Category Archives: Restaurants

Late-night Springfield, 1935

J. Emil Smith wrote a daily column, “Making Conversation,” for more than 28 years, starting when he became editor of the Illinois State Journal in 1930. Much of the column was made up of briefs, jokes, poems and birthday notices for friends … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Hotels & taverns, Journalism, Local government, Media, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | Leave a comment

Prohibition referendums in Sangamon County, 1908-17

Most of Sangamon County voted itself “dry” as soon as it legally could in 1908. But it would take four referendums and nearly 10 years before the city of Springfield finally succumbed to prohibitionist sentiment. After a bitter struggle, the … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Business, Crime and vice, Hotels & taverns, Local government, Politics, Race riot of 1908, Restaurants, Social life, Women | Leave a comment

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

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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 | 21 Comments