laundrymat now)
  • Standee’s in Edgewater
  • Clark’s on Clark
  • Mercury CafĂ© in Noble Square
  • Filter in Wicker Park
  • Corner stores (too many of them are gone)

Leonard Grossman / August 7, 2010 2:23 PM

The original Henrici's on Randolph. Their motto was "No orchestral din." My father had been an alderman in the 20's and when he took us there in the 50's he was still treated like a celebrity. I remember Mayor Daley (I)coming over to our table and greeting my father, "Alderman Grossman, How the hell are you." And I remember the dollop of thick cream on top of the little cream pitchers(my brother and I got to eat that), and the gilt framed paintings, and the wonderful bakery infront.

beer:30 / August 7, 2010 6:07 PM

1] Bucket O'Suds - I can't believe no one else has mentioned it yet. Best bar I've ever been in EVER. The place was a treasure and a museum to booze. R.I.P. Joe Danno
2] R&R Ranch downtown - R.I.P. the Sundowners - my god were they amazing! I spent so many nights there learning about REAL country music.
3] the original Maxwell St. and dancing to blues bands on a Sunday morning with a cold Bud wrapped in a newspaper in my hand.
After that:
Bluebird Lounge [esp Sundays when the Crown Royals played!]
Artful Dodger
Party Party
Lounge Ax
Busy Bee
Urbis Orbis
Quaker Goes Deaf
Round Records
Rose Records [Wabash, Broadway, Ashland]
Wax Trax
Evil Clown
the multi-sectioned Reader
...and the list could go on & on & on. Makes me even more appreciate Gold Star, the Hideout, Rainbo, Empty Bottle, Skylark, Hot Doug's, Reckless, and anyone else who has decided to stick it out thru thick and thin.
And big ditto on feeling OLD......

PMan / August 8, 2010 10:33 PM

Leo's (can't someone read these lists and bring it back? -- you've got at least 15 semi-regular customers already)
The Busy Bee
Blues Etc.
The Buffalo
Zum Deutchen Eck

Dave / August 9, 2010 8:25 AM

The Gold Coin Restaurant

The Red Hot Ranch

Mel Markons

Sarah / August 9, 2010 11:05 AM

Mars, which was a Thai (I think) place up on Broadway in Lakeview (near where the Apartment People office is). They were replaced by another trendier-looking-with-worse-food Thai place. :(

Jennifer / August 9, 2010 11:38 AM

oh my god, I forgot about zoom kitchen! i used to love that place for breakfast on the weekends!

Ray / August 9, 2010 12:35 PM

As an old Wicker Parkster, I'm with the folks who miss Leo's, Urbus Orbis, the Busy Bee, and the Artful Dodger.

And how about the Rainbo Roller Rink?

Joe / August 9, 2010 1:06 PM

Lakeview Lounge - I loved that place!

Grace / August 9, 2010 2:28 PM

Max Tavern

PaulE. / August 19, 2010 8:12 PM

Oh wow...
The 'Warehouse" where Frankie Knuckles would spin on Saturday night (well really early Sunday...2 to 10AM).
'151 West'.
I could go on and on.
The 'Lucky Number' on Wrightwood.
And my favorite... Carol's Speakeasy on Wells St.

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