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October 12, 2021

30 Vintage Postcards Show Chicago’s Restaurants in the 1950s and ’60s

When American servicemen returned home from World War II, they brought with them stories and souvenirs from the South Pacific. This newfound interest, and a need to escape drudgery and horrors of WWII, led to the establishment of tiki bars across the country, including in Chicago, during the 1940s and 1950s, and all the way into the 1960s.

Chicago has made countless contributions to global food culture, from the obvious (deep dish pizza) to the less-so (chicken a la king). But few know that the popular Greek specialty, flaming saganaki, was created in Chicago. Though the fried cheese dish is a staple of Greek cuisine, flambéing it tableside in brandy is a touch created by Parthenon owner Chris Liakouras.

Check out these old photos to see what Chicago’s restaurants looked like in the 1950s.

    Swiss Chalet, Bismarck Hotel, Chicago

Antonio's Steak House at 1528 N. Wells Street, Chicago

Bamboo Inn Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge at 11 N. Clark Street, Chicago

Cafe Bonaparte Sheraton, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago

Cafe Bonaparte Sheraton, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago

Camellia House Restaurant, Drake Hotel, Chicago

Cape Cod Room, Drake Hotel, Chicago

Cape Cod Room, Drake Hotel, Chicago

Club El Bianco at 2747 West 63rd Street, Chicago

Elizabethan Room, Congress Hotel and Annex, Chicago

Fireplace Inn at 1448 N. Wells Street, Chicago

Glass Hat Restaurant, Congress Hotel, Chicago

Henrici's Restaurant at 67 West Randolph, Chicago

Honolulu Harry's Waikiki at 204 Wilson Avenue, Chicago

Jacques French Restaurant at 900 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Kon-Tiki Ports Restaurant, Sheraton-Chicago Hotel at 501 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Kon-Tiki Ports Restaurant, Sheraton-Chicago Hotel at 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Kon-Tiki Ports Restaurant, Sheraton-Chicago Hotel at 605 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Kungsholm Scandinavian Restaurant at 100 E. Ontario Street, Chicago

La Tour Cafe Francais, Chicago

Martinique Restaurant and Drury Lane Theatre, Chicago

Myrtlewood Bar, Indian Room, Blackhawk Restaurant, Chicago

Porterhouse Room, College Inn, Sherman Hotel, Chicago

Sayat Nova Armenian Restaurant at 6465 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago

Shangri-La Restaurant at 222 N. State Street, Chicago

Southwest Inn at 4501 South Cicero Avenue, Chicago

Stouffer's Top of the Rock, Prudential Building, Chicago.

Stouffer's Top of the Rock, Prudential Building, Chicago

The Three Graces Blue Fountain Room, Hotel La Salle, Chicago

View from the Allerton Hotel, "Tip Top Tap" Cocktail Lounge, Chicago




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