Category Archives: Restaurants

The Political Rise of the Adamitis & Yacubasky Families

From Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois The story goes that for decades, Republican Party leader Don “Doc” Adams (Lith. Adomaitis) of Springfield exercised significant patronage power in both the public and private sectors. When Doc died in 2011 at age 75, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | 2 Comments

Vito Impastato (restaurateur, organized crime suspect)

Vito Impastato, though often suspected of crimes including kidnapping, bank robbery and murder, built an enduring career as a restaurant operator in Springfield. His restaurants began in the 1930s with the Club Holiday, MacArthur Boulevard and North Grand Avenue. Later, … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Maldaner’s restaurant

John Maldaner (1852-1924), the namesake founder of Maldaner’s restaurant, got his start at age 14, making cakes and candies for a confectioner on the north side of what is now the Old Capitol Plaza. He went into the confectionery business … Continue reading

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The Mack family and Springfield’s McDonald’s restaurants

Springfield’s Lithuanian historian, Sandy Baksys, covers the beginnings of McDonald’s restaurants in Springfield in three posts on her Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois web site. Here’s how she led off the first installment: Anybody who’s eaten a McDonald’s hamburger in Springfield … Continue reading

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The Cara-Sel Lounge

One of the more colorful Lithuanian-American businesses in Springfield was the Cara-Sel Lounge, Seventh Street and North Grand Ave, operated for 17 years by Tony and Carol Yuscius. Tony (1923-2009) was the son of Lithuanian-born Joseph and Marcella (Radavich) Yuscius. … Continue reading

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Joe DeFrates

Joe DeFrates was the founder of Chilli Man Chilli and a two-time winner of the International Championship Chili competition in Terlingua, Texas. See Chili ‘chilli’ in Springfield.

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The Sugar Bowl restaurants

Springfield had two Sugar Bowl restaurants, both on South Grand Avenue, which between them lasted from 1919 to 1959. Teddy Gray (1892-1977) was the main operator of the 11th Street and South Grand Sugar Bowl, while Alex Karon (1893-1972) was primarily identified … Continue reading

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Chili (‘chilli’) in Springfield

Springfield’s idiosyncratic two-L spelling of the dish that goes elsewhere by the spelling “chili” was institutionalized when Joe Bockelmann and Thomas McNerney opened The Dew Chilli Parlor in 1909. Although The Dew apparently was the first restaurant to spell it … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Prominent figures, Restaurants | 13 Comments

Cozy Dog Drive-In

The Cozy Dog, a battered, deep-fried hot dog on a stick, was created by Ed Waldmire Jr. (1916-93) while he was in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Texas.* After discharge, Waldmire brought the idea back to Springfield, where the … Continue reading

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Fast food in Springfield

The first drive-in restaurant in Springfield was the Sugar Bowl at 11th Street and South Grand Avenue, according to Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age, written by John Jakle of Champaign-Urbana and Keith Sculle of Springfield. The 11th … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Restaurants | Tagged , | 6 Comments