Lincolnwood, Illinois – A Trip Down Memory Lane

Lincolnwwod License Tag

Ernie's Flowers

In 1959, my parents moved from Rogers Park to Lincolnwood, a quiet Chicago suburb with a current population of about 12,697 people. My dad broke the mold of all his physician friends, many of whom moved from Hyde Park or South Shore to North Shore suburbs such as Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, and Highland Park. They all thought he was a little nuts for choosing this somewhat obscure, unassuming village. However, he had the last laugh because Lincolnwood is an easy commute to North Michigan Avenue, where nearly all of them practiced and my dad has since 1958 – and still does part-time at age 93!

Lincolnwood Towers Xmas

My dad could have bought a house in the Lincolnwood Towers, famous for its extravagant Christmas decorations. Back in 1959, there were very few if any Jewish families living in the Towers, so instead he opted for a house in the Lincolnwood Terrace section just east of the Towers. My dad loves recounting the story of live reindeer with a manned sleigh that graced one homeowner’s front lawn when they first moved to Lincolnwood! Actress Barbara Eden looked at a house in the Towers at North Shore and Navajo when she married Charles Fegert, a Chicago Sun-Times advertising executive, but they ended up living in Water Tower Place (1977-1983).

Lincolnwood is just a stone’s throw away from Chicago – Sauganash and Edgebrook are the lovely communities closest to where I grew up, near Pratt and Cicero. When I went to college on the East Coast, nobody heard of Lincolnwood, however, when I mentioned Skokie and Evanston, that elicited a glimmer of recognition. I wrote before about Lincoln Village, which was just over the border in Chicago on Lincoln Avenue between Kimball and Kedzie and the adjacent Hollywood Kiddieland. I discuss both beloved places later in this blog.

A Short History

Incorporated as Tessville in 1911 by 359 residents, the village was a rough and tumble place in its early days. During Prohibition, Tessville became a haven for speakeasies and gambling facilities and this didn’t change until Henry Proesel was elected mayor in 1931. Proesel made huge changes such as planting 10,000 elm trees on village streets (many of which have succumbed to Dutch elm disease) and limiting the number of liquor licenses allowable within the village limits. Tessville officially became Lincolnwood 5 years later in 1936 and Proesel enjoyed a 46-year run as mayor, earning himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. I went to grade school with one of his grandsons, Ed.

Proesel Park Aquatic Center

The park where I spent much of my youth is called Henry A. Proesel Park. The water park section wasn’t there when I grew up, but I fondly remember basking in the sun with my friends when I was in junior high school and high school. I’ll never forget when Bart Connor showed up with his Lincolnwood pals and did spectacular flips off the diving board.

Once Upon a Time in Lincolnwood

While most of the stores and businesses from my childhood are now just memories, it is reassuring Bunny Hutch and Novelty Golf & Games are still in business! Here is a brief picture history of businesses that existed before my parents moved to Lincolnwood, followed by a few I clearly remember from my youth. Unfortunately, despite scouring several great internet sources, I could not uncover photos of my little corner grocery store, North Shore Food Market, where I spent every cent I earned on candy bars, nor Van Zeelt’s Lawn and Garden, which was just around the corner from North Shore on Cicero Avenue.

South Seas Postcard

South Seas Lounge

South Seas was around in 1944, 15 years before my parents moved to Lincolnwood. It was located at Lincoln and Pratt and offered nightly dancing and specialties including aged steaks and milk-fed chicken. For those who love Tiki bars, it must have been awesome with its painted murals of beach scenes and palm trees behind the bar, bamboo around the front of the bar, and fish nets and floats on the ceiling in the dining area. The matchbook is pretty risqué for its time!

Yellowstone Restaurant

According to the ebay seller, Yellowstone existed in the 1930s to 1940s. Obviously it would have to be 1936 or later since that is when Tessville became Lincolnwood. I couldn’t find any other details about this establishment.

Toppers Drive-in

My parents have no recollection of this super cool drive-in, so it was obviously defunct by the time they moved to Lincolnwood in 1959. It looks pretty darn cool – this place likely existed in the 1940s, but I couldn’t locate the exact dates nor anything else. I don’t know if it was still around on December 20, 1951 when the Edens Expressway opened with exit and entrance ramps at Touhy just west of Cicero.

The Fireside

Given the address and name, this must be the same restaurant as Allgauer’s Fireside, although this postcard is dated 1945 on the back. In 1951, this restaurant was definitely Allgauer’s Fireside, also called Allgauer’s and Allgauer Restaurants – perhaps it was owned by somebody else in the 1940s.


Gustave Allgauer built his reputation with 2-pound lobsters and oversize prime steaks. The Lincolnwood location is quite infamous due to a presumed mob hit which burnt the restaurant to the ground. Two masked gunmen entered the popular restaurant on May 13, 1958. While one hoodlum stood guard over a night crew of seven porters and bus boys, the other drenched the interior of the restaurant with gasoline, draped the tables and chairs with rolls of toilet paper, and set the place on fire. Damage to the restaurant amounted to about $1,400,000 and the crime was never solved. Allgauer’s on the Riverfront restaurants operate today in Hilton Hotels in Alsip, Lisle, and Northbrook.

House of Pierre

The House of Pierre was at the same intersection as Allgauer’s Fireside, however, it must have been on a different corner since The Fireside was definitely around in 1945. I love how Lincolnwood is defined as “Outskirts N.W. of Chicago” on the menu cover. Back then it was likely way off the beaten path for most Chicagoans. The only thing I could find was an unsavory news item from January 1950. Apparently, suspected members of a gang had been preying on many fashionable Chicago area night spots. James Ziedman, a 26-year-old man from Chicago was shot twice and fatally wounded when he attempted to flee officers questioning him outside The House of Pierre. What is it about this location – it seemed to be cursed?!

The Purple Hotel

No trip down Lincolnwood memory lane is complete without a mention of the Lincolnwood Hyatt house, aka the Purple Hotel. Hyatt House-Chicago broke ground in January 1961 at the corner of Lincoln and Touhy, the former site of Allgauer’s Fireside restaurant. In the 1960s-1970s, the hotel was a swinging Chicago hot spot where Barry Manilow, Roberta Flack, and Perry Como among others stayed when performing in the Chicago area. In 1981 when I married my first husband, several out-of-town relatives stayed at the Lincolnwood Hyatt House.

The Purple Hotel

Purple Hotel Demolition

The grisly, unsolved murder of Teamster Allen Dorfman in the parking lot on January 20, 1983 spelled the beginning of the end for this once swanky hotel. Dorfman was convicted of conspiring to bribe a U.S. senator and faced up to 55 years in prison.  He was shot eight times with a .22 caliber pistol and FBI wiretaps revealed the Chicago Mafia may have been connected to his execution-style murder. Although the case was never solved, it was speculated Dorfman was killed out of fear that he would divulge information related to his longtime ties to organized crime. The same year, Oscar Gerber, owner of Gerber Plumbing on Lincoln was murdered at the hotel by a mentally ill employee. The hotel had one last claim to fame when a young basketball player named Michael Jordan stayed there on his first visit to Chicago in 1984.

In 2004, Village Resorts, Inc. assumed management of the hotel and dubbed it the Purple Hotel. Despite fully renovated and tastefully furnished guest rooms, the hotel had a rep for sleaze. The Lincolnwood Police frequently busted patrons on prostitution and drug-related charges and the hotel hosted sex parties and sleazy conventions. In 2006, an inspection turned up more than 30 violations such as a leaking roof, garbage disposal issues, a failure to exterminate insects and rodents, and moldy rooms. Unable to cover the cost of renovations, the hotel was ordered to close in January 2007. It took more than 6 years for the hotel to be demolished in August 2013. Purple bricks from the hotel are still being sold on ebay.

Other Defunct Businesses

Some Lincolnwood businesses bit the dust recently like Whistlers on Devon, Myron & Phil Steakhouse on Devon, and Kow Kow at Pratt and Cicero, however, this blog is primarily devoted to more vintage memories.


Novak’s was apparently a classy restaurant with live entertainment, as noted in this Chicago Tribune article. I have no recollection of Novak’s whatsoever, likely because my family never ate there. Lou Malnati bought the property from the former owner of Novak’s Chicken in the Rough when it closed in the early 1970s. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria has been at this location since 1971 and is wildly popular with a cult-like following!

Renaldi's Pizza and Pastas

It was either gutsy or foolhardy to establish a pizza restaurant less than a block away (at 6717 N. Lincoln) from the venerable Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria at 6649 N. Lincoln! A Renaldi’s restaurant still exists on Broadway in the Lakeview area, although I am not certain it is the same owner.

The Kenilworth Inn

The Kenilworth Inn was an independently owned restaurant at 7110 N. Lincoln at Kostner, just north of Proesel Park. In 1979, Lettuce Entertain You Founder Rich Melman opened Bones at this location. I remember going to Bones once, but my parents preferred Carson’s Ribs in Skokie. According to Melman, he decided to change-up Bones and open up L. Woods due to declining sales and an aging clientele. We have been to L. Woods several times, but when we celebrated my mom’s birthday there 3 years ago, we were disappointed with the ambience and food.

Pedian Carpet

Pedian Carpet’s flagship location at 6535 N. Lincoln boasted this tacky but cool roadside architecture sign. According to their website, they are in Highland Park and have served Chicagoland for more than 100 years. In 2005, the Lincolnwood showroom received very poor marks from a trade publication.

Doral Restaurant

I have vivid memories of the Doral Restaurant sign, but we never ate there. The popular, lively restaurant Psistaria Greek Taverna was established at this location by the Bournas family in 2005. I am pretty certain the Doral went out of business and sat empty for quite a few years prior to that.

The Milk Pail

Located on Devon about one block west of McCormick, The Milk Pail was a perennial family favorite. They had an excellent deli department with delicacies my dad loved, such as pickled lox and smoked trout. I particularly liked going to The Milk Pail in high school because a lot of cute guys I grew up with worked there. When I was married to my first husband, he worked with a woman who was married to the owner – this was around 1990, if I recall correctly. By then, the only Milk Pail still in business was in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lincoln Village Shopping Center

I have incredibly fond memories of Lincoln Village Shopping Center, just east of Lincolnwood at the intersections of Devon, Lincoln and McCormick.

Lincoln Village Exterior

When I was in grade school, we shopped at a cool ma & pa children’s department store called Howard Juvenile. When I was in junior high, I loved a gift shop called Harmony Hall that sold all sorts of gag gifts, Mad Libs, limited art supplies, greeting cards, and other nifty things. My dad was a stereophile before it was a fad and loved buying expensive gadgets at Devon Audio, which was right near Harmony Hall. Of course we adored shopping at Wieboldt’s and I have fond memories of getting little gifts with S&H Green Stamps in the basement. Hit Or Miss was one of the first off-price discount stores long before the existence of Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, or Nordstrom Rack. Even though it was more miss than hit, it was fun shopping there. The National grocery story in the above picture predated the Treasure Island grocery store that I remember.

Bronson Coles Photography Studio

My close friend Joan worked at Fannie May in Lincoln Village and told me about a help wanted sign posted next door at Bronson Coles Studios looking for a photo retoucher. The studio was located approximately to the left of the rear end of the Honda Civic in the below picture.

Lincoln Village

I was very lucky to get a job as a high school junior retouching wedding and Bar Mitzvah photos – back in the day when this was done with tiny brushes and dyes! I graduated early from Niles West in January 1976, so I was able to work at the studio full time until I went off to college. In one of those serendipity moments, the darkroom technician Dennis left to start his own studio in Park Ridge, so I was promoted to his position. I worked at the studio full time until I went off to RISD and then every summer during college. Joan and I would meet in the scary communal basement bathroom when we were on breaks. In retrospect, this was a darn good job for a kid who always loved photography, moreover, everyone I worked with was super nice! Sadly, the entire Bronson family passed away – my former boss Robert Bronson in February 2014 and his lovely wife Jane just 12 days later. They were preceded in death by their son Dr. Darryl Bronson, a prominent dermatologist who passed away in September 2012, and daughter Corinne Bronson-Adatto, a well-known dietician who passed away about 2 weeks before her father.

Hollywood Kiddieland

In 1949, Louis Klatzco, his wife, and older son Richard opened Hollywood Kiddieland, on the northwest side of Lincoln Village Shopping Center. When their son Buddy returned from the Korean War, he established Hollywood Miniature Golf next to Kiddieland. In 1955, the five Acciari brothers bought Hollywood Kiddieland from the Klatzcos. Their purchase included 18 rides and concession stands. They added an arcade in 1958.

Hollywood Kiddieland

Bunny Hutch

Novelty Golf

In the mid-1960s, the Klatzco family bought Novelty Golf & Games and the Bunny Hutch at 3650 W. Devon in Lincolnwood, which are both still in business. I went to Kiddieland as a little kid at least once every season. My favorite ride was the Little Dipper roller coaster, pictured above – the subtle drops and few curve spins on that ride were enjoyable. My favorite Kiddieland memory involves the batting cages and a sweet boy named Jim who I dated for a few months our junior year in high school. I was not supposed to be there so we had to crouch down in this little booth to avoid getting in trouble. I’ll never forget kissing Jim in this cramped booth with the distinctive sound of baseballs hitting wooden bats providing a unique “musical” interlude to our sloppy, innocent kisses. Sadly, Kiddieland was razed in 1975, but I will always have those sweet memories of youth and stolen puppy love kisses.

A Little Farther Afield

Due to its close proximity and the fact that my parents lived in Rogers Park prior to Lincolnwood, we often shopped on Devon Avenue. Two bakeries from my youth still exist – Tel Aviv and Levinson’s. The Red Hot Ranch was really just a shack, but the hot dogs on poppy seed buns and the crispy, greasy fries were to die for.


Just east of McCormick and Lincoln Village on Devon was a lighted baseball stadium called Thillens. When I was on a Lincolnwood Girls Softball Team during high school, we played one night game in this stadium. WGN-TV televised youth league games from Thillens, pioneering the use of the center field camera there back in the mid-1950s, about the same time the iconic baseball was installed. The Thillens family established the stadium in 1938 and in 2005, donated it to the City of Chicago. While it is listed online as being in Chicago, I think it is actually within Lincolnwood borders. The cool baseball started crumbling and actually became more of an eyesore over the years – it was removed in June 2013, much to the dismay of grown ups like me who played in the beloved stadium in their youth.

Lincolnwood Grill

Just to the east of Thillens was a super cool, Art Deco diner. I am not certain if this is officially in Lincolnwood or in West Rogers Park – hard to tell on an online map. My mom and I ate at the counter several times after I graduated from high school and once or twice before it was torn down when I was in college. It was a greasy spoon but they had very good burgers and fries and the architecture was classic. There was a bus terminal nearby and of course, the stadium, which must have sustained it for awhile. I vividly remember the lone waitress who served us – a gruff, tough blonde with a heart of gold.


A quaint neighborhood of Chicago just west of the Lincolnwood Towers, Edgebrook was home to several fun businesses during my childhood. Joan and I would ride our bikes there during their annual summer sidewalk sales. Among my favorites was Charles Value-Ville on the south side of Devon – a sign in the back alley still exists as an artifact of this long defunct business. Cut Rate Toys opened in this location a few years after they closed their flagship store in Rogers Park.

Cut Rate Toys

Lockwood Castle

On the northwest corner of Devon was Lockwood Castle. While their food was mediocre, they were known for spectacular fountain creations. The Giant Killer was a 24-scoop sundae topped with hot fudge, strawberry, marshmallow, caramel, cherries, wafers … and sparklers in a large glass bowl. If your group could eat it in one sitting, you were given a free one on your next visit. In retrospect, putting lit sparklers in soda fountain glasses … pretty dumb and unsafe, but the colorful crepe paper fans and umbrellas were very cool. I remember going here for my grandfather’s birthday in the mid 1960s.

Vague Memories

When my childhood friend Myra and I were about 5-years-old, we walked by ourselves all the way to Touhy to a tiny toy store. This was on the south side so we didn’t have to cross the busy street. I cannot find anything about this store, so if anyone remembers it, please comment. Another vague memory is of a card shop and a small coffee shop on the east side of Cicero, just north of Devon. Don Koehler, a true life giant (he had a pituitary condition called acromegalic gigantism) was hanging out at the coffee shop while we were dining – I was about 5 or 6-years-old. While not as famous as the giant Diane Arbus photographed, Koehler was famous in his own right for being over 8 feet tall! Thank you to the readers who identified him by name – he lived in Rogers Park – not Lincolnwood, but perhaps he was a friend of the card shop and/or coffee shop owner.

Lincolnwood will always have a special place in my heart – if you feel the same way, share your memories. If you have vintage Lincolnwood photos you wish to share, please send me an email and I will consider adding them to this blog.

Click here to read The Village Once Called Tessville – Lincolnwood, Illinois Part 2.

Photo sources: ebay, Cinema Treasures, Illinois Digital Archives, Pinterest,, Thilllens, Yelp



  1. Karen Yellen Dillon

    Thank you for this trip down memory lane! I am a few years older than you but my father was also a doctor who moved to Kenneth Ave. in 1955 from the north side of Chicago (Troy St.) and he liked the location because it was so close to the highway. Didn’t realize that the expressway only opened in 1951.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Karen. My older sister Debra Weiss graduated from Niles West in 1972.

      • I also lived in Lincolnwood and went to Niles West. Did you have a brother? His name? I went to school with a “Yellen”



        • Hi Terry – I have two sisters and our maiden name is Weiss. I graduated from Niles West in 1976, Debbie in 1972, and Janet in 1981.

          • Edie Goldstein

            I went to grammar and high school with Janet. How is Janet doing? I think I went to a Halloween party at your house.

          • Hi Edie – Janet is fine – thanks for asking. I mentioned you to her when I first posted this blog – of course she remembers you. She said you were friends when you were younger – Todd and Rutledge Hall.

          • alison Margolis

            Hi Betsy! I stumbled upon this serendipitously and have enjoyed this walk back in time! Just like our art projects and adventures together! Do you happen to recall the name of the Pancake House on Touhy next to Frenkels’ Deli and across from New York Bagel and Bialys? I think it specialized in pancakes and had Parisian-type wallpaper and blueberry syrup!!

        • I remember going to school with Chuck Yellen, if that is the name your looking for.

        • Ronald Bernstein

          Any relationship to Ilene Ratner – dear friend summer 1963?

      • Nancy Kozlowski


        Thank you so much for archiving these memories for me. I grew up in Sauganash and went to Queen of All Saints.

        I have a quick question, do you know of a book that was published that recorded the Christmas decorations in Lincolnwood/Edgebrook in the 1970’s? Possibly a coffee table book with pictures?

        Thank you, Nancy

        • Hi Nancy – I’m glad you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. As for a book, I don’t recall anything, but I’m thinking it had to be locally created. Perhaps from the Chicago Tribune or Chicago Sun-Times.

    • Mary Beth Platt (Crum)


      You must have graduated with my sister because she graduated in 1976. I graduated in 1969 and my brother in 1971 (from Niles West). We moved to Lincolnwood in 1961 from Park Forest. My father picked it because it was near the city and he had an office on Lake and Michigan. Coming from Park Forest, which was mostly farms to Lincolnwood was a culture shock. But it was a wonderful community to grow up in. Yes, there was a toy store on Touhy, down a ways from Fannie’s Delicatessen and New York Bagel and Bialy’s. I went there many times to pick up five and dime stuff. There was also a toy store next to Doral’s that sold cigarettes. We lived on Kenton and I used to walk to Touhy to that drug store/toy store to buy my mom cigarettes. Great article!

      • Leslie Stolberg (Mareta)

        We moved to Lincolnwood in 1965 and lived next door to you. My parents lived there until 1981. All of my brothers – four of them – graduated from Lincolnwood schools. What a great trip down memory lane. I remember all of this like it was yesterday. It was a great place to live. I talk about the area often with my friends. Thanks for posting this!

    • So wonderful to read this! Love all the pics! I grew up on Kostner Avenue and miss the Chicago area and all the people I left behind. Now I live in Florence, Italy. There’s no place like home ♥️♥️♥️

    • Karen, my grandparents lived on N. Troy St. from the 1940’s until the early 1970’s. What was your dad’s address on Troy St.?

    • Does anyone remember a Chinese restaurant across from Lincoln Village on Lincoln Ave in the 70s – called “Seven Seas” or something? Or maybe a longer name? We used to go there when we were kids

  2. Joan Prosniewski

    What a great read! I feel like I’ve gone back in time! Growing up in Lincolnwood was truly a great experience! Playing outside all day, secret passages, girls softball, the new outdoor pool, Lockwood Castle in Edgebrook. I could go on and on. Oh, those were the days! So lucky to have grown up at that time. Thanks for the memories, Betsy!

  3. Sheryl Stern Levin

    Thank you so much for the wonderful memories and history of Lincolnwood! My family lived there from about 1960 until 1969 when we moved to Skokie. Even after we moved, we spent lots of time in the area, everything from Little League games at Thillens Stadium to shopping at Lincoln Village to driving through the Towers to look at the Christmas lights. And of course, my bridal shower at Bones and my wedding at the “Purple Hotel” back in 1981. Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome Sheryl – I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. I remember you from grammar school and high school – I’m sure we were in a few classes together. Amazing you had your bridal shower at Bones and wedding at the “Purple Hotel” in 1981!

  4. Terrific memories and a great blog by a fellow member of Ni-We-Hi class of ’76.

    Although I didn’t live in Lincolnwood, many of my high school friends lived in Lincolnwood and growing up nearby, my family spent a lot of time patronizing restaurants, businesses and the holiday lights in the village. Two of my favorite restaurants were left off your list, Myron & Phil and Jimmy Wong’s, although I’m unsure if the latter was in Lincolnwood or Chicago.

    Like the author, I attended many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at the Hyatt. I remember the purple brick hotel as the premier hotel on the North Shore and the hotel of choice for celebrities and even some National League opponents of the Cubs.

    Betsy, thank you for the vivid memories you painted.

    • Thanks for your nice comments, David. I didn’t have to look you up in the yearbook – I remember you very clearly! I thought about including Myron & Phil and just added a mention to the blog. Jimmy Wong operated three restaurants – the one you fondly remember was at 3058 W. Peterson in Chicago. Given the interesting feedback I’m receiving, I foresee a Lincolnwood, Part 2 blog in the near future. The biggest challenge is finding photos for some of the more obscure businesses.

  5. Great article going back thru memory lane. It is difficult to name all the businesses – so let me add a few. My company National Wrecking razed dozens of Lincolnwood buildings including The Purple Hotel, Bell & Howell (site of Lincolnwood Town Center), Normie’s Delicatessen on Touhy, and Gabby Hartnett bowling alley on Lincoln Avenue. The Brickyard Bank hired us to demolish their drive-in bank teller system. There was supposed to be a small 3 hundred gallon oil tank under the driveway; it turned out to be a 15 thousand gallon railroad tanker car minus the wheels. Probably only a mystery the Chicago outfit can solve! Mike Mandell ~ former Skokie Resident 1969-1989.

    • Thanks for your comments, Mike. I know Art and Jay – my sister Debbie dated Jay throughout high school and part of college. When National Wrecking demolished the Union Stockyards, Jay found a great employee badge and gave it to me. We still have a photo of him and two of his pals who came over to our house absolutely filthy after working on that site. In part 2, which I am definitely going to write, I will add Gabby Hartnett, Normie’s, and other businesses that people suggest. The challenge is photos are not available for all of these businesses and they make the article far more interesting.

    • The old Bell and Howell became the now defunct Dominick’s which now houses Planet Fitness – not Lincolnwood Town Center. The old drive in I believe called “Sunset Theaters” is where Lincolnwood Town Center is built currently. The Milk Pail was sold, but continued to operate in the same way with the same foods until I think 1998 or 2000. Also next door to Kiddieland, they built the 10-ft slides that we would go down in burlap sacks. I seem to recall they also had trampolines in that area or in Kiddieland.

      • Yes, you are correct about Bell and Howell … however, Sunset Drive-In was at 7320 N. McCormick Boulevard north of Touhy, apparently just over the border in Skokie. I will add it to part 2 of this blog. Thanks much for your comments!


          I went to the purple hotel in ’76 for a wedding while I was in the Air Force. I returned to Lincolnwood four years later and worked in the Microfilm Engineering Department at Bell & Howell till around 1988. I really miss those days. I was trying to locate some of the people that I worked with there.

      • Genie,

        Bell + Howell (they used the plus sign in their name!) was indeed where the Lincolnwood Town Center is now. The Ditto Corporation, manufacturer of mimeograph machines (remember those?) was a yellow brick factory building on the corner of Pratt and McCormick, replaced by the now closed Dominick’s store. Their logo was a circle with a double quote in the middle, something like this ( ” ). Yes, my memory is driven by graphics.


        Thanks for writing this and bringing back a lot of memories. I was friends and in a few classes with your sister Debbie. We lived a few blocks apart so we were in some carpools together too. I used to ride my bike to the toy store on the south side of Touhy, just east of Kilpatrick. It was a strip mall, now is a mid-rise apartment building. It was a great source of Yo-Yos, tops, and plastic car models for me.

        My parents lived in Lincolnwood until about two years ago; my father created a sculpture that is now in front of the village hall, installed for the Millennium.

        • Hi Bill – Of course I remember you and Mark, who was in my class. I’m glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I hope you still have both your parents. I didn’t realize your father was a sculptor – I knew he owned Homer’s Furniture! I actually found a groovy old TV commercial for Homer’s Furniture on YouTube. It was Doug Smith (remember him?) who filled me in on people from our past, including your family.

          • Betsy,

            Sorry for the late reply (I hadn’t seen your reply before today)! Yes, I remember my brother’s good friend Doug Smith, no idea what happened to him. My brother is a chemist/chemical engineer living in Detroit.

            Homer’s Furniture was formerly known as Homer Brothers Furniture, and was started by by grandfather and his four brothers. They manufactured furniture in a factory in Humbolt Park, where I used to work in the summer. My father was one of the cousins that went into the family business, retired early and took up sculpture. He did all he could to make sure that I didn’t go into the home furnishings business, and I spent most of my career in high tech businesses, but am now somehow in the interiors business with Green Home Chicago – go figure, there’s sawdust in my blood!

          • Hi Bill: Thanks for setting the record straight on the Lincolnwood Time Machine about the author of this blog! They never provide sources for any of the posted photos, which bothers me a little. As for Doug Smith – he had a very successful career as a geologist and then as an executive. He is enjoying retirement in Portland, Ore. We shared quite a few lengthy emails as a result of this blog, but not really in touch now, except on LinkedIn. It is quite interesting that you are now working in the interiors business!

        • The toy store you speak of was run by a man named Marvin. It was west of Kilpatrick, but three doors east of Keating. There is a temple there currently. Wirths Bakery was two doors to the west of the toy store – it was a fantastic Swedish bakery. Maybe late 1950’s-early 1960’s. Our bus stop was at the then corner of Keating and Touhy and the bakers would give us hot cupcakes in the morning as we waited for the bus – probably Maierhoffer bus.

          • Hi John Levy: You are the first person that I know of to provide additional information on the toy store that was on the south side of Touhy, west of Kilpatrick and east of Keating. I would go to this store often to look at the toys. My mom took me there once to buy a Mattel Tommy Cap Gun from the person who ran the store, who you say was named Marvin. All I recall of Marvin was that he took this toy down for us to show it to my mom and me, and my mom agreed to buy it for me. I was elated. Marvin was very nice. I do not recall a bus stop on the south side of Touhy by Keating, nor do I recall the Swedish bakery. But I do remember the temple that you speak of that has been there for many years. I got on and off the school bus on the north side of Touhy by Kilpatrick. It was Northtown bus company when I went to Lincolnwood schools in the 60’s. Our bus driver would turn left from Touhy and go south on Skokie Boulevard to complete the route. The route I took would pick up kids in and around the Towers and also pick up kids along Pratt as the bus traveled East toward the Lincolnwood schools. Thanks for the great memories.

    • Mary Beth Platt (Crum)

      I sooo remember Normie’s! It was a great deli. And there was King Kole’s on the corner of Crawford and Touhy. My mom didn’t like me going there but my best friend’s mom worked at the IGA so we used to stop by King Kole’s for fries and coke!

      My mom also met Barry Manilow at the Purple Hotel.

      • Michele Lustig Hechtman

        I loved that restaurant. We would walk home from school and have a coke and fries. My favorite waitress was Trixie. We would also stop at Linwood Grocery Store for candy.

        • I loved King Kole’s too. The whole of Lincoln Hall (just about) would invade the place for their excellent syrupy cokes and a basket of excellent fries. Their hamburgers were among the best I’ve ever had. I used to trip out on the cook, a thin black guy with long, straight hair and eye shade! He looked a bit like Little Richard. I also used to trip on this machine they had that you’d put the hamburger buns in and give this lever a few pumps. Made the buns really fresh tasting.

          I also remember that grocery mentioned early in the article. We called it the Corner store and perhaps that was part of its name. Next store to that was a hobby shop I used to go to all the time to buy models. Lincolnwood at that time (50’s, 60’s) was a great place to grow up. I remember piling up leaves in the gutter to burn, which everyone did. And going to Todd Hall for Kindergarten and then (after a very unsatisfying stint at Queen of All Saints), escaping to junior high at Lincoln Hall starting in 6th grade. Graduated in ’68.

          By the way Michelle, I recognize your last name. I was your neighbor just a few doors down. Your brother Dale was a best pal. We hung around all the time. Often wondered how things went for him (tell him I said hello). My family moved to Glenview after I graduated from Lincoln Hall. Glenview was a real drag compared to Lincolnwood.

        • Cherry coke and fries after the walking from Lincoln Hall with my good buddy Ronnie Shapiro.

        • Great, nostalgic memories from Lincolnwood. Hope all is well with you.

          Don Castle, MPA
          7347 N. Karlov Ave.
          1956 to 1973

      • Loved finding this on the Internet. We lived at 6051 and 6023 Sauganash Ave. in Chicago. My brother and I went to Sauganash School from 1966-71. I then went to Von Steuben High School on Kimball Ave. I worked (for a month) at Community Discount World, across from Kiddieland. I later was employed by Jewel at 5222 W Touhy.

        We lived at Howard and Damen (7527 N. Damen) until about 1966. Unbelievable number of memories. Played baseball in Edgebrook, Sauganash little league at fields like Harig on Howard Street and Croname which you could see the Leaning Tower Y from – what a terrible field. At age 18, I played at Proesel Park on Lincoln near Touhy. Too many memories. Living in Florida now and retired. Thanks.

    • Eugene Steingold

      You must be related to Phyllis Victorson and indirectly to her ex-husband Larry from Detroit.

    • My grandfather was Normie from Normie’s Delicatessen. My mom, Lynne and aunt, Candee, worked for him briefly after he remodeled the restaurant some time in the late 70s. Unfortunately, my days of free meals came to an abrupt end after he sold it in ’79. His brother, Burt, also had a restaurant for many years in the city at Foster and California.

      • Hi Brad: Thank you for posting about your grandfather and his beloved Lincolnwood delicatessen. It sure would be wonderful to have a photo of Normie’s – do you have any? What was the name of Burt’s restaurant?

  6. Loved reading this! My parents started girls softball in Lincolnwood. I remember I was in 6th or 7th grade when it started. My mom also owned a gift and card shop on Touhy that was the first store around to offer t-shirts with iron on transfers! It was called Gift Motique. She owned the store with her sister! Such great memories. Thanks again!

    • Thanks, Roberta – I remember your parents well and Gift Motique. My childhood friend Stefanie mentioned Gift Motique in response to this blog because she lived on Sherwin – just a few blocks away. I played on a team with Melissa Isaacson, who of course went on to an award-winning career as a sports columnist. I also was an umpire for girls softball, which was quite an experience. I still have the umpire shirt. If you have any photos of Gift Motique, I am going to write a second article and will include it. What year did you graduate from Niles West? My sympathy on your dad’s passing.

      • I will look for some pictures. I hope I can find some! I graduated NWHS in 1980. Thanks for acknowledging my dad… he was the man!

    • Pam Olsberg-Coszach

      Wow, this blog brings back such great memories. Our family lived next door to the Goldner family and a few doors down from the Kaplan family! I remember when Roberta was born! So sorry to read about your dad Leroy passing, Roberta. Elaine was good friends with my mom and I remember her card shop on Touhy.

      Great blog…looking forward to reading the next chapter…and seeing more photos!!

    • I remember joining softball at the beginning and all of the years I played on teams organized by your folks including the spectacular, Lincolnwood All Stars – and my wonderful teammates. Softball helped shape my team spirit and much of the way I have lived my life and patterned my career and raised my family. Your father was the BEST coach a girl could have ever known. My condolences on your and your family’s loss.

  7. Michael Streicher

    Wonderful memories. My parents also moved there in 1959. Your sister and I were friends all through grammar school and high school, and I remember your parents very well. When we moved there, there was a toy store on Central Park and Devon. I was heartbroken when they tore it down and built a bank. There was also a small bowling alley in back of the bank – it also didn’t last long.

    • Great to hear from you, Michael, and thank you for your nice comments. I don’t remember the toy store on Central Park and Devon. I recall you coming over to see Debbie during high school. We are lucky to still have both our parents, at age 88 and 93, respectively. Both you and your sister are highly accomplished physicians. Of course Lauren is featured in the media often, so that’s how I know her. My actual career is also in the medical field – as a writer. The blog is a hobby I pursue in my spare time.

      • I also remember the toy store on Devon and Lincoln. I was a little kid when it was there and I was so upset when the signs on the windows said they lost their lease. How could they be so careless? HA! What did I know? Also, I believe the bowling alley behind the toy store was Drake Bowl. I remember the pin spotters (before the automatic pin setting machines)!

        • Hi Rick – thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Lincolnwood. Part 2 will include Richard’s and Henry’s 15 cent hamburgers, as well as a lot more businesses than I featured in the first article! As for remembering the smells in the Milk Pail refrigerator. Not weird at all – smells from childhood in particular can trigger very vivid memories. Every time I smell a very specific combination of roasted chicken and chicken soup I am transported back to my grandparents’ apartment on Lake Shore Drive, circa 1967.

        • Richard Laureys

          I used to live in the large bungalow house that was next to the bowling alley. Friends of my parents owned the bowling alley. It and my parents house were eventually sold and turned into the parking lot of the bank that also took over the toy store. My brother and I spent quite a bit of time at that store.

        • Bob Criz Niles West ‘ 65

          The Little Bowling Alley was “DevLin” Bowl. Some of my Hollywood Park friends and I used to hang out there for a time. Had a small bar with an old player piano in the front room and about 12 lanes with pin boys. No automatic pin spotters. Across the street on Lincoln were the trampolines, batting cages, and a hot dog joint (can’t remember the name) on the southeast corner of Lincoln and Devon.

  8. Don Koehler was the “giant.” Lots of mob ties to Lincolnwood. John Mendell was found frozen and beaten in a trunk after supposedly stealing from the mob. There was also a drive-in theater off Touhy near McCormick. And who could forget the Deep Tunnel Project.

    • Thank you for identifying Don Koehler. When I write part 2 of the Lincolnwood blog, I will include a larger, more accurate mention of him. I guess he did not own the card shop – but he definitely was in the coffee shop – his 8-foot stature made quite an impression on me as a 5-year-old!

      • Don Koehler’s Dad owned the card shop on Cicero, just north of Devon.

      • Just north of Touhy Avenue on Kostner, about a 100 yards in, near David’s Furniture was a business called Big Joe. There was a man who was 8 feet tall and thin that worked or owned the business. He drove a VW bug with the front seat taken out. I always thought his name was Joe. He was very friendly – my cousins and I would always talk to him and shake his hand.

    • Did anyone know John Mendell?

  9. My parents moved from Rogers Park to Lincolnwood a year before I was born. We lived kitty corner from the Lincolnwood Schools (Todd Hall, Rutledge Hall and Lincoln Hall.) I am the youngest sibling of 6, all of us attended NWHS, and I graduated in 1981. This blog was a great walk down memory lane, especially of interest since I recently moved back to Lincolnwood after living in MG for 20 years. I remember the Howard Johnson’s restaurant at the corner of Lincoln Ave and Crawford (best milkshakes ever!) which I believe changed to The Ground Round. As 7th-8th graders, we used to hang out and eat free popcorn and peanuts just by ordering a root beer. And buying 5¢ Charms lollipops at Orlove’s Drug Store was a frequent occurrence. Now the corner of Pratt and Lincoln Ave has a huge Walgreens.

    • Thanks for commenting on the blog and reminding me of additional businesses. My sister Janet Weiss graduated from NWHS the same year as you. Did any of your siblings graduate in either 1976 or 1972? I used to love those large Charms lollipops, but since my dentist’s office was above Orlove’s Drug Store, I usually didn’t buy them there!

      • Not sure of my sibling grad years (maybe ’71 and ’72 for the two eldest? Then possibly ’74/’75 or ’76/’77 for the middle two) but our last name was Bergstrom. I remember Janet Weiss. I was best friends with the Stone girls (Elisa, Jodi, Erica). It’s a blast from the past that my oldest daughter graduated NWHS in 2014 and my youngest daughter is currently a sophomore. AND!! … My dentist was above Orlove’s, too!! After 40 years, Dr. H. Rosenstein is STILL my dentist!!!

        • Hi Joan – thanks for following up. Yes, I went to school with Karen and we graduated in the same class – 1976! I knew Nina Stone – not sure if it is the same family. My childhood dentist, Harry Shephard (sp?) died quite a few years ago, but in my adulthood, it has taken a lot of trial and error to find my current great one. Remarkable you are still going to the same dentist!

  10. Hi Betsy – Don’t forget Gabby Hartnett’s bowling alley! I have 2 photos if you want them, just email me. Thank you, Mike

    • Richard Bourgerie

      Please send me the photos of Gabby’s. I used to go there all the time for their hamburgers and vanilla malts. I can’t remember the name of the guy that worked the counter.


    • Gabby Hartnett Bowling had a shooting range in the basement. Went with my bro when he was about 10 and I could barely hold the gun.

  11. Inez Brownstein Levin

    Great article! I loved the trip down memory lane. My father’s business was on Wilson Avenue in the city. My parents moved to Lincolnwood in 1958 because they wanted my brother and me to be able to attend suburban schools. My fondest memories as a child are of this wonderful community. I am still friends with so many of my grammar school friends.

  12. Gitel Hesselberg

    I don’t think he owned a card store, but Don Koehler lived in West Rogers Park.

    • Don Koehler was “Big Joe” who owned a manufacturing company on Kostner near Touhy. Got to see him get out of his Chevy. His seat was customized to fit in the backseat.

      • Bruce Levinson

        Don did not own Big Joe – he was a salesman for them. I remember riding my bike and seeing his car without the front seat.


          Thanks for the stroll down memory lane! My husband grew up in this area and his dad owned a barber shop on Devon (Peter Theobald Esquire).

          My favorite place you touch on was Hollywood Kiddieland. My godmother and her family owned it. Every year for my birthday present, I would receive a thick book of tickets for the rides :). I always felt like the luckiest girl – this is definitely a simple pleasure that counts. My fondest memory was screaming on the roller coaster which went around twice (lol).

        • Me too – lived at 7304 Kostner. My friend Gary and I got his autograph.

      • Me too – lived at 7304 Kostner.

  13. Fun read and great memories that only a true “Wooder” could write. New York Bagels and Bialys is still a favorite stop coming home from the city. Who could ever forget Harry Ermoiran(sp) and the Biasetti’s pizza and burger deliveries!!! Ground Round, North Shore Grocery, Kow Kow, Gallo’s Restaurant and many other great places. I worked at Eric Salm men’s clothing store for a brief time in high school. They were famous for their holiday sweater sale downstairs in the basement after Xmas. Thanks for sharing…

    • Thanks, Bob – for your feedback and reminding me of other businesses. My childhood friend Alison Salzman worked at Eric Salm and we would run into each other on lunch breaks. Somebody else said there was a Howard Johnson’s at the same site as the Ground Round – do you remember this?

  14. I read this article with my mouth open and thinking yes, right, I remember that! What a great piece of writing and researching. I moved here 50 years ago and still live in the Terrace. My three sons had a wonderful life here as did my husband and myself. I don’t ever see moving out of Lincolnwood … only to go to Memorial Park.

    How could I post this on Facebook? My son sent me a chat.

    Thanks so much for making my brain remember so many things.

  15. Anita Strom owen

    I remember the toy store on Touhy. My parents would let me walk there on Saturdays with a friend and buy something. I remember the owner – his name was Marvin, but I don’t recall the name of the store. I will always love Lincolnwood and all my fond memories!

  16. I would like to add that Pie Pan was a great place at Cicero and Peterson for frozen custard and pies, easy to ride our bikes to. My next oldest sister was a car hop at Richard’s, across from Gabby Hartnett’s on Lincoln Ave. Being able to play in Queen of All Cadillacs basilica when I was a child was tippy beyond belief and my Father was not forbidden from buying a home in the Towers in 1954 because of our religion.

  17. Michael Balbirer

    My family moved to Lincolnwood in 1962. My mom stayed until 2002. Her claim to Lincolnwood fame was being one of the founders of the Lincolnwood library.

    I remember lots of birthday parties at Gabby Hartnett bowling alley near Devon and Pratt. Workwise, my first job was at Dairy Queen (now Dairy Star) at Devon and St. Louis. Worked through high school at the Lincoln Village Theater when it was a single theater.

    • Hi Michael – thanks for your comments. I grew up with Tracy and my mom was one of the original members of the Friends of the Lincolnwood Library. You are the first person who mentioned working at the Lincoln Village Theater.

      • Steve Feinberg

        I worked at Lincoln Village Theater when it first opened in 1968. Prior to that, I worked at the Milk Pail. We moved to Lincolnwood from Rogers Park around 1956-57. I graduated from NWHS in 1969, my sister Joy the following year. Wonderful memories!

        • David Feingold

          Hi Steve!

          I didn’t know you worked at the Milk Pail. Me, too. Except I had to quit because I had trouble making change as a cashier. Math wasn’t my strong suit – carrying dishes was. I worked at Estelle’s as a busboy! You were a fun friend back then. I bet you still are fun to be with. People don’t usually change that way.

          David (Back then Dave…as opposed to Dave Weser:)

    • Always thought Milt Berzock was the reason for the library. Anyway, that’s what he told me.

  18. Featured in this blog is Toppers, and I used to eat there with my parents quite often around 1960 or so. This is the first time I have ever seen a picture/illustration of it. We lived one block from Toppers at the end of Keating Avenue. Toppers was managed by a very nice neighbor of ours, Wayne Boucher. I recall that there was a huge stuffed swordfish on one of the walls inside the restaurant. If my memory serves me correctly, Toppers closed and another restaurant came in to take its place by the name of Mr. Adams. I think Wayne Boucher managed Mr. Adams as well. The Mr. Adams Restaurant burned down in the early to mid 1960’s.

    • Thank you David, for providing additional information about Topper’s and Mr. Adams Restaurant. The location just says Touhy at Cicero – do you remember the specific corner the restaurant was on? I will add those details to my follow-up blog!

      • The elusive Toppers. There is a seller on eBay that has original photos of Toppers. The following is a description: I pulled this photo out of an album of a young girl from Lincolnwood, IL. She and her sister worked at the Topper’s Drive-In there in the mid-1940’s. He has around 14 or so pictures.

        Photo is from approx. 1945. Size is approx. 3 1/8″ x 3 1/4″.

        • Hi Phillip: Thanks for the tip – I saw the listings. Rather high-priced for such small and mainly mediocre snapshots.

          • Agreed. I’ve emailed the seller and asked if he has the other photos in the album. No response.

            Betsy, maybe you can help refresh my memory regarding the Lincolnwood library? I remember the library as a small one-story building back in the 70’s. Was the original location on the corner of Pratt and Crawford? I believe the library then bought the Pier 1 Imports building which is where the current library stands.

            Small memory of mine regarding the original library. I was in the 3rd grade in 1977. I was at the library and had just discovered a shelf with subjects about UFOs/Bermuda Triangle/ghosts. My mind went wild. Previous to this my parents had to bribe me to read. Anyhoo, I took a stack of these books to a table and began reading. The librarian must of seen my interest and she handed me a paper regarding a UFO researcher who was to be holding a talk at the library. It was a few weeks or maybe months out and I had convinced my dad to bring me. The researcher was Northwestern University Professor J. Allen Hynek. He was very famous back in the 60s, 70s and maybe into the 80s. I still have the paper announcement that the librarian gave me and run across it every few years.

            That little library had me and I hit the ground running. In the 4th grade – Mr. Curtain’s class, I was the number one reader as could be seen by paper running shoes taped up around the classroom.

  19. Betsy, the memories tugged at my heartstrings. Thanks for writing such an eloquent history of our beloved town. I believe that I lived down the block from you (Kilpatrick) and I also spent all of my money buying candy at North Shore Grocery Store ( they also had one of the best butcher counters around). I will dig deeply to try to find a picture. Van Zeelt’s usually had perennial kitten litters going, so we would hang out there often. Like so many others, I had my bar mitzvah at the Hyatt House, frequented Fanny’s Deli on Touhy and even Elliot’s Pine Log at Lincoln and Cicero. The Dairy Queen on Devon was our hangout. Thanks again for the memories and I look forward to your follow-up blog.

    • Thanks, Herb – for your thoughtful, enthusiastic feedback. Of course I remember you – and I see your beautiful mom when I visit my parents – she looks great! You know my parents frequently received packages meant for your household. You are right – North Shore had a high quality butcher department. In part 2, I will write more personal memories regarding some of these businesses.

  20. Hi Betsy,

    I moved to Lincolnwood with my family in 1958 when I was about 2. That photo of Topper’s sure brought back nice memories! Topper’s was located at the intersection of Touhy and Keating. It was on the north side of Touhy and the west side of Keating. I lived down the block on Keating where it dead ends right by Chase.

    Growing up, there were many stores along that Touhy corridor between Kilpatrick and Keating. On the north side of Touhy, that strip mall included an IGA grocery, an accountant’s office, Sam the Hardware Man (the owner of Sam’s lived on our street), a tailor shop, Fannies Delicatessen, New York Bagel and Bialy, a drug store owned by a Mr. Himmelfarb (he lived at the end of Kilpatrick), a flower shop, a women’s hair salon, and a men’s barber shop. On the south side of Touhy, the stores included Frankel’s delicatessen, a toy store, and a place called the House of Menna, a furniture store on the southwest corner of Touhy and Cicero.

    There was also the original Bank of Lincolnwood on the northeast corner of Touhy and Kilpatrick that later became Gerber Plumbing. Our bus stop was pretty much in front of the Bank of Lincolnwood, and when it was cold, we would stand inside a heated glass enclosure right in front of the bank. The IGA burned down and Toppers/Mr. Adams burned down in the early/mid 1960’s. Since the IGA was in a strip mall, it was rebuilt. Toppers/Mr Adams eventually became a car rental facility, and when that car rental place went out of business, the area became a small municipal parking lot that would handle overflow parking for the area stores. There was a factory where Grossinger Toyota is today. That factory was torn down to make way for a Dominick’s Food Store prior to Grossinger Toyota. My older brother remembers more than I do, so if I pick up any more clues about area stores, I will be happy to let you know.

    • Hi Betsy. My brother tells me that my recollection of Toppers is accurate, although he did not think there was a Mr. Adams restaurant that went into that same location after Toppers went out. My brother did add that the name of the car rental facility that went into that same location years later was Addison Car Rental. My brother also tells me that the name of the drug store owned by Mr. Himmelfarb was Lincolnwood Drugs.

    • Mary Beth Platt (Crum)

      Hi David,

      I don’t know you but you clearly described the neighborhood I lived in off of Touhy and Cicero. The beauty shop on Touhy and Crawford was where my mom went (I can’t remember the name). I had my first car accident there pulling out of the parking lot in between Sam’s and the beauty shop. Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane. The cool thing is that there is this closeness between all the Lincolnwood-ites. WE had a 45 Lincoln Hall Reunion 5 years ago and we all came!!! It was great! Mary Beth

      • Nancy Vincent Barber

        Mary Beth, that was my mom’s beauty shop, Ruth of Lincolnwood…those spots were narrow. LOL

      • Hi Mary Beth,
        The name of the beauty parlor that your Mother and my Mother went to was called Temple Coif. There was a Baskin Robbins and Jewish bakery across the street.

        All the best,
        Judy Braun Naamat

        • David Feingold

          Hi Judy,

          If you see this – my best friend’s little sister. Come to think of it, you still are! If you see this, I miss your mom and dad. They were wonderful people!


    • Thanks, Betsy, for the article, and David, for remembering our family business. Frenkels’ Restaurant and Delicatessen was started by my parents, Leon and Faye; I believe it was 1958. It was located on Touhy at Cicero, between the House of Menna furniture store and the Lincolnwood Medical Center office building. Our entire family worked there, at various times in our history. I happened upon Betsy’s article and these responses when looking for something else. It brings back many fond memories! Thanks to all!

      • Thanks for writing, Tom. I welcome all comments, but especially love hearing from people with a personal connection, like you! If you have any digital photos of Frenkel’s interior or your parents in the restaurant, I would love to add them to the blog.

      • Great article. Wonderful memories. Kiddieland…the swinging gyms, Tilt-A-Whirl, and snack bar. Worked there the summer of ’71. The Sunset Drive In – saw a lot of movies there. The Neba roast beef place – “Never Eat Beef At Arbys” was what was said. There was a restaurant across the street from full-service on Devon. Cut-Rate Toys – the owner’s name was Marv. Well, Tommy Frankel from Frankel’s Restaurant…I say hello. Thanks for the memories!

      • Hi Tom – Your family ran a great restaurant. Frenkels’ corned beef sandwiches in particular were the best around. Corned beef piled high and served warm. After eating at Frenkels, my dad would buy me a bar of Halvah. It cost a dime as I recall. What a treat.

      • alison Margolis

        What memories and what corn beef!!! It was the most delicious!! Tom, do you happen to recall the name of the restaurant a few spots down, it was where the Greek Psistaria is now? I believe it was a pancake house with yummy pancakes, blueberry syrup and Parisian looking wall paper.

    • Marla Hellman Libraty

      Hi David and all – thank you for mentioning my beloved grandfather – Sam Himelfarb. He and my grandma Edna loved serving the Lincolnwood neighborhood. He had a cot in the back so he could take a rest and be open longer hours. Yes, they lived around the corner and only owned one car. Walked back and forth. Their son, Jerry helped a lot at the counter as did Joe, Sam’s assistant. Thank you again, Marla

      • Hi Marla,
        I used to gather empty pop bottles from around the neighborhood and put them in my little wagon. Then I would head over to your grandparent’s drug store to turn the bottles in for pocket change. I would then take the pocket change and buy baseball cards from your grandparent’s store. Your grandma Edna usually worked the cash register, and I recall how nice she was. Your grandfather Sam was the direct opposite, always running around like crazy with a serious look on his face. I also bought lots of candy cigarettes from your grandparent’s store, among other things. I remember when my dad found a twenty dollar bill on the floor in the drug store, and he gave it to your grandparents. It turned out that the cash was from someone in your family, and Sam and Edna thanked my dad by giving him a big box of chocolates and one of those metal cigarette cases that were popular years ago. Found memories of the good old days in Lincolnwood.

  21. Sue Archibald Outlaw

    Such a GREAT article – I want to read it again and again as you have definitely covered so many great memories for us! Thanks for posting this … growing up in Lincolnwood was certainly a wonderful thing. I graduated from Niles West in 1977. We lived on Keeler (and Touhy) and spent a ton of time hanging around Proesel Park, shopping on Devon Avenue, riding our bikes everywhere. No cell phones! Thanks!

    • Abbe Diamond Heller

      Hi Sue,
      This is your old neighbor Abbe Diamond. I’ve run into Mary Beth. We sure got into mischief together. I remember you had the best tree house. Lots of memories.

    • Hi Susie, it’s Debbie – I lived across the street and have many fond memories playing together.

  22. Having grown up further south of you, North Park, I frequently went to many of those places. I worked at Community Discount across the street from Lincoln Village from 71 – 75. Talk about a property changing names!

    Favorite memories include bowling summer leagues at Gabby’s and then going to Whistler’s to eat with the boys, Lou’s pizza and of course Kiddeland!

    Thank you so much for this trip down memory lane.

    • Hi Ira – thanks for your comments! I wanted to include Community Discount in the blog, aka Shopper’s World and Zayre! Still looking for photos – if all else fails, I will include photos of their other store locations in part 2.


    I moved to Lincolnwood in 1959. (Dr. Marvin Weiss & Eleanor) and three sons (Ronald, Carey and David). One or more of my sons must have gone to Lincolnwood schools and Niles West with you. I’m still in my original 1959 house. Your article was fascinating – thank you!

    • I went to Lincolnwood Schools with a David Weiss. I was in the same high school graduating class as he was, Niles West class of 1974. I believe he became a doctor.

    • Mary Beth Platt (Crum)

      I went to school with Ronnie!

    • Jackie Shaw Rottner

      Hi Eleanor,

      I think we know each other through your son and his wife … Ron and Wendy! We shared ‘break the fast’ with you and your family over the last few years. This is such a wonderful read. Love hearing and seeing all the photos and feedback. Hope all is well with you.

      Jackie (Shaw) Rottner
      Bruce Rottner

      • Jackie Shaw Rottner

        I may be wrong on the right ‘Weiss’ family? I know David is a doctor and lives in Lincolnwood.
        Apologies, if I am wrong.

  24. Edie Goldstein

    Biasetti’s and Harry Ermoian were left off this wonderful list. In addition to being a great restaurateur, Harry was a little league coach the boys seemed to fear, even though he was a very good coach. He was also my first boss and taught me more about customer service than anyone else in my life. I have been trying to locate Harry to let him know he had a great influence on my life…even today!

    • Thanks for your comments Edie! Is Larry your brother? Several people mentioned Biasetti’s – I would love to add it to part 2 of this blog, but really need a photo. Do you by any chance have a matchbook, photo or something else since you worked there?

      • Edie Goldstein

        Yes I am Larry Goldstein’s and Rick Fogel’s younger sister. I don’t have any photos or anything from Biasetti’s. If Harry is still alive I would love his contact information. He had a huge impact on my life and I was never able to thank him.

        • Hello! I’m Harry’s granddaughter – if you reach out to me on Facebook, I can provide you his contact info! He’s alive and well in Chicago!

          • Peggy Kunce Maul

            Biasetti’s was my very favorite place for pizza and Italian cuisine. It still is! I wish I could have their pizza tonight!

  25. Thank you for the wonderful memories. I can’t even explain to my children how wonderful it was to have Kiddieland when we were growing up. And the batting cages! A few more additions to Memory Lane: Bain’s Hardware in Lincoln Village, where my father would often take me on Saturdays, and the owners (one of whom looked like Floyd the barber from the Andy Griffith Show) never aged; Lucky’s on Touhy – the food was mediocre, but not the jukebox! And on Devon Avenue, two great camera stores, Libby and General. And Hobby Models on the northeast corner of Devon and Western, across from one of several Gold Coins. My family and I keep kosher now, so Dairy Star is a wonderful amenity.

  26. Edie – Harry Ermoian’s little league team was called Biasetti’s Pizza, of course. I didn’t play for his team, but I did notice the kids on his team all seemed to be a little intimidated by him. He always had great teams, though. I got on an All Star Team one year, and Harry was one of our team’s coaches. I was at first base, and a batted ball went between my legs and into right field. I ran after the ball, and threw it back into the infield. I put my head down, and I was so sad about it. Harry rushed over to me and he put his arm around my shoulder, and he told me not to worry about it – that he was proud of me for chasing after the ball and getting it back into the infield. That really picked up my spirits. He was a truly great guy!!!

  27. Great article. My son, Steven sent it to me and he is also sending it to his brother Mitchel, in Boston. Harry Ermoian was a tough ole bird, got results from his teams, but wouldn”t be able to use the same tactics nowadays. Thanks for the walk down memory lane

    • Thank you! I am guessing you are Steven and Mitch Harris’ mom! If so, Mitch and I were in the same class – I know he is a prominent orthopedic surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School! I recall he went into this field of medicine due to a serious neck injury he incurred.

  28. Thank you Betsy and everyone who posted for bringing back all these memories!

    My family moved to Pratt and Monticello from Greenview and Jonquil Terrace in East Roger’s Park in 1961. We arrived from Israel in 1959 … 3 kids, 3 suitcases and $200. I was 2-years-old and my mother refused to cut my hair. My cousins Jerry and Joey Jaeger kidnapped me and brought me to the Father & Son’s barbershop on Touhy, just west of East Prairie, now Amedeo Hair Styling For Men.

    My mother Toby barely spoke any English (spoke 5 languages), but managed to purchase our town home for only $500 down and the developer gave us a second mortgage. My father Irv worked as a carpenter for SIM Construction and had to work side jobs to cover all the expenses!

    The factories on Pratt would make loud metal on metal noises all night long and the midnight train was only a few yards away. I do not remember having any AC. One of them manufactured the prizes for Cracker Jacks – we would collect them behind the building. My brother built a tree house along the railroad tracks. I fell in love with nature – studying insects and wildflowers. We called one beetle “the Brain” because it would move its head in a yes or no manner. Today, I’m actually a wildlife-nature photographer.

    My two older brothers Art and Joey ran the rides at Kiddieland, so they hired me to sweep the place at age 8. We also had a snow shoveling biz (by hand). One wise guy said he would pay us “Two Fifty” to clean his driveway and walkway. There was a ton of snow and when we finished, he said, “Here’s 50 cents for you and 50 cents for you.” Two Fifties! My father said he hoped we learned a valuable lesson in communication and human behavior!

    My brothers started bussing tables at Bergman’s Restaurant (now Great Bejing) at 6717 N. Lincoln Ave. One day Mr. Bergman called saying he needed one of the boys to come over ASAP. My mother said they were not home. His reply was, “Do you have any other boys?” She said yes, but he’s only 11, and he replied, “Send him over.” Back then you had to stack all the heavy plates on a silver tray. The waitresses were very generous and kind! I continued working there even after moving to Skokie in 1969.

    One of my mother’s fondest memories was when each of her sons won the 1st Place trophy for athletics for their age group: 1st, 5th and 7th grades at the village’s summer day camp’s closing ceremony at Proesel Park. She placed the trophies in the stroller with my baby sister Judy and proudly walked home. How lucky we were to have that awesome camp!

    I was very sad when I had to move after 6th grade. I stayed good friends with many of the kids until my junior year of high school at ETHS. I recently connected with many on Facebook.

    • Your family has an amazing story and you told it in a compelling manner, Jerry! Thank you for sharing your memories. You could definitely write a blog of your own! I had no idea some Cracker Jack toys were manufactured in Lincolnwood – very cool. Yes, I also went to day camp at Proesel Park – I won a sit-up contest and best artist award at the closing ceremony. I missed it because we were on a family vacation that week, but one of my friends picked up the prize for me – it was a huge watercolor set in a beautiful large tin box, made in England. I know ETHS is huge, but did you by any chance know any of the Graff kids? The family moved from a tiny doll house on Wallen in east Lincolnwood to a large Victorian on Asbury.

      • Thank you for your kind words Betsy! I actually edited down my post. The reason my mother received the 2nd mortgage offer was because the developer wanted to support Holocaust Survivors. My father worked 7 days a week to pay for that home. We never had a chance to spend time with him. He would come home full of sawdust and have to soak his frozen hands or sit in the above ground pool to cool off after carrying wood to rooftops where he would bake. He could not even afford a cold soda!

        What a great prize you won at camp! Whatever happened to it? Sit up contest winner and best artist is a nice balance.

        Every Friday they held Special Events and kept a tally of all summer points earned.

        I’m not sure I recall a Graff at ETHS. We had 6,000 students – I attended 71-75.

        I think this has finally motivated me to write more memories down while I can still remember them!

        Thank you for sharing your creative work! I will look further into your blog this weekend!

        Liala tov,

        • Hi Jerry – I can tell you are a very kind, caring person. Were both your parents Holocaust survivors? I commend your parents’ incredible will and resolve to do everything to ensure a good life for their family in America. I am a fine artist and undertaking a massive Holocaust piece – just at the beginning stages of gathering materials. Quite a few relatives on my dad’s side died in Poland (his grandparents and others) – many in pogroms before the onset of WWII. Would like to continue this conversation thread via email, if you are willing.

          I kept the empty watercolor box for many years and actually sold it on ebay a few years ago. I have far too many mementos from childhood. In the last few years, I have used some in artwork, donated them, or sold them!

          Your wildlife photos are gorgeous – sharing your website link: I would love to attend your next exhibit.

        • Barbara Alfonso(Swento)

          Jerry, if you’re speaking of the Jaeger family who lived on Touhy Ave, did they have a sister Helen? If so, we were their neighbors about four or five houses down. Helen and I became good friends, although she was a year or two younger than me. My parents who were both Holocaust survivors, owned Lincolnwood Bakery at Touhy and Crawford. In 1967-68, my parents moved to Phoenix, Ariz. for my father’s health. I believe that Rose and Jaeger moved to Scottsdale Ariz. If I’m correct, I would love to contact Helen if you have her info.

          Thank you,

      • David Feingold

        The Graffs lived next door to me on Wallen Avenue. One of the boys was Danny. I believe his family nickname was Bunky – or was that his younger brother? My memory sometimes gets me lost on memory lane!

        • Hi David – What a coincidence that you lived next door to the Graffs. They are very close family friends – more so after they moved to Evanston. Cynthia, Dan and Tony – Bunky was Tony’s nickname. Do you remember the Rices? Betty (same age as Cynthia and me) and her younger brother Ed also lived on Wallen before moving to a larger house in East Lincolnwood.

          • David Feingold

            I just saw your message. (I’m a little late on the draw. Is this site still active???) I remember the Rices. They had a son a year older than me. His nickname was Butchie.

      • Marcy Blankenship (Sands)

        We lived across the street from the Graff’s on Wallen Avenue. We bought the house when it was built in 1953 and moved to Florida in 1965. My brother was friends with Danny Graff, the oldest child, I believe. My sister was friends with Danny’s sister (I can’t remember her name) and when we left there was a younger brother, as well. I loved that house. It was one away from the RR tracks. We called that midnight train, Big Louie. There was a cool climbing tree we would all play on behind our house. I still dream about that house.

        • Hi Marcy: You have an amazing memory, considering you moved away 55 years ago! You’re correct – Danny is the oldest Graff child, Cynthia is the middle child, and Tony is the youngest. When he was little, Tony’s nickname was Bunky. The two boys had bunk beds, but I don’t know if that’s where that nickname derived! Betty Rice lived next to the Graffs and is the same age as Cynthia and me. The Rice family moved to a larger house in east Lincolnwood – around the same time that the Graffs moved to Evanston, or shortly thereafter. I hope you enjoyed growing up in Florida and didn’t miss the snow!

        • David Feingold

          I remember the climbing tree. I think they cut it down after a visitor of a family
          fell from it and broke his arm. Sheesh! What’s dangerous about sitting on small
          wooden planks on a tree next to railroad tracks? I remember there was a pecking
          order. The older you were, the higher up on the tree you were able to sit.

    • Jerry:

      The company that made the Cracker Jack toys was Federal Tool and Plastics at 3600 West Pratt Avenue. I worked at that company from February 1, 1960 until August 31, 1981. We manufactured a line of plastic, metal and glass housewares items under the brand, Federal Housewares. We had over sixty injection molding machines that made products as large as Culligan 50-gallon soft water containers to items as small as those Cracker Jack toys. We bought the glass jars we used and molded the different tops for syrup dispensers, S&P sets, Onion and Nut Choppers, plastic bowls and all sorts of giftware and tableware items. While it was noisy at night during the summer when the windows may have been open in the apartments on Pratt Ave., it was not a company that spewed dirty air. We also made molds (tools and dies) for other companies and supported Lincolnwood for many years with their tax base. It was an education and a time that I will never forget. So, thanks for asking about Cracker Jack toys.

      By the way. Does anyone remember the name of the person that ran the banquet hall in the Hyatt Lincolnwood hotel? Can’t find it anywhere in the history of the Purple Hotel. Thanks.

  29. I loved your trip down memory lane. Moving to Lincolnwood in the 50’s from Rogers Park was a big deal. All of us never lived in a house or took a bus to school. Fast forward, I still see friends from my graduating class at Lincoln Hall, class of ’59. My family and I moved back to Lincolnwood in ’86 and my husband is seeking his fourth term as mayor. Most all of you knew him as “doc” at NWHS. Our best to all of you.

    • Thank you for writing … I remember your husband from my NWHS days. There seems to be a little trend here – Arlene Mulder was also a beloved teacher at NWHS and was president of Arlington Heights for 20 years, retiring in 2013. In any case, Lincolnwood is a special place indeed.

      • Betsy – Please tell me your maiden name. The mayor wants to put this article on the village website and needs more info.

        • Nancy – I am very touched by this – I sent you an email with more information. If you don’t receive it, please let me know. Thanks much! Betsy Weiss

  30. Patricia McGovern

    My husband and I moved here in 1971 and are still here. I remember a grocery store on Touhy and Crawford that had a butcher shop. I would walk with my son Shawn in his buggy to buy groceries. It closed down and a gas station took its place. I also remember Dominick’s on Touhy and Cicero. I raised my 2 sons here and they loved it. They never wanted to move. My older son, Shawn still comes over on Tuesday nights for dinner. I worked for the Parks and Recreation Office for 6 years. I love our pool and the closeness to Chicago. Galen Pharmacy on Touhy near East Prairie was a favorite. Thanks for the memories.

  31. Thank you for all of the wonderful information and photos. I moved to Lincolnwood when I was in elementary school and stayed until the end of college, then moved to South Florida.

    I loved the history and the photos! So much information! I only wish I remembered most of it. I sure remember the purple hotel that hosted the many bar mitzvahs of my great friends!

    I did not see a photo of the Bank of Lincolnwood which I do remember – saw my first facsimile machine there and was mesmerized!

    I am so happy to say that I still keep in touch with so many friends with so many memories of crazy times while at Niles West (class of 1972).

    Kiddieland had the best Swing In Gym…

    Dariy Queen near the Milk Pail was a great hangout for all!

  32. I have lived in Lincolnwood all my life and I am 75. So it is easy for me to remember all the things you put in your memory “walk.” Nice job. Oh, and I loved growing up in Lincolnwood when there were still prairies to roam in and forts. LOL.

  33. Pauline Dreuth

    Very interesting, could only remember some of these places – we did not move to Lincolnwood until 1975. It is a wonderful place to live, so much so my son John moved in when Lee and I moved to a condo on Devon. He now lives there with his wife Doana and son James Ryan. Love it so much, they are adding another half a house.

  34. Hi Betsy, loved the article. I grew up on Devon and Hamlin, on the Chicago side but spent lots of time in Lincolnwood. I remember walking to Henry’s (later Alpha’s) for their 15 cent hamburgers. Our Peterson Park guys would play football behind the National on Crawford and Devon…there were these heavy duty giant pipes that came out of the ground every ten yards or so, and of course we used them as our first down markers. The games ended after one of the boys broke his arm on a pipe. There was also another bowling alley called Devlin’s behind the bank at Devon and Lincoln that we’d go to. Gabby’s put it out of business sometime in the 60s. Prom night dinner at the Hyatt House and ushered at the Lincoln Village Theater. Great memories in Lincolnwood! ~ Jan Kodner

    • Thank you, Jan for your insightful comments and nostalgic memories. I didn’t know about the other bowling alley – will have to do some research on that. I also didn’t know there was a National at Devon and Crawford. You have given me a lot of ideas for part 2 of this blog!

  35. Jerry Goldner

    Good morning Betsy,

    Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my site!

    I would prefer to go offline. Please email me anytime.


  36. Betsy – Thank you for writing this fine piece. We were in the same graduating class, but I’m not sure we were ever in class together. I lived in Lincolnwood from 1968-1976, on Kilpatrick Avenue, a few houses north of Pratt. My parents stayed on Kilpatrick until 2007, so I got to come back once a year and see the old hood. Like many others who lived in the area, we moved up from the South Side (Jeffrey Manor). I had to learn how to be a Cub fan after rooting for the White Sox and having Don Buford’s mother as my babysitter. When I started at Niles West in 1972, it was fun bumping into kids I had known on the South Side (such as Abbe Diamond and Randi Simon) who had moved to other suburbs that fed into Niles West.

    A few of the other area businesses (not yet mentioned) that I remember include Gallo Trattoria (and its horrific sign that loomed over the SE corner of Pratt and Cicero, Orlov Pharmacy (driven out of business by Walgreens), Sauganash Cycle, Fradell Early American Furniture, and Archie’s Coins and Stamps. Who could forget the Leaning Tower YMCA, which the mayor of Pisa, Italy actually came to visit years ago.

    Before it was named Proesel Park, we just called it “The Big Park”. We lived much closer to “The Little Park”, which was oddly shaped and bounded by Pratt, the old freight train tracks and the Morse Avenue dead end. When we first moved to Lincolnwood, The Little Park had one dilapidated tennis court. With the tennis craze of the 1970s, two more courts were added, which took out a big chunk of the park. For a while, there were lines of people waiting to play on those courts. Eventually, the tennis fad ended and the courts were mostly empty.

    I now live in the Portland, Oregon area, where one inch of snow this week has completely paralyzed the city.

    Doug Smith

    • So nice to hear from you, Doug. We were not in a class together ever, but I remember you were good friends with Myra. She had a small get together at her house and you and Mark Slater were both there. I had no idea you also lived on Kilpatrick, nor that you moved from the South Side. You added some wonderful memories to this blog … as I already mentioned, I am considering all the suggestions and will incorporate as many as possible in part 2. Believe it or not, Archie’s Coins and Stamps is still in Edgebrook, but I think I will include it in the next article. There was another coin store on the north side of Touhy just east of Cicero. Do you have any recollections of that store?

      I loved that little park – I was able to get on the tennis courts there, whereas Proesel Park was far more popular with long waits from racking up. As far as fads, bowling was quite popular when we were in high school, then it died, then it enjoyed a revival in the 1990s. In the Chicago area, most bowling alleys have disappeared and I can’t imagine bowling will enjoy another revival. It’s a topic I’ve contemplated writing about.

      Myra and I spent a lot of time at Goebelt Park on Kilbourn, between North Shore and Albion. We went ice skating there, although I started ice skating there as a wee tot holding onto my mom’s hand. My dad would play catch with us there – helping us practice for girls softball. And later on, we liked hanging out there instead of Proesel Park since it was low key in comparison.

      Would like to hear more about Portland – is it really like Portlandia?

    • Ilona (Lonnie) Hirsch

      Orlove Drug Store was one of my father’s long time customers. His name was Sid Rosen and he sold them Ever-So-Fresh candies which were displayed in bags on a rack with spindles. Lincolnwood holds great memories and was a great place to grow up. My Dad used to drive by the school (Todd, Rutledge, Lincoln Hall) on his way to work and throw bags of potato chips over the fence for the kids at recess time.

      • Thanks for sharing, Lonnie – your father sounds like a wonderful man. I kind of remember Ever-Fresh candies, but definitely don’t recall potato chips being thrown at recess. I would have taken advantage of that! I cannot find anything about Orlove Drug Store and I have spent hours looking online. There are online boards talking about defunct pharmacies in the Chicago area, but Orlove is not mentioned. If any relatives are still around, I would love to hear from them!

        • Herman Orlove was a friend of my family. My parents knew him – he lived I think somewhere on Trumbull Avenue with his family. It was a small store. My clearest memory is walking in through a glass door, ahead was the retail counter with a tiered shelf of candy, to the right were perhaps a few aisles and past them the serious pharmacy. Not clear on that. I’m not sure, but I want to say to the left was a lower case with makeup and oddments.

          Herman, Mr. Orlove to me, would always grab a white bag when we were leaving and fill it with candy from the tier and hand it to me. I also know he’d supply a prescription outside of normal store hours, when someone was sick and in need. Indeed, Walgreen’s setting up a store in the very same strip mall killed his wonderful small business, and I have the memory it broke his heart.

          • Hi Sam – Thank you so much for sharing your personal recollections and memories. I was hoping somebody who knew Mr. Orlove would see the article and comment. It is always a shame when big franchises come in and force “ma and pa” stores out of business. It is sad this happened to Mr. Orlove and broke his heart, as you recalled. I don’t know if you read the second article, but want to share it since I mentioned Orlove Drug Store –

          • Larry Rubin is the late Herman Orlove’s nephew and you may call him at 773-658-1801. Herb’s brother Nate and sister Phyliss (Rubin) are now deceased.

          • Interesting information. I did not know Herman personally (I wasn’t born yet at the time of his passing), but I know about him doing ancestry research. His wife Anne was my paternal first cousin, two times removed. She passed away in July 2006 in Hollywood, Florida, but is buried with her husband in Arlington Heights, Cook County, Illinois.

            You can find her obituary here:

            They had three children – Arlene, Robert, and Laurie. Arlene passed away in Florida in March 2011. Aside from that, I barely knew anything about her since I wasn’t interested in doing ancestry research at the time. I wonder if you have any memories of Anne as you do with Herman. If so, I would love to know more.

        • I owned Galen Pharmacy on Touhy Ave near Crawford since 1972 and employed over 200 students, primarily from Niles West. Many of whom I remain in contact with. Norm

          • Thanks, Norm – At least one of my younger sister Janet’s friends worked for you. Galen was a terrific independent pharmacy with personalized customer service, so thank you!

          • Wow, I just found this. I hope you’re doing well!

          • alison Margolis

            My mom, Maxine Salzman, loved you and your store. I’m sure you remember her as she called with questions often.

    • Ted Smith is your brother right? I remember your Mom, Helen.
      Abner Mikva was a family friend correct?

      In the summer of 1977, I was taking remedial math courses down at the Latin School. I would take a city bus and wait at the corner of Pratt and Cicero to ride two buses down there. One day I met your Mom and she told me she was going to work. I said something like “your career” and she replied, “Would you say “career” if I were a man?” Somehow that sticks in my head.

      Before we moved to NJ I also remember that your family had a connection to that state. I asked your mom, “Have you ever been there?” and she replied, “Andy! NJ is in NY’s backyard!”

      • Boy you have a great memory, Andy! Mom rode the bus downtown every day for years. It was a slow roller, taking over an hour. Abner Mikva was indeed a dear friend. We could use him now…hope all is well with you!

    • Abbe Diamond Heller

      Hi Doug,
      I feel honored you mentioned me and even spelled my name right. It’s amazing how many years ago this happened. Hope you’re doing well.


      Hi Doug,
      My reply got put in the wrong place. I feel honored you remembered me and mentioned me while spelling my name right. Thanks! Hope you’re doing well!
      Was just sent this blog now…in 2020.

  37. I am Steve Brin. My father and I owned Wally’s Deli in the Milk Pail on Devon (I owned it with my dad Wally Brin from 1970-1986). When my father passed away in 1988, I purchased the Milk Pail and renamed it Wally’s Milk Pail and Deli until 1999. I took a partner in Harry Friedman who still lives in Lincolnwood and turned the establishment into a strictly-kosher deli and grocery entity. It broke my heart when we sold this business, but many things change regardless what you do to make improvements. Thanks to all our wonderful customers, many of whom we made friends with. I am the longest employee ever to have worked there – starting in high school in 1970 and working there until 1999! It was fantastic to have the opportunity to be in an outstanding community for so long. Great memories.

    • Thanks so much for writing, Steve. It is wonderful to have details about the deli inside the Milk Pail and the ownership. It must be heartwarming to know how many loyal customers you had and how people still miss the Milk Pail today. If you have any interior photos or even copies of old ads, I would love to include them in part 2 of this blog.

    • I moved to Lincolnwood in 1953. I lived on Karlov Avenue until I married in 1965. My dad was a custom home builder and built many, many homes throughout Lincolnwood. After I graduated from college I was a graphic designer for Monogram Models in Morton Grove and lived in the Lincolnwood area until 1972. In 1968, I opened an aquarium store called Marine World on Devon Avenue, directly across the street from Turner North Men’s Clothing. This was just west of the Milk Pail by a few blocks. I was at that location for 30 years. I am still in the business, although in a diminished way, and still have customers that I service in Lincolnwood every two weeks. I graduated from NEHS in 1959. Fascinating article, and such fun to recollect all the many businesses that were so familiar to me over the years. It was a wonderful little village to grow up in.

      • Hi Don – Thank you for adding wonderful memories to this blog. I think every kid had a Monogram Models kit at some point – what a cool job! I remember Marine World, although the only aquarium we ever had was when I was a baby living in Rogers Park. My parents brought it with to Lincolnwood where it sat in the basement for 20 years or so until they discarded it. If you have any photos of your store, I would love to include one in part 2 of this blog.

    • I worked for a short time at the Milk Pail in 1966, if I remember correctly. It was a good place to work and I loved going in the giant refrigerator in the back to stock the milk (especially in the summer). I STILL remember the smells in that refrigerator. How weird is that?

      • joel weissman

        I worked at the Milk Pail from 1968 to 1970 and off and on for a few years after that. I remember the refrigerator as well – does anyone know anything about the owners – Irv and Eric?

    • joel weissman

      I too worked there from 1968 to 1969 and then off and on for a few summers – do you know what happened to the owners Irv and Eric- also a manager named Maury?

    • Hi- I worked at the Milk Pail as well. Do you know what happened to the old owners – I think their names were Eric and Irv.

    • Cindy Brown Marder

      Steve Brin, you were my dad’s good buddy at our corner deli. We were so lucky, Dr. Marv Brown. We lived on Christiana where my dad built his house. Moved here from Sayer School in 1957. They stayed there for almost 50 years. His offices were in Chicago and also staffed a clinic at 19th and Ashland for 50 years. He passed away too soon. Our house has had three owners. Loved growing up near the Milk Pail, Devon, and in Lincolnwood. Great schools and town!

  38. Michael Singer

    Lest we forget the venerable Henry’s Drive-In and the 15 cent hamburgers. Does anyone have any pictures?

  39. Meryl Harris Goldberg

    Thank you so much for all these wonderful memories. We moved to Lincolnwood in 1955 from the west side – I was in the 4th grade. Graduated from Lincoln Hall and Niles West. My father opened Edgebrook Hardware across the street from Lockwood Castle around 1953. Remember selling many of the Christmas decorations used in the Towers and the area. Those were special days.

  40. Wonderful job Betsy. Really brings back memories. I believe I am older than most of the people who replied and never really lived in Lincolnwood, but spent so much time in the area. In the late 1940s and early 1950, I worked for Foremost Builders and we built two blocks of homes on Estes and on Greenleaf just west of Lincoln Ave. I grew up actually watching the Village of Lincolnwood grow from empty fields.

    On the northwest corner of Touhy and McCormick there was Stardust riding stables and a bridle path running along the river on the east side of McCormick. On the southwest corner there was a corner grocery store and the rest was just farmland. Bell and Howell built their plant and offices on this site. I’m sure that most of us who rode our bikes to the Stardust Stables, or drove to Lincolnwood will remember Paul’s Umbrella on Touhy Avenue.

    Never mentioned, unless I missed it, Monte Levenson’s Golf shop on Devon.

    • Thank you, Jack – glad you enjoyed my article. What was Paul’s Umbrella? The old Bell and Howell became the now defunct Dominick’s which currently houses Planet Fitness – Lincolnwood Town Center is a little farther north. As for Monte Levenson’s, a guy I grew up with in Lincolnwood mentioned it on Facebook so it will be included in part 2. I will post it in early January, so hope you tune in again. Happy holidays to you!

      • Paul’s Umbrella was a great hot dog stand at Touhy and California. Not as great as Terry’s Redhots though…

        • Abbe Diamond Heller

          Hi Rich (as I knew you),
          It has been a long time. Lincolnwood was a great place to grow up.
          Hope you’re doing well.
          Abbe Diamond

          • The story of Allgauer’s being burned down has a very real mob connection.

            Allgauer’s subsequently moved to a new location in Northbrook, which had previously been the Villa Venice, a mob joint that was being shut down by persistent pressure first initiated by Cook County Sherriff Richard Ogilvie.

            One is free to think what one wants…

  41. Craig Kemnitz

    Thanks for the wonderful memories! We moved to Lincolnwood in 1963 from North Park. I am a year younger than you. We moved to the intersection of Pratt and Lockwood, on the Towers’ side. The interesting thing about where we moved was how rural the area was at the time. Across the street from us on Pratt was a barn with horses. And we often saw pheasants and even deer in the yard. Edgebrook Towers did not yet exist – it was farmer’s field. Besides being the stock boy at Ohlson’s Stationers, I had morning and evening paper routes throughout Edgebrook and the Towers. I remember riding my bike to visit friends in different sections of Lincolnwood. And I really fondly remember the Edgebrook sidewalk sales and the fish and coin shop (Archies). Now I am grown up and have my own family. We live in Edgewater along the Lake. But yesterday we had to do our annual trek back to the Towers to see the Christmas lights! Thanks for the memories!

    • Thanks for your comments and sharing your memories, Craig. I remember Ohlson’s Stationers and rode my bike to Archie’s Coins, which reassuringly still exists. Glad you enjoyed the article – part 2 is in well underway and will be posted in January. Happy New Year to you and your family.

      • Craig Kemnitz

        Here’s something to think about: I started collecting coins because of my trips to Archie’s. In 1980 I graduated from Northwestern and ended up running orders on the floor of the CME. I used to watch cash silver prices at Archie’s. A few years later I ended up leasing a seat and spent my career down on the exchange floor. I was also one of the lifeguards at Bryn Mawr Country Club, the personification of Caddy Shack! (Bushwood) How many times I ended up riding my bike over to the Bunny Hutch for lunch! I am looking forward to part 2!

  42. I remember Richard’s Big Twin Drive-in on the Northwest corner of Lincoln and East Prairie across from Novak’s (now Lou Malnati’s). I believe there’s a bank there now. I used to save my lunch money and on my walk home from school (I lived at Central Park and Pratt) I would take a detour and buy a burger at Richard’s. Boy, if my mom ever found out about that!!

  43. Hi Betsy

    What a great read! My parents moved to Drake Ave about 1960, and I graduated from Niles West in 1979. I worked at the Milk Pail in about 1977 but don’t think I was one of the cute guys you came to see! I don’t have a photo. Just east of the Milk Pail was a small fast food restaurant called Ramon’s, owned by a real character named … RAMON!! From the mid-70’s, many of us worked/ate there.

  44. Does anybody remember if there was a restaurant at the Kow Kow site before Kow Kow, 6755 N Cicero, Lincolnwood, IL.

    Thanks, Carrie

    • Hi Carrie – Yes, this was the prior site of an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Gallo which was famous for a really garish, huge sign. I am including Kow Kow in part 2 of this blog. Thanks for writing.

    • I also remember another restaurant at the location called Billy’s. Believe it was owned by the same people that owned Billy and Company around Northbrook. Did not last long. I forget if it was before or after Gallos.

      • Thanks, Ray – you are absolutely correct and it was there after Gallo. I found an article indicating Billy’s was at this corner in 1987. In 1989 Kow Kow moved to this location, so indeed Billy’s was short-lived, at least in Lincolnwood.

  45. Betsy, I’m a historian and “urban archaeologist,” and can help with some photos and info for Part 2. I used to live in West Rogers Park and moved to Skokie 20 years ago. With friends and family sprinkled throughout the Near North and NW ‘burbs, I spent a lot of time in Lincolnwood from the mid-’50s to the present. Allgauer’s Fireside? Mandel Bros. in Lincoln Village (before it became Wieboldt’s)? The Village Cart? Ray Foley’s? T.J. Peppercorn’s? Robby’s? Estelle’s? Union Wok? Hoe King Lo? I remember those places and more.

    One of my favorite pastimes is making videos for YouTube. I think you will enjoy “Our Last Supper at Kow Kow:”

    Henry’s closed its Lincolnwood drive-in many moons ago, but remarkably, one Henry’s remains and it’s in Benton Harbor, MI. The gaudy sign looks exactly as I remember:

    • Hi Eric – We are kindred spirits – I follow several urban archaeology blogs. I have read a lot about Richard Nickel and his efforts (ultimately fatal) to preserve architecture in Chicago from the wrecking ball. The wild abandon in which historically important buildings were demolished in Chicago is a personal pet peeve of mine. Thanks so much for your feedback and the Kow Kow video. I just watched it and will link to it in Lincolnwood Part 2. That post is pretty much done, pending my husband proofreading it for me. If you have photos, I would love to see them, however, I promised people I would post Part 2 in January. I am going to write a similar blog on Skokie – for which there are far more online resources. If you have photos readily available of any businesses in Lincolnwood, West Rogers Park, Lincoln Village or Skokie … please email them to me at Thanks much!

  46. Great memories. My family moved to Lincolnwood from the west side in 1955, when I was in 3rd grade. We lived on Kedvale, between Lincoln and Pratt. I worked at Henry’s Drive-In on Lincoln Avenue all through high school. I also worked at Mal’s Pharmacy on Devon and Crawford. I’d ride my bike to Whelan Pool and enjoy dogs at Superdawg after a swim. Back then, day camp was free at the Lincolnwood Park, long before the pool was built. We use to ice skate at the park or Tower Cabana on Peterson and sneak into the pool through a hole in the fence and hide in an unoccupied cabana. Federal Tool on Pratt made cereal box toys and we’d dumpster dive for them after school. For ten cents, we could take the Glenview bus to downtown Chicago. Every 4th of July, I proudly carried the American flag in the 4th of July parade with Boy Scout Troop 74, which met at the Legion Hall, long before it was used for the Friday night dances. Spent many days bowing at Gabby Hartnet and went shooting at the gun range below the bowling alley. Thirty years ago, I escaped to the western shores of Lake Michigan in southeastern Wisconsin. I still get into Chicago a couple of days a week.

    • Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories, Mark. I am posting Lincolnwood Part 2 today – Henry’s is one of the featured businesses. Somebody else also mentioned finding little toys from Federal Tool – referencing Cracker Jack toys. I took the Glenview bus downtown and memorized a lot of the businesses on Lincoln, Western and Irving Park on the ride down. Southeastern Wisconsin is also very nice – we used to go to Kenosha at least once a year.

      • I grew up at Central Park and Pratt across from Federal Tool so I remember finding little plastic toy soldiers in the dumpsters there, too. I now live in the Phoenix area and my wife has a bunch of tumblers that she bought 40 years ago. I noticed the bottom of the tumblers said Federal Housewares, Chicago 45, Illinois. I looked it up and learned it was part of Federal Tool. That was funny. She bought these tumblers in Scottsdale (before she met me) which was made across the street from where I grew up!

  47. My sister sent this to me and it brought back many happy memories. Thanks for taking the time to document our shared history, this clearly took a lot of time and thought. We were very lucky to grow up in such a special place and I believe we also got a great education at the Lincolnwood schools and Niles West. I think we all remember a lot of our teachers in addition to our friends.

    Someone in this stream mentioned a long forgotten grocery store. I had friends who worked there in high school, it was called Linwood, sort of a North Shore market but near Touhy and Crawford.

    Sorry I can’t help with any photos, but words are obviously very powerful, as evidenced by the many responses you are receiving. Kudos Betsy!

    • Thanks, Leslie, for your kind words. I am pleased you enjoyed the first article. Thank for identifying the name of the little grocery store on Touhy near Crawford. I hope you’ll take a look at the second Lincolnwood article – posted yesterday. It’s not evoking the same social media buzz as the first, but hopefully it will pick up steam as times goes by!

  48. Leslie Montenegro

    This was just wonderful. My father moved us from Rogers Park to Lincolnwood in 1971. I lived in the townhouses on Morse and Lincoln along with fellow classmate Sandy Starkman right next door. I remember driving to the Towers where the streets were lined with cars. I actually married a Towers chap and his home was ‘on the tour’- anyone remember the seal out front balancing a ball? Many walks to Milk Pail and many new friends made in the park.

    I’m in Arizona now and believe it or not once again I am near Lou’s and Gino’s!! So many friends have relocated to AZ. So happy to gather and share memories.

    • Hi Leslie – I’m glad you enjoyed the article – I published part 2 on Wednesday: Thank you for sharing your memories – nice that you have a little bit of home nearby with Lou’s and Gino’s!

    • We were thrilled when we learned Lou’s in Phoenix was to open. We are in Scottsdale right now and are having dinner there for the first time on Wednesday. Can’t wait to see how it stacks up against Lou’s back home. The bar is set pretty high, as you know.

      How funny you mention people from Lincolnwood moving to AZ. We still live in the Chicago area (NW burbs) but we to plan to move out here not too far down the road. I’ve been coming out here since 1989. At least three of our old Lincolnwood neighbors moved to the Phoenix area.

      Don’t know if anyone recalls former Lincolnwood resident Emil Weser, renowned golf pro and pro shop owner. The Wesers lived diagonally across from us on Albion until 1980 or ’81 before moving to Fountain Hills. Emil opened a pro shop in Scottsdale around then, splitting his time between states for a while. I worked at his Park Ridge shop while in high school. Emil passed away a few years back, and his Scottsdale pro shop went the way of too many small businesses – eventually smothered by chain store and internet competition. Both his stores were very popular with pro Chicago sports celebrities back in the day.

      More great memories of my home town…

      • David Feingold

        John, do you remember the Wittek family? They had a miniature golf and archery range. I think one of the son’s names was Alan. I remember Emil – a tall, “strapping” man. I was good friends back then with his son, Dave. I forgot the mom’s name – she was a very sweet-natured, spiritual woman.

  49. Carol Stone King

    My family moved to Lincolwood in 1954 from Granville and Hoyne in Rogers Park when I was 2. Our house was on the SE corner of Prairie (N. East Prairie Rd) and North Shore, just 2 houses down from Tony Novak’s and across the street from Richard’s Drive-In. I remember they had car hops and killer vanilla shakes.

    On the other side of Richard’s, there was liquor store and next to that a dive bar – both long gone.

    I remember Lou Malnati’s opening. The best deep dish pizza and occasionally I FedEx myself one.

    North of Gabby Harnett (named for a major league baseball player), part of the same building was a gun store with a shooting range downstairs.

    All the memories resurrected from the dregs of my brain. I had totally forgotten Lincoln Village and the Sunset Drive-in. We could see the movie screen from the corner and the trampolines …

    I took the bus to kindergarten in Todd Hall, with Miss Macucci. There was Green Bus and Brown Bus – I took Brown Bus. After that I walked. The crossing guard at Pratt and Prairie was there for years – she also worked in the kitchen in Lincoln Hall.

    My sisters and I went all through school in District 74, and then to Niles West. I was in the Class of 1970. As an aside, Merrick Garland was in my first grade class and others through the years. I still have my school pictures. I wasn’t surprised when he was nominated to SCOTUS.

    Thanks, Betsy

    • I think the crossing guard was named Emma. How in the heck could I possibly remember that? I can’t even remember why I just came into this room!!

      • Carol Stone King

        Rick, thanks for her name. She was one of the nicest people. My mom would get her a small Christmas present each year my sisters and I went to school there.

    • I remember Ms. Macucci! She was the best teacher. I went to pre-k in 1978.

  50. We moved to Lincolnwood in 1960 – the best place to grow up in the world!!

  51. Barbara Gold Wowk

    Who remembers Whitey at the gas station on Lincoln near the park? He was so nice to all the kids. There was Dairy Queen at Devon and St. Louis where Anne Gold and I would rob MY piggy bank to go.

    Mostly I remember our bus driver Irv – Bus #2 I believe.

    I too had Miss Macucci. We performed Babes in Toyland for our parents in 1961 and I still remember my lines to this day.

    • Hi Barbara – Great memories … amazing you remember the lines from the play! I had Miss Musgrove for kindergarten but one of my sisters had Miss Macucci. I clearly recall the large slide in the room and being at the top of it when it was announced President Kennedy was shot. Please take a look at part 2 in which I mention Dairy Queen.

  52. Leila Novak Dorne

    If Novak’s had been there between 1961 and 1968 I’d likely remember it. Long-term memory is the last to go…

  53. Edie Goldstein

    My parents were very happily married and my dad did have a crush on my kindergarten teacher Ms. Macucci. She was terrific.

    • Hi Edie – Everyone loved Miss Macucci and wanted to be assigned to her class! I hope you’ll read the second Lincolnwood article – I added Biasetti’s Pizza per your request and Larry’s, as well as many other suggestions based on comments. However, it seems like not many people know about the second article, so I would appreciate it if you spread the word!

  54. Hi Betsy, I sure did read the second article and enjoyed it very much. I have been telling anyone I know from Lincolnwood about it but it seems everyone already knows about your articles! I am pretty sure but not positive that Harry Ermoian used to be partners with the owner of Biasetti’s on Irving Park but they split up. I always knew when people weren’t telling the truth when they said they ordered all the time from Biasetti’s and knew Mr. Biasetti very well. I don’t know if there ever was a Mr. Biasetti, but Harry was the sole owner of Biasetti’s. His mom used to work there in addition to his son Richard Ermoian.

  55. Betteanne Sostrin Barash

    I too loved reading your blog. Our family moved to Christiana 2 blocks from the Milk Pail in 1957. My mother would send me to the Milk Pail regularly with a note so I could buy her cigarettes. I went on my first date to Gabby Hartnett in 1960 at age 10. We also use to walk to Thompson’s grocery store on Devon around St. Louis to buy ice cream. We all graduated from NWHS – myself in 1968, my brother Bob in 1964 and my younger sister Lisa in 1976.

    Thanks for all of the memories.

    Betteanne Sostrin Barash

    • Hi Betteanne – I am glad you enjoyed the blog and thanks for sharing your memories. I hope you read the second Lincolnwood article in which I mention Gabby Hartnett – Lisa and I were in the same class at Lincoln Hall (7th or 8th grade) and perhaps lower grades as well. I remember her as if it were yesterday, even though I have never been to a single NWHS reunion!

  56. Edie Goldstein

    Hello Betsy. I am pretty sure everyone has seen your Lincolnwood series, but if they haven’t seen anything, please give me a link to the first introduction to Lincolnwood so that I can post it on Facebook.

    • Thanks, Edie!! The first article generated huge interest and clicks. It is actually the second article that far fewer people read. Here are the two links and a third link, which is on local (Lincolnwood and nearby) defunct department and discount stores:

      Part 1:
      Part 2:
      Part 3:

    • JoAnne Copeland Barston

      I loved this trip down Memory Lane. My parents moved to Lincolnwood when I was 2 in 1955. We lived on Estes. We moved to the Kilpatrick cul-de-sac in 1960. Edie, I believe we shared a backyard and I remember playing softball in the cul-de-sac with you and your brothers along with the many kids that lived on the block. It was a great place to grow up.

  57. Hi Mary Beth,

    Great to hear your memories of Lincolnwood and learn you lived in the same area of town that I did. The name of the beauty shop on the north side of Touhy Avenue, a few stores east of Sam the Hardware Man was, ‘Ruth’s of Lincolnwood.’ I waited for the bus right in front of Ruth’s. David

    • Nancy Vincent Barber

      How funny, I just found this blog today and have been reading all the posts off and on all day. Someone asked earlier about a beauty shop on Touhy and I was going to post when I got done reading all the way down. Then I saw this post and just got a kick out of it. My mother was Ruth of Lincolnwood. She passed away in 1997 but I have things all over my house from Lincolnwood.

      Her father was a Proesel that helped found Tessville. I am still going to write to Betsy when I am done reading everything. I may have some pictures she would like to see and post on here.

      • My mother worked at your mother’s shop on weekends during the mid 1950’s. Occasionally she would take me there until my grandmother came to watch my sister and me.

  58. Johanna Garsenstein

    This was fantastic – thank you!! My father – also a physician – and my mother, a dietician, bought their first home on North Shore Avenue in 1965 and we lived there until 1978. I have very fond memories of Lincolnwood and am in touch with many friends and neighbors from childhood. We were very lucky to grow up there when we did. 🙂

  59. Stephen plotnick

    I too was a graduate of NWHS, year of the Bicentennial. All five of us boys graduated from West. My family moved to Lincolnwood, also around 1958. Our father was a pediatrician.

    Seems like no one mentioned Superdawg down the street – not quite home but a part of life back then. Thanks for the memories.

    • Hi Steve – I remember you very well – both from NWHS and grammar school. I thought about mentioning Superdawg, but already wrote about it in this post, so decided not to include it. Glad you enjoyed the blog!

  60. Some more Lincolnwood memories are Neba Roast Beef Restaurant on Touhy Ave near East Prairie. Long John Silvers occupies it now. Reubens Deli just East of Crawford Ave on Touhy. The Lincolnwood Mart Grocery store West of Crawford on Touhy in which a bank is there now. Also stores such as Kinney Shoes, Fayva Shoes, Minnesota Fabrics, Kohls Grocery store, David’s Lighting, and long time gas stations – Way Low, Clark, and Sinclair.

    • Hi Gary – Thanks for commenting and adding to the memories of Lincolnwood. I had to break the article up into three parts due to the size. Part 2: mentions Kohl’s and Part 3: mentions Kinney Shoes. The picture of Ernie’s Flowers and Gifts in the first article is the site of David’s Lighting, which certainly was a recognizable landmark for many years. That little plaza is now called David’s Square.

  61. Hi Gary,

    You mentioned the NEBA roast beef restaurant. I recall many of us kids thought the initials in that name stood for, Never Eat Beef at Arby’s. Ever hear that one?

    Sincerely, David

  62. A few more things to spark memories… Dr. Klein (pediatrician) was in the building with Orlove’s drug store. Just outside Lincolnwood was the Hot Dog Ranch. Harmony Hall and the candy story at Lincoln Village were two of my favorite places. I pretty much could roam free as long as I didn’t cross a busy street. I would be bound by Pratt, Devon, McCormick – and if I remember – the railroad tracks. I also used to like Marine World and Dairy Queen. I remember getting green stamps from Wieboldt’s. When I was old enough, I would ride my bike down Devon Ave to the beach and stop in at the head shops (not knowing what they were but thinking they were really cool.) I’d eat at Al Forno and listen to the jukebox. I’d also go to Gigio.

    • Hi David … thanks for sharing some great memories. I loved some of the same places as you, as you know from reading the article. I rode my bike to the beach when I was in my late teens and met Serge Oliva at Touhy Ave Beach – he was a longtime Chicago cop and former Mr. Olympia with gigantic biceps! In any case, I highlighted Dairy Queen and Marine World in part 2 – and Wieboldt’s in part 3. I hope you’ll take a look at them.

      Part 2:
      Part 3:

  63. David,

    I remember the hot dog place you mentioned. I believe it was called “Red Hot Ranch.” I owned Marine World so thank you. Glad you enjoyed coming in. My employees and myself loved the Red Hot Ranch, and naturally we ate many banana splits and burgers at the Dairy Star at the end of the block from my store. Fun times in a great community.

  64. My family moved to Lincolnwood in June 1960. My wife and I have lived in Lincolnwood since 1973. It is a great trip through happy memories. My wife and I did not see mentioned, Ace Hardware on Touhy at East Prairie or 31 Flavors. I believe before it was 31 Flavors there was a small men’s clothing store at that site.

    • Hi Sandy: Your name sounds familiar to me – probably from the Lincolnwood Library, since my mom was president of the Friends. I don’t remember the Ace Hardware on Touhy, but vaguely remember the 31 Flavors. We lived closer to Edgebrook so went to both the Ace Hardware and 31 Flavors on Devon instead.

    • Emil’s of Lincolnwood was the name of the men’s store.

      • If I am correct, you are Richard Trotter, better known by those who grew up with you as Dick or “Kloss”. It has been nearly 50 years since I last saw you, as we left Drake in 1972. We lived across the street from you and we went to school together through 8th grade. I attended high school in Wisconsin at Northwestern Military Academy in Lake Geneva, which you visited a number of times driving up with my parents. I now live in South Carolina near Hilton Head. It is good seeing your name again.

  65. I used to go to Howard Johnson’s and get the milk and white chocolate suckers made into pictures of animals. There was also a family restaurant called Lulubelle’s on Devon (if I remember correctly.)

  66. Michael Balbirer

    The 31 Flavors on Touhy was of course in a strip center with really narrow parking spaces that was hard to fit the giant ’70’s cars into. That may have been the cause of a few scrapes and door dings (sorry Mom and whoever parked next to me!)

  67. Michael Balbirer

    Lulubelle’s became Estelle’s which became Whistlers. It’s on Devon between Trumbull and Kimball.

  68. Edie Goldstein

    In addition to stopping at 31 Flavors for ourselves, we took our dog there every year on his birthday for a scoop of vanilla. Mmmm

  69. Rosemary Lerner Gill

    Loved all the articles. Lived in Lincolnwood from 1956 to 1973. Before Lou’s, we used to go to Gulliver’s for the first deep dish pizza. There was also Barnaby’s near there, too. The Red Balloon on Touhy, Hackney’s on Lake and of course, Jack’s, were all popular places. We still stop at New York Bagel and Bialy when we drive north from the city.

  70. THANK YOU! What a trip this is, to see and read about all the familiar (and some not so familiar) landmarks of my home town. Lincolnwood was urban yet very much had a small-town feel, kind of like an island unlike any other town around. Who can forget the notoriously overzealous police! I’ll never forget seeing Mrs Malnati’s pink Coupe d’Ville in the lot every time we’d go. In the 80’s I worked at Dairy Queen/Dairy Star, Monastero’s and Bryn Mawr Country Club. I just learned that Myron & Phil’s closed – sad.

    Man, I remember Go-Tane, Heathkit, Lincolnwood Schwinn and Gabby Hartnett. We bowled there all the time. We were in the Milk Pail every day. New York Bagel & Bialy! I remember, we drove past where Alan Dorfman was shot just minutes after it happened. Elek-Tek was built in the vacant prairie where we’d play baseball after school or on summer days. Whistler’s was awesome – we ate there all the time. Biasetti’s, Kenilworth Inn (in the 70s) and Kow Kow all remembered as well.

    I can’t count how many days I spent doing nothing at Lincoln Village. Wieboldt’s was my mom’s favorite store in the neighborhood. Record City in Skokie was a staple in my teen years. Who remembers the Budget Rent a Car at Lincoln and Lawndale or OCE, Ground Round or the ugly Silo store? Mal’s Pharmacy on Devon just across the border near Monastero’s? Minnesota Fats and Video King? I remember the Friedman girls – their father owned it. We hung out with them for a few summers.

    My family went to Queen’s in Sauganash, Loyola and Regina. but we all played Lincolnwood sports through middle school grades. I’d ride my Schwinn or the red Huffy to Little League, or to the pool after dinner with the towel draped on my shoulders and that dumb little plastic badge pinned to my swimsuit until they upgraded. If I brought $2, I could get a slice of pizza or a coke in a wax cup and bag of Hot Stuff chips. The high dive! I remember envying the kids whose parents could buy them a Schwinn krate bike, and later the expensive BMX bikes. They were too rich for our blood!

    My family moved to the 3700 block of West Albion in 1963. My mother kept the house until 1998 when she moved to the NW burbs. She has since passed on, God Bless her for all she did to raise us. Our (little) old house was knocked down and a new “McMansion” was built on its sizable lot. The Wesers, Muths and Kremens all were fellow long-time-resident families on the block. I often think about those days, the simple but rich times in which we grew up and think, “The kids today don’t know what it was like, no internet, no cable and no cell phones!” But that’s what made it such an awesome time. I’d relive it all in a heartbeat if I could. We spent long summer days doing nothing, but yet did so much. My head is filled with memories of a bygone era. And it’s great to see other people sharing their memories of Lincolnwood.

    • Hi John – I’m glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane and thanks for sharing your wonderful memories of Lincolnwood! Sorry about your mom – you are sweet for mentioning her. If you haven’t already, please read part 2 – I wrote about many of the businesses you recall that were not included in this article.

  71. Jackie Shaw Rottner


    Thank you! This is so wonderful – I enjoyed reading your article and all the posts that have followed. My family moved to Lincolnwood in the summer of 1960 from Albany Park. I started at Rutledge Hall and graduated from Niles West in 1968.

    I have the best memories from growing up in this wonderful community. My Dad worked downtown and my mom was a stay at home mom that did not drive. We ‘carted’ everywhere. The small Jewel (where the Lincolnwood Library now stands), Orlove’s pharmacy, The National Food store and many other places. Of course there was Ruben’s Deli, which was next to the Lincolnwood Bakery and Jalin’s restaurant. There was also a very small strip mall that had a cleaners (with Peter Demos) the tailor and next to him was a butcher shop and a small deli. I can’t remember the names but they weren’t there very long. It was on Crawford just south of Lincoln. I believe there might still be a flower shop and beauty shop there?

    We lived on a dead end street that only had four houses on it…North Shore and Karlov. The corner house was Dr Howard Weiss, then the Blechmans. Our house was next and the last house belonged to Dr. Strub and his family. They eventually built two more houses and opened the street up to Crawford. It only lasted a few years before they made it a dead end again. Across from our block was the Northwest part of The Bryn Mawr CC. I remember watching it burn down from our living room window.

    We had family that also moved to Lincolnwood, so it was great to grow up with cousins. Together, we rode our bikes to all the great places mentioned in prior posts. We would either bike or walk to Bunny Hutch for lunch and then head east to the Trampolines. After that, on to Lincoln Village. Always going into Howard Juvenile to get Barbie dolls and clothes. Maybe on the way back we’d go to Dairy Queen or stop at the pharmacy for some candy.

    Thank you for this wonderful ‘place’ to read about “Growing Up Lincolnwood.” Can’t wait to read more!

    Jackie Shaw Rottner

    • Hi Jackie: I’m so glad you enjoyed the Lincolnwood articles. I’m especially pleased somebody else mentioned Howard Juvenile … with all the comments, I believe you are the only person who wrote about it. I remember the florist at Crawford/Lincoln – that’s where we bought the flowers for my rather modest wedding in 1981. Albany Park has really changed over the years, more so than Lincolnwood.

      • Jackie Shaw Rottner

        Thank you and also wish to add after Howard Juvenile, there was Pattikins, a children’s clothing store. Kind of nice and probably considered more upscale. Lincoln Village was truly our go-to place. The Village Cart was what I remember before it became What’s Cookin’. When my mom and I walked down Crawford to Devon to shop at National Food or maybe it was a Red Owl…we would go across the street to Mal’s pharmacy, before our walk back home. It’s funny how the Kow Kow property will become Phil Stefani and his daughter’s Italian restaurant. We were a Peking family…but a lot of families were loyal to Kow Kow!

        For a small community, we had fabulous schools and teachers and some wonderful places to dine and play. Thank you again for allowing all of us to share our memories.


  72. How could anyone forget the trampoline place on McCormick and Lincoln. Batting cages were there as well. I believe they also had a go-cart track.

    • Jackie Shaw Rottner

      Sometimes I think about all we really had to do…and all done without cell phones and cars! We truly had ‘fun’. The trampolines were so great. I remember laughing just because we were jumping up and down!!!

  73. Although I didn’t live in Lincolnwood, I graduated from Niles West in ’68 and was friends with many classmates from Lincolnwood. My favorite memory was to go to the Friday night Lincolnwood Legion dances. Many local groups performed there, some going on to be big names like The Buckinghams and The Shadows of Knight. A great teen hangout!

    • Helen Weiss Singer

      Yes! I’ve been reading for an hour and waiting for a posting about the unbelievably great live music at the Legion Hall Dances. I’ve continued to love local performances till today. We were so free and enriched as children and teens growing up in Lincolnwood.

      • Hi Helen: The live music at the American Legion Hall dances sounds great – I never went to one so was unaware of this. Thanks much for sharing your memories.

  74. Great times. My wife Nancy (Grass) and I talk about it all the time. We remember all the places. Thanks

  75. Our family moved to a cute Cape Cod house on East Prairie just north of Touhy in 1968. Ten years ago it was knocked down and replaced with a McMansion. Your article brought back so many memories of places I haven’t thought about in years but enjoyed. I remember many of the places mentioned. No one mentioned Richard’s Drive In on Lincoln north of Devon with the California Twin Burgers. We used to go there in the early 1950’s. They still had car hops. Going south on Lincoln from Crawford, in the ’40’s and ’50’s there was an ice cream shop on the right that my parents loved. I can’t remember the name at the moment. Dad used to work at Federal Tool or NIBOT, mom and one sister worked for Bell and Howell, and my other sister worked at Elliott’s Pine Log when she was at Niles West. Lincolnwood was a great place to live – not just another bedroom suburb.

  76. My parents and grandparents moved to Lincolnwood, pop. 700, in 1941 after my brother was born. Lincolnwood School consisted of 9 school rooms, kindergarten through 8th grade, each grade had its own room: 1st-4th on the first floor, 5th-8th on the second floor. Kindergarten was on the first floor front on the curved window side facing south, the library directly above kindergarten. Home economics, the little stage, and the cafeteria were on the lower level.

    My mother, Dagmar Norgan, was on the Board of Education for 10 years when the town was growing in the late 40’s to early 50’s, and she recommended that the three schools be named “Lincoln Hall, Todd Hall, and Rutledge Hall of the Lincolnwood Schools” in the Lincoln tradition. “Edens Superhighway” wasn’t built until after 1951 so the area was very quiet until then. Sauganash Ave went all the way to Cicero.

    Two grocery stores were actually on Cicero Ave north of Albion: Dominic’s had the best meat and they delivered! The other was the Fred Guth family (they lived on Knox north of Pratt) grocery where KowTow and the other restaurants were.

    The original Kenilworth Inn was on the east side of Lincoln by the golf driving range at Touhy and Lincoln. Excellent fried chicken. Allgauer’s Fireside was a wonderful place until the fire. Gus and Kathe were always there to greet guests. They lived on Leroy in the Towers about a half block from my grandparents on Lemai. Lockwood Castle in Edgebrook at Devon and Niles Center Rd was owned by Nick and Gus Karos who eventually became well-known McDonald’s franchise owners in the Cleveland, Ohio, area where they were very involved in Ronald McDonald House and the hospitals in Cleveland. Topper’s was a genuinely 1950’s place and fun to visit.

    The morning and afternoon smokey commuter trains stopped at Pratt, just east of Kolmar. Houses east of the tracks hadn’t been built yet, so we played in the prairie south and north of Pratt. If Barbara Gerich (her dad was the bus driver for the east of Crawford kids and custodian for the school) hasn’t seen your blog yet, she could add lots of info for you, I’m sure. Great memories of Lincolnwood! And the school system was excellent with terrific teachers, programs, and even after-school options for us. Very advanced for that time. Thanks much for your blog.

    Ken Norgan

    P.S. I was at Lincolnwood School from 1948 to 1957, then at Niles Twp H.S. from 1957 to 1961, the last class in the “full” Niles Township district.

    • Hi Ken: Thanks so much for sharing your memories of Lincolnwood from the early days. Many of the restaurants you mentioned are featured in the second article: I had to break Lincolnwood into three separate articles due to the length! The third article primarily covers discount and department stores:

      I had no idea who suggested the naming convention for our grammar schools – so interesting this was your mother’s idea! I think this was a very creative tie-in with the Lincoln theme. Do you remember a rather large slide in your kindergarten room?

      The Dominic’s you mentioned at Cicero and North Shore must have become North Shore Food Market in my day – I know one of the brother’s was Dominic. You’re right – they had very high quality meat – my mom bought all our ground beef there. Since we lived just two blocks away, my mom usually sent me there rather than getting deliveries.

    • Richard Bourgerie

      Ken, how’s your brother Bruce doing?

      Rich Bourgerie
      NHS Class of 59′

  77. Thanks for all those wonderful memories. I worked at the Treasure Island in the Lincoln Village Shopping Center from 1981 until they closed their doors around 1987. Spent many a summer day at Novelty Golf & Games and the Bunny Hutch.

  78. Mary Sharon Mau

    Around the early 60’s my father, Bob Voorhees owned the BOB VOORHEES MINIATURE GOLF AND DRIVING RANGE located near the corner of Touhy and Lincoln where CVS and BINNEY’S LIQUOR STORE and a few adjacent lots east on Touhy now exist. There are probably many range balls still buried under those lots where the grassy range existed! I remember he had his name boldly presented with white shingles across the front of the big red roof. My grandfather owned another mini golf and driving range on Addison in Chicago adjacent to Lane Tech and Riverview!

    • Thanks for sharing this interesting fact! If you have any photos of your father’s miniature golf and driving range, I would love to add them to the blog!

      • Hello Betsy, early today while waiting for my car to be serviced at the dealership I thought I would make some use of the customer lounge and free WI-FI. Upon google searching old Tessville and LW Towers I suddenly came across your blog, and it made my weekend. I enjoyed and highly appreciated every single comment and feedback from the many wonderful neighbors and past residents of Lincolnwood.

        I am 38 years old but I remember quite a lot about Lincolnwood. I grew up in River Forest (one of very Jewish families that held on to the West Side and Oak Park) but my grandmother Rose grew up in Rogers Park and eventually settled in Lincolnwood in the early 60’s. She bought a home on Longmeadow in the Towers and I recall one of her neighbors was from the Hamm family who owned a clothing manufacturing business on Skokie Blvd. I believe this woman was in a few beauty pageants in the 1950’s or 60’s. She recently passed away in 2015, as did my grandmother in 2010.

        The only businesses I fondly remember that lasted into the 80’s and 90’s were Lockwood Castle in Edgebrook, the Bunny Hutch, Dominick’s on Cicero at Touhy, Lincoln Village Theatre, Wieboldt’s, Lou’s, Dairy Star, Whistler’s, Kow Kow❤️ and the bowling alley. Barbara Eden purchased a bronze Mercedes-Benz convertible from Loeber Motors. I recall my grandmother mentioning seeing her there twice. I believe her home was on LeRoy at Sauganash. So much has changed along Touhy Avenue as it was mostly industrial from what I remember. I still recall having to wait on Pratt for the cargo train to go by. Both lines on Pratt have since been devolved.

        During the estate sale, a wooden chest that was meant to go to my aunt was accidentally sold off. The worst part of it all was that it contained so many priceless family photos as well as photos taken in and around Lincolnwood and Edgebrook. I’ve been on a sort of a treasure hunt trying to find photos of the Towers in the 1970’s and 80’s and would very much appreciate any help and/or advice. I am willing to compensate any of your readers for their time, if necessary. Thank you Betsy, for your dedication to the history of beautiful Lincolnwood.

        • Just to clarify, from my recollection and asking several aunts and uncles, I believe Barbara and Chuck lived on LeRoy at Sauganash. Both train lines that crossed Pratt were dismantled some time in the early 90’s. We often had lunch at Kow Kow. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes was heading to Grandma’s on Saturday morning to walk and bike, then have a family lunch at Kow Kow. I believe a relative of the owner of Kow Kow was the mayor of Lincolnwood. There were only a handful of Jewish families that remained on the City’s west side in the early 80’s, while the majority went north. Some, including mine, moved west to affluent areas such as River Forest and Oak Park. My father was a bond trader, and my mother was an accountant at CNA. During summer vacation months, I spent a lot of time in Lincolnwood and they were some of the best years of my life. My parents eventually moved/retired to Boca Raton, Florida and I am currently living on the Gold Coast.

        • Hi Ari: Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your personal Lincolnwood experiences. I believe the Kow Kow relative you mentioned is Peter Moy, who served as the President of Lincolnwood from 2000-2005. He ran again in 2013, but lost to Gerald Turry, who was recently ousted by a classmate of mine, Barry Bass. I am sorry the family trunk was sold off and the photos were lost. I go to estate sales frequently and often see photographs and mementos of a personal nature thrown in with everything else. I could write an entire blog about my experience at estate sales … and probably will, very soon. In any case, your grandmother sounds like a special person – sorry for your loss, but very glad she provided you with such fond memories of Lincolnwood. I will keep an eye out for more Lincolnwood photos – I know the Village has an archive, but when I talked to then Mayor Turry in January, he couldn’t tell me much about it. I think I will follow up and see if any Lincolnwood employees can help, since I am looking for photos of Tessville in the 1920s-30s.

          • Thank you Betsy, I sincerely appreciate your warm response. Please feel free to e-mail me should you come across any old photos. As I mentioned previously, I will compensate for the time and effort should it become necessary or I can forward that to your favorite charity. This offer also applies to the other readers.

  79. Hi Rich,

    Bruce has been out in Spokane, Washington since the mid-70’s. His daughter Sarah will receive her second Master’s degree in social work in June. He’s been divorced for many years, but he’s fine. He has a cabin up in Sandpoint, Idaho for weekends. How about you?

  80. Richard Bourgerie

    I’m doing well, thanks for asking Ken. Enjoying my retirement from RCA, living in Indianapolis where most of my family is. Hope all is well with you, please tell Bruce I said hello.

  81. Marsha Greenstein

    What a great read! Thanks for this tribute to Lincolnwood. My family moved there from Chicago in 1955 just before I started Kindergarten. We lived on one of the “K” streets, Kilbourn, between Touhy and Pratt. During my elementary school years I attended summer camp at “The Park” which was what we called Proesel Park before it was officially named. Way before it had a pool! There was a morning session and an afternoon session. Campers went home for lunch! We rode our bikes to camp. Mornings were devoted to sport stuff and afternoons (my favorite), to arts and crafts. The fee was very small, if anything at all. If weather was poor, camp was cancelled. They would fly a flag on camp days, so we would look out the window through the trees to see if the flag was flying. No flag, no camp that day! By the time I was in high school or home from college, the trees were too tall to see the flag!

    I also remember “shopping,” actually just browsing at a gift store that sold beautiful glass gifts. I think it was on Touhy somewhere. There were “Do Not Touch ” signs everywhere. I felt so grown up going in. I think I bought something very small on one occasion. Does anyone else remember this store?

    • Hi Marsha: Glad you enjoyed the article – and thanks for posting. Don’t know if you read parts 2 and 3 – I had to break up the articles due to the length!, There was a gift shop called Gift Motique on the north side of Touhy east of Crawford. There was also David’s on the north side of Touhy at Kostner – high-end interior design store that likely had expensive glass. I never went in there, so I’m not certain.

      I agree with you that afternoons at Proesel Park were best due to arts & crafts activities at the camp! At least that was something I excelled at, although I did manage quite well in the sit-up contest!

    • I remember summer camp. Hadn’t thought about that in many, many years. Yeah, arts and crafts. Popsicle stick art with lots of Elmer’s glue. I remember they used to have a big bike parade. I think this was a summer camp thing. My mom helped dress my bike up with lots of crepe paper. And baseball cards folded and attached with clothespins near the spokes to make a racket as you rolled along. I also remember Little League at the park. I played on the MidTown Ignition team named after a local business. This blog really elicits lots of memories, many which had almost remained forgotten.

  82. Wow, thank you so much for the time and effort that you and the others put into this wonderful Lincolnwood memories blog. This is extraordinary. I have enjoyed everyone’s comments. Thank you all so much – this is great.

    We lived on Jarvis Avenue near Hamlin (1 block into Skokieland) from 1951 to 1962. I attended East Prairie and NEHS for short time. In 1962, we moved to the LA. burb Encino. In Chicago, my Dad worked at Johnson Ford on Cicero and Diversey and my mom worked at Burt’s Deli on Foster across from the hospital. Burt Kozak was Normie’s brother. Before that, we lived on Gunnison Street near Lawrence. I attended Hibbard. Both parents were WW 2 Vets and both went to and graduated from Marshall High.

    Like most of you, I loved growing up on the north side of Chicago. I will never forget my days living there and the wonderful kids I got to know. I still stay in touch with a few of my East Prairie and NEHS classmates and with many of my cousins who remained in Chi-town. Maybe some of you knew my cousins Bruce and Sheila Kaufman – they lived on Jarvis too, but on the Lincolnwood side. They attended Todd Hall and NWHS.

    I clearly remember so many great times ice skating in Sherwin Park, and riding my bike to the many great attractions and stores in Lincolnwood. The LW pool, Orlove Drugs, Normie’s, Weiner’s Pharmacy, Gabby Hartnett bowling, Kiddieland, Miniature Golf, Thillens, The Ranch for Dogs, Irving’s, The Nortown, the Granada and Terminal on Saturdays, Devon Ave for coins and chocolate licorice sticks, Sally’s BBQ, the L, the CTA buses, and Riverview. The Cubbies, Da Bears, Morse and Greenleaf beaches, terrible tamales on the beach, basketball at Debra boys club, and the restaurant with the trains running around it off Kedzie. The wonderful museums, the forest preserves, day camps, pizza, bagels, hot dogs with green relish, ribs, beef sandwiches, caramel apples, the music from WLS and Dick Biondi. My Venture Club Brothers. Thunderstorms, salting the roads, and no school because of snow days.

    Indeed, the pages of the book of life pass faster everyday. I never stopped missing our life and my wonderful friends and family in Lincolnwood and Skokie. It sounds like I may find many of you when I move to Scottsdale in 2 years.

    The first summer I took my two children to Chicago for a long visit, on the way back to O’Hare, both of them exclaimed, “Dad, this is the coolest place! Why did you ever leave here?” I told them that I would gladly bring them back to Chicago in January or February and they could personally see firsthand just how cool this place called the Windy City really is!

    I look forward to reading more. Thanks again and keep up the great work.

    • Thanks for sharing all of your memories – amazing after all these years, you still remember all these things with such clarity. It shows you how incredibly special childhood memories can be! I went to school with a Sheila Kauffman (name spelled with 2 FFs) who graduated from NWHS in 1976 – is that your cousin? If so, I remember her as a lovely, quiet person who was the best behaved kid at one of my birthday parties during grammar school – likely this was in third or fourth grade.

  83. I used to spend my training days for Bell and Howell staying at HOJO’s on Lincoln. Just wondered if someone remembers the restaurant there – I believe it was called Don the Fisherman or something like that. I remember getting mussels in baskets the size of a basketball for 2 bucks. The restaurant had very good seafood. Bell and Howell also had a corporate office close by the Pratt/McCormick plant. Does anyone have knowledge about where it was?

    • David Prochotsky

      Don’s Fish Market was in the HoJo’s on Skokie Blvd in Skokie across from the movie theater.

      • Sure was – I used to eat at Don’s often while I was seeing this girl Mary that lived on Kedvale & Lunt. The fresh salmon was to die for, but the selection of entrees and the mussels you ate at the bar made this place unique and a favorite of mine.

  84. Sheila nenadovic

    Hello there, I wanted to comment on the pictures of the Linconwood grill, my parents owned it from 1968? Until it was demolished to make for the bus station. The actual name was A & M Grill. The waitress you mentioned – her name was Gurty.

    • Hi Sheila: So cool your parents owned the grill – thank you for sharing the official name of the diner and the name of the waitress. The building was incredibly charming on the outside and I loved the classic diner interior!

  85. Michael J. Singer

    The comments about Frenkel’s and Toppers brings back memories. I was a graduate of Niles, class of 59. That was before Niles North and the year West opened.

    For several years, I worked in the Sinclair gas station on the corner of Touhy and Cicero, next to Toppers.

    We had a great time tooling around in the tow truck in the parking lot of Toppers with our revolving red light.

    Those were the days of 6 volt systems that usually wouldn’t start the car when the temperature dropped.

  86. Betsy, Incredible research! I came across this while researching one of several incidents my father was involved in while on the Lincolnwood Police Department. He was the Chief of Detectives in Lincolnwood during the 1960’s and 1970’s. His friend and colleague, Jerry Singleton was killed when they confronted four armed robbers attempting to hold up a Thillens Armored Car at Bell & Howell on McCormick Blvd. on January 24th, 1969.

    I haven’t read everything you wrote, but I remember all of it so far. My dad’s best friend was Dick Klatzcko (Buddy’s brother) of Kiddieland (where my dad and mom worked and met), Bunny Hutch, and Novelty & Hollywood Golf. My friends were Dick’s two son’s Craig and David.

    My first job was at Novelty Golf in 1971 for .75 cents an hour! I also worked at Bunny Hutch, Hollywood Golf, Bryn Mawr Golf Course, Dairy Queen on Devon, Milt & Dave’s Service at Devon and McCormick, Milt’s Sinclair at Pratt and Lincoln and the EZ GO Gas Station on Lincoln Avenue.

    I’m still in touch with old Lincolnwood friends including my best buddies Joseph Bleckman and Chuck Minkus, as well as Larry Goldstein, David Prochotsky, and others. I remember Ian Goldman well, because we always sat in alphabetical order in class. I lost a close Lincolnwood friend in Frank LaBarbara about 10 years ago.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Billy – I remember you very well from grammar school – we were in the same class at least once. I’m glad you enjoyed this blog and appreciate that you shared your memories. That’s terrible about your dad’s partner being killed in 1969. Now you have piqued my curiosity about this incident. As far as the Bunny Hutch and Kiddieland … so many great memories. Somebody told me years ago that Chuck Minkus was working in the telecommunications industry. Nice that you are still in touch with several Lincolnwood friends. It really was a great community to grow up in and pretty cool that one of our classmates is now mayor. If you finish this blog, you can read part 2 at!

      • Please feel free to email me, if you’d like more information or news articles about the Bell & Howell shootout. There were hundreds of rounds fired. Chuck owns a major software company in Glenview. I didn’t see your last name, but I’m sure I’d remember you too! Thanks again!

    • My brother’s former father-in-law was Milton Marks of Milt and Dave’s and Milt’s Sinclair. I graduated NWHS with his son Jeff, in ’68. Milt passed in ’02.

      • Milt was the best. Dave’s wife was his niece. I’m still in touch with Dave, Alice, Michael, Marty and Jody Blitstein. Dave was my late father’s best friend.

  87. Michael Balbirer

    Hey Billy,

    This is Michael Balbirer – Hope you’re well.

    My family has wondered over the years whatever became of Joseph. No sign of him on social media! (Me either, actually). Would love to find out! I live in the Sacramento area now, have been working for Intel the past 20 years. Would love to get in touch.

  88. Andrew B Hurvitz

    We lived in Lincolnwood from 1965-79. I attended Todd, Rutledge and Lincoln Hall. We lived at 6643 N. Kilpatrick Ave.

    There is a lot to remember, but one particular incident stands out in my mind.

    In July or August 1968, my grandmother, who lived in W. Rogers Park, called my Mom and said she hear on the radio that “National had exploded.” At the time there was a supermarket called National, so my Mom got me and my brother Jimmy in the car and we drove down Touhy, but it turned out that there was an explosion at an industrial plant also called “National” which killed two workers. We went to see what was going on. There was a Daily News seller handing out papers.

    • Hi Andy: Great to hear from you – we practically lived across the street from each other. I remember you and the rest of your family. I am pleased to see you went into the arts – I love your photography and short stories. I just read your latest – The Model is Not Your Friend. I knew you were a brilliant kid, but had no idea you were artistic. I always wondered what happened to your family after you moved away. Thanks so much for reading the blog and sharing your memories. BTW – I clearly recall the industrial plant explosion – 31 workers were injured in addition to the deaths. It happened in July 1968 – I was 10, so you must have been quite young.

  89. Betsy,

    So now I’m realizing that your family lived on the corner of N. Shore and Kilpatrick.

    One memory I have of your father is that he drove “foreign” cars when that was a unique oddity, in the time of Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac and Chevrolet. I have some other random memories of our neighborhood:

    The corner store. This was, of course, on the corner of N. Shore and Cicero, a small grocery with a butcher shop in back. My friend Julie Marx (who lived at 6708 N. Kenton) had a live-in houseman named Gus who used to drive Mrs. Marx’s Gold Sedan De Ville to do madam’s grocery shopping for her. The Marx’s had a house account there. My mom would send me to the corner store to buy True Green Cigarettes for her and a Daily News. I think the pack cost 55 cents. She smoked not that much and quit in 1975. She died in 2014 of lung cancer.

    Kilpatrick Ave. Our block was unique in that it had a collection of both less wealthy and more well-to-do people, as well as a variety of houses. We were friends with the Sanders, Terry and Kay, and their sons Chris and Terry Jr. They rode mini-bikes up the street and the house was always stocked with Camel cigarettes in a wooden dispenser near the side entrance. Terry worked in a fish store and the boys were handy with fixing things in their garage. WLS would play on their garage radio.

    We also were good friends with Eve Berger, her psychiatrist husband Mark, and their two children, Leslie and Adam. Eve was from the Shetland Islands and Mark was a Chicago psychiatrist. We would play in their basement and dance to the 5th Dimension and The Byrds. They moved out in 1971 and the Persky Family moved in.

    In the cold winters I would walk to the bus stop at Albion and Kilpatrick. My mom drove me to the bus stop and we waited in the car with the heat on until the bus came. This continued until I was later taunted by Gina for doing this instead of being a true boy and waiting in the cold.

    Lincolnwood Police: In the summer of 1971, we had a new arrival, my brother Rick and a summer girl named Carrie moved in. She met a cop in our town named Dennis Brooks and they later married.

    Old Orchard: This sedate, elegant shopping center with outdoor bridges over fountains and ponds, had class and an understated dignity. When I went back to see it in 2015 it had turned into a clownish, Disneyesque entertainment center. It was gross. They had defaced the mid-century modern medical building with life-size cartoon characters.

    Chicago brags about its architecture, but the strength of the city also derives from its stripped down, 1950s well built houses and commercial buildings. It should value the virtue of buildings made with integrity and structure rather than mind blowing theatrics.

    I used to ride my bike with my friend Steve Katz to Archie’s where I started a stamp book. I still have it somewhere, stored in a box in the garage.

    I rode my bike everywhere. I went with Steve to ride to Lake Point Tower when we were 12 to visit his grandparents. I’d ride up the Forest Preserve trail to Glenview at 12, alone. I’d ride my bike behind the railroad tracks and passed kids smoking there, and go tour Albany Park, alone. I rode up Skokie Valley Highway and went into an abandoned house to look around. I never had any fear.

    My way of thinking contains rebelliousness, mixed in with curiosity. When we moved to Woodcliff Lake, NJ in 1979, I was happy to leave Lincolnwood. I looked forward to exploring NYC and the East Coast.

    I too have researched Lincolnwood, and often will look through the archives of the Chicago Tribune to find articles. I found one last year about Jim Van Every and his wife Gladys, parents of my old friends Lisa and Maria. He was a housebuilder and in 1962 was completing some new homes near Touhy and Keating. He spoke of pride in his materials and “all plastic countertops” which would last a lifetime.

    I visit Chicago occasionally. My 93-year-old Aunt Millie lives in Lincolnwood Place. We took her to dinner last year at L Woods Tap and Pine Lodge and I thought the food and service was excellent.

    After having lived in many places in the last 40 years, I came back to Chicago and Lincolnwood admiring the neatness, the tidiness, the orderliness of the environment. Growing up I remember thinking how narrow minded it sometimes seemed, the salutes to Lincolnwood’s “low taxes” and “easy commute to downtown”. There was no crime back then, except for the occasional long remembered murder of a mobster.

    There was no “diversity”, but there was no violence either. There were no gay people. You were called a fag and picked last for sports, but nobody, including your parents or your teachers cared. Bullying was looked on as a badge of honor, perhaps even admired by tough dads who grew up on the West Side and spoke of the Cubs, the Bears, and the Black Hawks with religious devotion.

    I don’t remember anti-semitism, which was spoken of as if it had been cured like polio or tuberculosis. My grandmother who came from Russia said the Jews were scapegoats. I never understood what she meant. Now I see it in 2017, on the left and on the right and all over the world. We lived in a bubble back then, in the 30 years after the end of WWII.

    And whom today does not envy the easy industriousness of the people, the men who always knew how to earn a living, how to open a business, how to support a family? They had nice sturdy brick houses, they drove Cadillacs, they vacationed in Miami or the Bahamas and their wives spent the day at the tennis club, the hair salon, Old Orchard. They bought their homes for $30,000 and they were well-to-do people who earned twice that much and sent their kids to college and could afford medical insurance and lived in a community that supported good schools, a library, and safe streets.

    Chicago has seen a boom in the once decrepit neighborhoods of the North and West Side. But what has been lost? So many bookstores, department stores, newspapers, the sense that Chicago was a unique place. The photographer Danny Lyon wrote in his introduction to his book The Bikeriders something about our lost city:

    “Back then in Chicago, they had a lot of names for things, names that were of the Midwest and of that city, words belonging to that place and to the people who lived there. One of those words was bikeriders. No one ever called them motorcyclists.”

    I lived in NJ, Boston, NYC and now Los Angeles, but when it comes down to it, the people, the signs, the places, the sensations of Lincolnwood will always be foremost in my mind.

    • Dear Andy: Thanks again for sharing your heartfelt memories of Lincolnwood. The corner store was of course North Shore Food Market run by brothers. They had an excellent butcher department and a great selection of candy bars. I am sorry about the loss of both your parents. Your blog about taking care of your mom at the end was incredibly touching: I also read your friend’s wonderful tribute to your mom at: Your mom was an amazing person – my folks didn’t know your parents very well, but they certainly talked to each other in passing.

      You are right about my dad having foreign cars … an Alfa before I was born, two Porsches, Volvo, Audi, and BMW … followed by more practical cars like Hondas. My mom drove the big American boats like a Chevy station wagon and Ford Galaxy. My parents moved to Lincolnwood Place a few years ago! I wonder if they know your Aunt Millie?! My sister Janet lives in their old house. I think you and Janet are about the same age – do you remember her at all? She was good friends with Leslie Berger and Mark Berger was a colleague of my dad’s (Mark passed away in April 2016).

      Chris and Terry Sanders had super cool parents – Kay was so nice. Terry mowed our grass when we were in high school. I had a crush on Chris in junior high, who was a year younger than me, but actually reconnected briefly with Terry (a year older than me) in early September 1978. He was barely recognizable – a kid on the small size who shot up past 6 feet by then. I actually found Chris’ Facebook profile, but would love to know what happened to Terry. Steve Katz was the kid brother of Deborah, who was good friends with my older sister Debbie.

      I love Danny Lyon’s photographs. I wrote about the Disneyfication of Times Square and how much I preferred the seedy underbelly of X-rated theaters and peep shows to far more obscene commercialism. Sadly, the NYC I knew from my college days no longer exists. I frequently wish I could turn back the clock and experience these things as my older, wiser self. One last question for you – do you have gallery representation for your fantastic photographs or do you regularly exhibit them?

      • Betsy,

        My Aunt is Millie Freud Mendelson. She lives in Lincolnwood Place and is pretty active in a lot of things.

        I haven’t exhibited my photos. I’m self-taught, self-published – both in my photographs and writing.

        I remember Janet from school. I have some Flickr photos of vintage Lincolnwood including the Sanders in our backyard circa 1966. I can send them to you if you email me.

        Laura Beth Persky and her parents Marshall and Joyce moved into the home formerly occupied by the Berger Family in 1971. My brother Rick (b. 1971) is the same age as Laura Beth. Joey Camilli (brother of Gloria) who lived a couple doors down from you is a year older than Rick.

        As you may remember, I have a middle brother Jimmy who is mentally disabled and lives in Pennsylvania. The majority of our family life was devoted to caring for him in the years he lived in our home (1964-78). At that time, there was not an openness or supportive system for caring for an autistic and retarded child. On the first day of Kindergarten, my mother told me, she watched all the other children walking with their mothers to the school bus, knowing Jimmy would not be getting on it.

        Most were kind about Jimmy and his condition. But some were not.

        One neighbor who lived on Keating, with a son of her own, told my Mom, “Your kid is weird” and asked that she not bring Jimmy over to play. Another lady on Kilpatrick, just before we moved said, “It is good you put Jimmy into an institution because I would look out of my living room window and see you playing catch with him and it seemed such a waste of time.”

        At 6635, we were good friends with Aircraft Broker Eli Graubart who moved there with his three sons and wife in 1968. He later followed us to NJ and lived with our family. This is an epochal story not really explicable to me or anyone. We had great adventures with Eli, who was a highly educated man and an entirely independent thinker who debunked everything from God to Reagan, from college education to American foreign policy. He taught me a lot about life and I am grateful to have known him, though his rogue ways with women, marriage, and business ethics caused him to offend many people.

      • The North Shore Food Market was owned and operated by the Spinatto family from Lincolnwood. Jim Spinnato and I were friends throughout high school and we would stop by the grocery store often to visit his parents and pick up a nosh.

  90. stuart Kaufer

    Great memories. The Yellowstone restaurant matchbook – I remember my mom took my brother and I there, probably in 1954/55. It was on Drake and Devon, now site of the bank. We walked from our home two blocks north on Drake. Devlin Bowling alley was behind Yellowstone. About six lanes, with no automatic pin resets – everything was done manually. Had a bar in there too. It stood empty for years, now it’s an empty lot behind the bank.

  91. Karen Hallberg

    Do you happen to know when Renaldi’s closed? I’m trying to date a photo that has it in the background. Called the existing location but they were less than helpful.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • The consensus is Renaldi’s was still operating in Lincolnwood in 1977-78, so it looks like they had two locations for a few years. That still doesn’t definitively answer when the Lincolnwood location closed. Finding out how long Great Beijing has been at the same address (6717 N. Lincoln) might help in this sleuthing.

      • Karen Hallberg

        I forgot about Great Beijing. Fantastic idea!

        Renaldi’s was around until at least 1981. I only know this from the tattoo on my brother’s arm; he got it in the Army (1980-1982). After that though….?

        Thanks for all the hints and help ladies, I appreciate it!

  92. My sister worked at the Lincolnwood Renaldi’s when she was 16 or 17 yrs old. So it was still in operation in 1977-78. Not sure when it closed, but it couldn’t have been in 72-73…(she would have only been 12 years old!)

  93. Edie Goldstein

    I worked as a waitress at Renaldi’s when I turned 16 which was in 1976. I hope this helps with the timing. There were two owners, Frank and Charlie. I think they were related. Frank’s wife Georgina also supervised there. Nagi was the Egyptian cook. They created the first pasta bar. It was and maybe still is a family business.

    • Thanks, Edie – this helps solve the puzzle, both in terms of when the Lincolnwood location was in business, as well as the owners’ names. So the Renaldi’s on Broadway is the same family business. The website says, in part: Frank and the Gang invite you to know an honest, clean and valued Pizzeria. For more than 30 years Frank has satisfied Chicago taste buds with good food, and superb attitude.

  94. Karen Hallberg

    When I called there, the guy that answered said it was a standalone place, they’d been there “forever” and the owners never had other locations. Was insistent that they were unrelated.

    Either that’s true or….?

  95. I don’t recall offhand when Renaldi’s closed and Great Beijing opened, but in between was a family restaurant at the same address called Rockwell’s. I dined there just once, circa 1986. It wasn’t very good and it closed not long afterwards.

    • Thanks, Eric – that is a big help! I never knew about Rockwell’s – a restaurant called Hans Goodrich also existed at this address, well before Renaldi’s.

  96. Karen Hallberg

    Guy at GB that I talked to (very willing to share and super helpful) said he thought there was a place in between them and Renaldi’s but said he thought it might have been German. Said the owner would be in tomorrow morning and I could call back to confirm if I wanted to.

    I might.

  97. Jeannie Lencioni

    Great memories and pictures. I would love to see more pictures of Lockwood Castle if anyone has any. My dad grew up in Edgebrook, and I was born in Sauganash. If you look at the picture of Lockwood, my dad’s office is right above. You’ll see his name…Joseph G. Lencioni. We had many great years there!

    • Hi Jeannie – Thanks for writing about your dad’s office being above Lockwood Castle – very cool. I also wish there were more photos of Lockwood Castle! Perhaps somebody will come up with interior photos.

  98. Around 1966 or so, I remember seeing Don Koehler at Frankel’s Restaurant on Touhy and Cicero. He was so tall that he had to duck under the chandelier lights after accidentally hitting his head on one. He had a great smile.

  99. I really enjoyed this walk down memory lane!

    • Thank you, Bob – glad you enjoyed it and thanks for clarifying Don Koehler’s familial connection to the card shop.

  100. I moved to Lincolnwood in 1951 when the village was more like Mayberry. In the early 1950’s, Proesel Park was a beautiful prairie with native grasses growing taller than us kids…everyone just called it “the big prairie.” We used to wander over to the police station and watch the cops shoot bottles off a log, outdoors against a brick wall. We’d ride our bikes over to Fred’s little food store on Cicero and Pratt and buy candy. There was a diner on the Southeast corner of Lincoln and Crawford, called Jalin’s, where a variety of unique characters could be found at the counter. And Henry’s not only had cheap hamburgers, but a cigarette machine easily accessible to the neighborhood youth. Any plastic toy advertised on TV, wiener whistles, etc, could be scrounged from the garbage of the factory that made them, Federal Tool, on Pratt. It was a good time to be a kid.

  101. I went to Orlove’s all the time. It had a better candy selection than Gabby Hartnett’s! My dentist was above the drug store and I pumped gas at Milt & Dave’s across the street.

  102. Anyone recall a hot dog stand near the southeast corner of Devon and Lincoln? I’m not confusing it with the Bunny Hutch – this was a separate place near where Bounceland was. It had outdoor seating, and I think was there till around 1968…

  103. I spent a lot of my childhood (1964-1973) hanging out in Lincolnwood. Hollywood Kiddieland was the best, with a stop at Amy Joys donuts on McCormick before heading home to Albany Park. My older brother Greg got a job as a cook at Novak’s and he got a lot of guys from my neighborhood and me jobs as busboys, waiters, and dishwashers. We used to go to Gabby Hartnett after work.

  104. I am David Zenn’s older brother. I remember 1960’s Lincolnwood like it was yesterday. The Lincolnwood IGA had sawdust and planks where the butcher’s would stand. In those days, mothers would leave their babies in their strollers in front of the store while they shopped. Of course things seemed a lot safer then. The IGA burned down and was rebuilt as a TV store called Color Trend. I bought a Packard Bell television there in 1968 (Packard Bell used to be a west coast manufacturer of television sets before closing. The name was later picked up by the computer people) There was a cleaners/tailor and a beauty shop called “Ruth Of Lincolnwood.” There was a large rotating neon paint can reading “Blanche’s Paint Mart.” Blanche (Larner) was the wife of “Sam The Hardware Man.” Blanche’s closed and Fannie’s Deli took over the sign. There was also a store called “National Draperies” at the far east end of the shopping center, where we waited for the school bus. For a while it was a motorcycle shop. NY Bagels is where Lincolnwood Drugs used to be. I sell electric signs for a living and had the honor of replacing all the signs on the building twice…when Lincolnwood changed their sign code.

    • Hi Chuck – Thank you for adding fascinating insights to the ongoing dialogue on Lincolnwood. The rotating paint can sign must have been very cool. My dad remembers Sam The Hardware Man – I’ll ask him if he recalls Blanche’s Paint Mart. Do you remember signage in the form of a large sphere with polka dots on the roof of a laundromat at Touhy and East Prairie?

      • Hi Betsy,
        I just saw your question of over three years ago, and noticed that my brother never got back to you with an answer to your question. So I just called my brother Chuck to ask him if he remembered the sign on the roof of a laundromat at Touhy and East Prairie. Chuck told me that the laundromat was a nationwide chain of dry cleaners by the name of ‘Norge Cleaners’. If you google ‘Norge Cleaners’ you will come across a photo or two or three of those old Norge Cleaners signs that you recall.

        • Hi David – Thanks much for asking Chuck – In the last year, I discovered several other signs like this on Instagram. Apparently, there are still a few of these around. Of course, my memories were through the eyes of a young child, but as an artist, I still think these signs are incredibly cool.

    • Before the Milk Pail, there was Blanche’s Super Milk Market, 3320 Devon Avenue, Lincolnwood, TEL: Tower-9854 /Tower-3459 (Telephone Directory: August 1951)

  105. Hi fellow Lincolnwood Residents –

    Thanks to Jerry Peven, Esq, my friend since the 4th grade, for forwarding this to my attention.

    I have so many great memories of Lincolnwood and was fortunate to bring my wife Patti on two visits to my old house on Karlov Avenue, Todd, Rutledge, and Lincoln Hall, Niles West, and the many nostalgic venues.

    Our last visit was in 2014. Somehow, the village of Lincolnwood looked so small compared to the way I remembered it as a kid.

    One of the many memories was when King Kole opened on Touhy and Crawford, when I was in junior high school, and their Plush Pup hot dogs.

    More to come…


  106. Great memories.

    • You had a great comic book collection! Will never forget my dad hitting a 16 inch softball right thru the back window of your garage.

  107. Hi! Wow! Great post/article and a super trip down memory lane. We moved right after 8th grade to Lincolnwood – 1969. At first I hated it as I left all of my friends behind. But I knew Lincolnwood as my Grandfather and Uncle had stores next to each other and next to the Milk Pail on Devon (of course just West of McCormick on the North side of Devon). We had been coming to Lincolnwood since about 1960, when my Mom would bring me to the stores. My grandfather owned Shore Art Galleries and my Uncle, Shore Galleries, (Police and gun business). My much younger half brother Steve Siegel now owns the store. The Art Galleries closed many years ago. Of course, I soon made great friends and during H.S. worked at Marine World (also on Devon – midway between McCromick and Lincoln) selling saltwater tropical fish. Don Sporleder owned it and my classmate and his brother Bruce worked there. I must like new places actually, since I practice in the far western burbs – Naperville.

    • Hi Robert: Thanks much for posting and sharing your memories and connections to Lincolnwood. If you have not already read it, Marine World is featured in part 2 of this trip down memory lane.

      • Harry Kurgans

        My family moved to Evanston in 1957. We moved to Lincolnwood in 1969, my senior year at ETHS. I was able to continue at Evanston, graduating in 1970. We had close friends living in Lincolnwood – spending a lot of time at their house. I became as familiar with Skokie and Lincolnwood, as I did with Evanston.

        In July 1968 I was in our kitchen with my parents, having lunch. We heard this loud explosion. It was the National Die Casting Co. located on Touhy Avenue west of McCormick. At first my father thought it might be the big green gas storage tank, located north of Pratt east of McCormick and the canal. That was very sad, killing two workers and injuring many more.

  108. Betsy:

    I guess I am two years older than you are as I graduated from Niles West in 1974 and Lincoln Hall in 1970. A couple of other businesses that I will always remember are Normie’s Deli on Touhy (grew up on Estes and East Prairie) and Weiner’s Drugs next door (which morphed into Katz Pharmacy, then Galen Pharmacy. We had 31 flavors (Baskin-Robbins) on Touhy between East Prairie and Crawford and Rubie’s Deli.

    On Lincoln Avenue there was Jaelin’s (sp?) which gave out ice cream sodas to Little League kids that hit home runs, Orlove’s pharmacy, etc.

    At some point during the 1960s there was a factory on Touhy and Lawndale (National Tool & Die) that had an explosion that made the national news for some reason.

  109. Thanks for this walk down memory lane – I lived on Kedvale and Pratt from 1955 – maiden name Immergluck.

    • Hi Lori: Thanks for posting. My mom Judy Weiss knew your mom Natalie – she is also an artist. I know you lost your mom and sister quite a few years ago – my sympathy.

  110. Does anyone remember a fine china/gift store that used to be on a corner somewhere in the areas you’re reminiscing? I remember going with my Mom in the 60’s, 70’s and shopping there myself maybe in the 70’s.

  111. Rose Pernicone Spina

    Lived on Olcott Ave. in Chicago from 1931 to 1950, then I married and moved to Franklin Park. We used to drive to Lincolnwood to try out different restaurants. We now live in Holiday, Florida, so don’t get to Chicago much. Sure do miss Illinois!

  112. Linda J Parell

    What an incredible piece of journalism, thank you Betsy, for the initial writing, and all those that contributed in the comments. I grew up in Sauganash (1953-1967) and had a pretty idyllic childhood there. I went to Queen of All Saints church/school. I walked almost everywhere, especially to hang out at the Pie Pan restaurant as a teen. They had the best jukebox, at every table. I took the CTA bus to Edgebrook regularly to go to a toy store to spend my allowance on clothes for my Barbie and then I would go for a fountain treat at Lockwood Castle. There was a shoe store on the next block that I could walk into and buy a pair of shoes and it just went on a tab. Likewise, there was a grocery store that my Mom would go into (or call) near Devon and Cicero and they would deliver everything … way before Corbin Delivers or Amazon. I had my first job, around the age of 14 (probably not legal) at a dry cleaners in the same area. I remember the sense of competition Christmas lighting, and always highlighting “Jim Moran, the Courtesy Man” who didn’t live in Lincolnwood or Sauganash ~ ha! It was a wonderful area to grow up. Thanks to all for sharing your memories.

  113. Jim Moran (the Courtesy Man) actually lived on LeMai, just north of North Shore in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. He moved to Longmeadow later I think. My grandparents lived at the northeast corner of LeMai and North Shore and they knew the Morans back then. The Andy Frain ushers family lived at North Shore and Navajo during the same years. There were two small grocery stores on Cicero north of Devon if I remember correctly – Dominick’s had great meats and they delivered; Fred Guth’s grocery was closer to Pratt. They were both there before Edens “Superhighway” was built. It was great growing up in Lincolnwood in the 40’s and 50’s. Lincolnwood Schools provided all of us with a terrific elementary education.

    • Hi Ken: Thank you for writing and clarifying that Jim Moran indeed lived in the Lincolnwood Towers. The little grocery store you called Dominick’s was North Shore Food Market and it was owned by brothers, one of whom was Dominick! You are absolutely correct – they were known for their high quality butcher department. North Shore was our corner food store – just two blocks from my childhood house. My mom would frequently send me up the corner to buy a pound of ground sirloin. I returned glass Diet Rite bottles for 2 cents each, the proceeds of which immediately went to buying Clark Bars and other candy. North Shore was open during the blizzard of 1967 – a lifesaver for the neighborhood! It was very sad when the “shop up the corner” went out of business.

    • My first post here, however, after reading your post I felt I needed to reply! We (actually my parents) have been living in Lincolnwood since the early 1970’s). We lived on Keystone Ave, just south of Chase. Then we moved to LeRoy Ave. just off of Pratt (I would say early 80’s). I moved to California about 20 years ago, however, my parents still live in the Lincolnwood Towers (on Longmeadow).

      I went to School District 74 back in the early 80’s – loved it!

      Lincolnwood (naturally) has changed a lot the past 45-50 years.

  114. Great to hear about all the old names, stories, and nostalgic places. Now, I, Don Castle, am 63-years-old and I’ve lived in Phoenix since 1974. I was fortunate to take my wife Patti down Karlov Avenue and through the neighborhood we lived in. My dad bought 7347 N. Karlov Ave, I think in 1957 or so. My eyes teared up – both my parents died in 2007. Driving the rental car from Naperville (we love Amtrak) to Lincolnwood, I almost drove right past. Indeed, the community looked so small compared to the way I remembered it as a kid.

    Patti and I have made two visits to Lincolnwood. One great memory is when King Cole opened. They used to have a hot dog that I could afford called the “Plush Pup.” My Lincoln Hall friends and I used to take those pickles from the jar on each table and eat many – surprised we were not kicked out of there!

    I just received a holiday card from Mrs. June Young, my 3rd grade teacher at Rutledge Hall. She still keeps in contact after 56 years. When I took Patti on a tour of Rutledge Hall on our 2014 trip, the smells of the old Hall – classrooms and sinks, brought back all those memories in a way I can’t put into words.

    I would like to make another trip back someday when we still can. I can’t believe how old I am and how much time has passed. Sad. But Lincolnwood was a great place for those lucky enough to afford growing up there.

    More Later-

    Always glad to hear from my peers and friends.

    All the Best-

    Don Castle, MPA
    Phoenix, Az.

    • Hi Don: Sorry to hear about your parents. Glad this blog brought back many fond childhood memories. Lincolnwood was a special place to grow up in. I was visiting my parents on New Year’s day. Lincoln Hall still had a 75th anniversary banner proudly displayed on the front of the building (1943-2018). It’s truly amazing that you are still in touch with your 3rd grade Rutledge Hall teacher!

  115. Great place to grow-up! We lived at 7112 N. Keeler, just off Estes. Living in NY the past 40 years. Went back for Niles West 50 year reunion. Was fantastic to see all those who attended.

    Lincolnwood was a great place to grow-up. Walking to school, playing at Lincolnwood park till darkness. Normies, chocolate phosphates, Emil’s clothing store, Baskin Robbins. Starting LJC Hebrew school in the laundromat before the temple was built.

    Was a wonderful time to grow-up!

  116. Lawrence Kagan

    I was fortunate to go to Rutledge Hall school with Betsy from 1966-1967. Our teacher in third grade was Mrs. Boening. The highlight was taking a Gray Line Bus Tour of Chicago. The bus driver kept saying, “Keep The Faith Baby.” Betsy wrote the book on cool!

    • Hi Larry: Great to hear from you! Thanks so much for your sweet comments. I can’t believe you remember what the bus driver said – that’s truly remarkable. I agree with you – Mrs. Boening was a mediocre teacher at best – well past her teaching prime! Do you remember when we saw each other on the Pace bus on Pratt (the route doesn’t exist anymore) in the early 1980s? I was living in Chicago and visiting my parents for one of the Jewish holidays. You were still in touch with Jim Berggreen at that time and I asked you about him.

  117. Lawrence Kagan

    Yes, I do. We both enlisted in the Army, but not sure how long Jim was in. I did 35 years. I know he lived by Ft. Lewis, Tacoma, Wash. in 1986, but have had no contact since then. His parent’s home on Lawndale was torn down a long time ago – became a luxury home. He had a sister by the name of Lisa who was a dental assistant, but I can’t tell you anymore. His parents were in the real estate business. His father’s real estate office was on Lincoln Ave and Irving Park or so. I think your blog shows that Lincolnwood was a hip place. I remember your friend, Myra Segal. Both of you were the two prettiest ladies in Lincolnwood. We lived by Henry’s Hamburgers on Lincoln Ave that went OOB in 1967 or so.

  118. Hey Larry! It’s been awhile. I hope all is well!

  119. Lawrence Kagan

    For anyone who lived in Lincolnwood, we all went to a discount store, which at times resembled more like a junk yard. It was technically in Chicago, across the street from the Milk Pail on Devon, called Shoppers World, then Community Discount, a movie theater, Kmart, and presently a Home Depot. We lived a mere block away on Christiana from 1958-1965, until we moved to Lawndale. I recall that the late comic Alan Sherman was at Shopper’s World, sometime in the mid-1960s. He was known as a singing comedian for off-beat hits like Hello Mudda Hello Fadda. I recall meeting him and shaking his hand.

    • Hi Larry – You forgot one other store that was at this location before Kmart – Zayre! I wrote about this in another blog: That’s so cool that you met Alan Sherman! I have more distinct memories of Community Discount than Shopper’s World. Did you shop anywhere in Lincoln Village? My favorite store in Lincoln Village was Harmony Hall – I would go there when my dad shopped at United Audio.

  120. Lawrence Kagan

    I think there was also a Jewel on the northside of the building. My favorite Lincoln Village store had to be Bricks Popcorn, if that is what it was called. I did go to Hebrew School with Henry Small whose family owned the Bagel & Tray. Once my family ate at the other restaurant called Zelda’s or whatever name it was called, which had those dill pickles in a jar. We saw our sixth grade art teacher there too, Ms. Katzoorakis. I probably spelled her name wrong. Remember how she told us to remember her name?

    • You have an amazing memory, Larry! What’s Cooking is the only other restaurant I recall – my parent’s Greek neighbor Sam owned it for awhile. I haven’t thought about Ms. Katzoorakis in years – she was the only art teacher that didn’t give me an A in art, until Gary Davis freshman year in high school! And yes, I do remember what she told us about her name!

  121. Lawrence Kagan

    Betsy is being modest. Those were probably the only two times in her life she did not get A’s – from Todd Hall to Niles West and beyond. For those of you who don’t remember Betsy in school, she cared about people and did everything she could to assist. Believe me, I remember.

  122. Michael Balbirer

    A cat, a zoo, a rake, and a kiss! ?

  123. FYI – Gary Davis still teaches as a substitute at Niles West. My daughter has had him as a sub over the last few years. When she mentioned his name. I made sure she told him who her mother is, because I KNOW he will remember me and my siblings!!

  124. Great article and so well organized. I lived in Skokie starting in 1957. Of course, I was familiar with some parts of Lincolnwood, especially Thillens stadium where they were known for softball games where the famous King and His Court would sometimes play games. The great drive-in movie theatre might have had a Skokie address but we always thought of it as being in Lincolnwood on McCormick Ave. Went there in the early 1950’s in my uncle’s Hudson.

  125. I forgot to mention that our dentist was located in Lincoln Village. Dr. Addis charged one dollar for each filling that he performed.

  126. I recall and did double check that a Chicago policeman was killed at Bell & Howell on Jan. 24, 1969 in the attempted robbery of a Thillens’ Check Cashing truck. That would have placed Betsy and me in the 5th grade at Rutledge Hall. Mrs. Denhardt was my teacher. This type of crime was rare in Lincolnwood.

  127. That was my father’s friend and co-worker Oliver”Jerry” Singleton. My father was in charge of the stake out team and was part of the shootout in which two of the offenders were killed. I will never forget that night.

    • Hi Bill: Yes, I clearly remember you posting something about this incident when I first published the Lincolnwood blog. A tragic loss, and the 10 months between the shooting and Officer Singleton passing away from his injuries must have been horrific for family and friends.

  128. Thank you, Betsy and Bill. Living in Lincolnwood during that time with both of you, we all thought there was no violent crime in our village. Yet, about a year or so later, a young man by the name of Gans was murdered in the factory area of Northeast Lincolnwood, across Pratt Ave. Believe it was an attempted robbery. Not sure what the final outcome was.

    • Hi Larry: You are right that Niles West grad Paul Gans was murdered and lost his life at age 20. But the crime took place near 25 S. Seeley in Chicago on July 24, 1969. The former Niles West track star had dropped out of Drake University and was working at his dad’s printing plant. He was outside when approached by an 18-year-old man with no prior criminal record, who shot and killed him for his wristwatch. Here is a link to the case:

      • Claire Weiner

        I know I’m late to the game here. But Paul Gans was indeed a star athlete at Niles West and Drake University. I don’t know why it’s important to me to set the record straight, but… He didn’t drop out. It was summer after his freshman year and he was home working for his father. I knew Paul because my then boyfriend, who became my first husband, Michael Brodsky, was a very close friend of Paul’s. Paul’s parents were holocaust survivors. I still remember going to their house after he died. It remains one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever encountered.

        • Thank you for the correction – I got the information from a newspaper article that was obviously inaccurate. This was a very sad tragedy, but especially for Paul’s family and friends, like Michael and you.

  129. I’d like to send you a picture of my dad and the recovered weapons and hand grenades from the offenders. How can I do that?

  130. Jeffrey Schuman

    I have lived in New York for the past 42 years. I never knew that Paul Gans was shot and killed. Knew him from Hebrew school and athletics. He was a very fast runner, and good baseball and basketball player. Sorry to hear he was murdered. He was a good guy!

    • Hi Jeffrey: Yes, according to newspaper accounts back then, Paul fled his assailants in the parking lot of his dad’s printing plant when he was shot in the back. Although several young punks may have been involved, only one was prosecuted and sentenced to a very long jail term. Paul was a track and football star at Niles West and went to Drake on a football scholarship before dropping out. Very tragic loss of a young man with great potential.

  131. Like many Lincolnwood kids, we spent our summers at Lincolnwood Day Camp at Proesel Park. You could either take a bus or ride your bike to camp. There were two sessions. Morning session was baseball, then a break for lunch, and all sorts of games after that. I remember a camp counselor, Mr. Mike Klein. He would take any of us young miscreants and make us human targets for bombardment. It seemed like we had teams in bombardment. The Whimpies vs the Bullies. Whimpies always won when the camp counselors joined us to destroy the Bullies.

    • Hey Larry – do you remember my family? I remember yours, you guys lived in a 2-flat on Lawndale as I recall. But I must have been no older than maybe 12 or 14 the last time I remember seeing you or your brother Alan. I remember your Schwinn Apple Krate! My mom owned her house at 3730 Albion until 1999. It’s been replaced with a McMansion.

      I was just talking about Lincolnwood Little League baseball with someone today, thinking back on how it was growing up in what were definitely simpler times. I remember so many families. Mike has visited Paul and John Weser in AZ, and Barry just saw the Kremens (Julie, Gary, Norman) about a year ago. I hear that Mr. (Norman) Kremen lives on Albion to this day and still washes his car on the street, like he’s done for decades. Gary achieved some level of fame as an internet entrepreneur in San Francisco, but mostly for the infamous landmark case involving his domain name registration of, its theft, and the epic legal battle that ensued.

      Our family always talks about Lincolnwood and the great memories we have growing up there. My brothers Mike and Barry will get a kick out of it when I tell them I saw your posts on this site. And Jim Berggreen – I remember seeing the military police come take him out of his parent’s house, and that would have been in the mid-80s? I guess he overstayed his leave. I don’t think anyone in my family ever saw him again and his parents sold shortly thereafter. Wonder whatever happened to Billy Mann? He and I used to jog late at night all the time.

  132. Harry Kurgans

    When we moved to Lincolnwood in 1969, I was quite familiar with the village. My sister was married at the Hyatt House in 1968. I had been going to Biasetti’s when we lived in Evanston. I still have fond memories of Harry’s fantastic food. The greatest thin crust pizza I have ever eaten. The burgers that were voted best in Chicago by the Sun Times, ribs, chicken, beef sandwiches, etc. I was so disappointed when he told me they were closing. I still have a menu and would like to send it. I ate at so many of the restaurants mentioned, with such fond memories. I use to supply coffee to KowKow. Don and Helen Moy were the nicest people. I knew the place from the Devon and Rockwell location. I believe the only people that drank my coffee were the employees. Who drinks coffee in a Chinese restaurant?

    • Hi Harry: Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. I’m delighted that you enjoyed this blog. We spent a lot of time in Evanston visiting friends and shopping at stores like Tom Thumb, Turin Bicycle, Good’s, and the Chicago-Main Newsstand, among others. As much as I liked Lincolnwood, I kind of wanted to live in Evanston when I was a teenager. Can you take a photo of the Biasetti’s menu and email it to me at

  133. Harry Kurgans

    Hi Betsy

    I love your blog. I just found it by accident. I’m so happy I did. I would like to send you the Biasetti’s menu.

  134. Mitch Melamed

    I lived in Lincolnwood beginning in 1953. Lived on St. Louis near North Shore – 6650. Larry Bolon lived at 6428 N. St. Louis. Both of us worked at the Dairy Queen, which if I recall was owned by a college counselor at the University of Iowa who worked the business in the summer. He was a wonderful person to work for. We bowled most every Saturday at Gabby Harnett (usually for money against older men), although the Drake Bowl, with pin boys, was only a few blocks from my house.

    I was a Boy Scout and the leader was Mr. Klein (cannot remember his first name but he was the Police Chief). Mayor Proesel had 4th of July parties at his house on Crawford across from Bryn Mawr Country Club. I also worked part time at Red Owl on the corner of Crawford and Devon, stocking and cleaning shelves and was promoted to bagging. One of my other part-time jobs was working for Orlove Drug Store on Lincoln.

    My parents stayed in Lincolnwood until they died – my mom passed away 3 years ago. My uncle, Stew Spitzer lived on Kimball – Mr. Gundy (principal of Lincolnwood Schools) rented a house across the street from my uncle when he started working in Lincolnwood. My uncle became a Trustee for the Village of Lincolnwood. All in all – great memories and made lifelong friends.

  135. The Lincolnwood Coffee Grill & Fountain Shop was located just south of the CTA 155 bus turn-around and Thillens Stadium on the NW corner of Devon and Kedzie in Chicago.

  136. My Great Grandfather (Giovanni Latona) owned the South Seas Supper Club in Lincolnwood. I’m in the middle of searching for records, and history…

    • Wow – that is really cool, Sheila. From the postcards and matchbooks, it looks spectacular. Please feel free to post anything you discover about your great grandfather and his supper club.

  137. Hi Betsy and Sheila. Check out the following internet site. It includes a photo of the exterior of a restaurant named, Pago Pago. Perhaps this photo is of the same restaurant owned by Sheila’s great grandfather, Giovanni Latana.

  138. Does anyone remember Charles Moel Cadillac on Lincoln Avenue at Crawford? We bought parts from them for years, from abroad. I never got to see the place as a Cadillac dealer. Any pictures or stories greatly appreciated. Paul

  139. Hi Paul:
    Moell Cadillac (two L’s) was owned by Charles R. Moell who passed away in Evanston, Illinois in the 1980’s. I could not find any photos of the dealership, either, although I know that the exterior signs for Moell Cadillac were installed by my late Uncle who owned a Chicago sign company.

  140. Thank you for your information. I’ll give that guy a call. Pity we can’t find any photographic evidence of the place.

  141. Yes indeed, just looking at a 1976 Cadillac brochure. I missed that. I thought because America was so car crazy there’d be some pictures of it. You can imagine in grey 1970’s Britain we wondered what a Cadillac dealer was like? Oh well, looks like I’ll never know what it was like. Thanks.

  142. BTW- My first real job was the delivery boy for Ace Hardware. I believe the owner’s name was Harvey. Whenever I was standing around and leaning on the counter, he would ask if I was holding up the counter.

    Also, there was a clothing store next to 31 Flavors called Emil’s. When I started Hebrew school in Lincolnwood, it was in the same strip mall and we had classes where the laundromat used to be.

    • Betsy-
      Not sure if you will remember me, we went to Lincolnwood schools together. I transferred into Rutledge Hall in the fifth grade from Queen of all Saints school. Hope all is well by you!

      My mom sold our family house in the Towers in 2003, and my brother Paul bought it back in 2007 and still lives there today.

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Great stuff! I also remember Biasetti’s Pizza on Touhy Avenue, just east of Cicero Avenue.

      • Hi Steven – I do remember you and found you on Facebook. I hope all is well with you and life has been good to you. Thanks for leaving feedback and glad you liked the blog.

        Of course, we only went to school together for a brief time since you went to Loyola Academy and I went to Niles West. It was an odd thing – several kids I grew up with went to private high school and I never saw them again – like you, Ed Proesel, and David Eisenberg, to name just three.

  143. Does anyone remember a small rib place on Devon, just east of McCormick, on the south side of the street? I don’t think it was a sit down restaurant, though it might have had a few tables…

    • Marcy Rushakoff Derfler

      Jodi’s? It was on the SE corner of Devon and Kedzie. We lived on Troy and Rosemont and went to Mather.

  144. Jim Rosequist

    Just came across a picture of 6649 Lincoln Ave. My grandfather owned a tavern and they lived above the bar. The picture is from 1937 – writing on back, but can’t make out name of tavern. I believe they also served food.

    • Hi Jim: I would love to get a digital copy of this photo and use it in my next blog on Lincolnwood – on the early days. As you likely know, your grandfather’s tavern was on the current site of Lou Malnati’s. Can you scan the photo and email it to me? Thanks.

    • William Golden

      Novak’s, I think. I lived next store.

  145. Wasn’t that restaurant called Chicken in the Rough before Lou Malnati’s? Hans Goodrich restaurant was also on that side of Lincoln before it became a Chinese restaurant, if my memory is accurate. And the bar at Gabby Hartnett’s had the first colored television set in the 1950s. Gabby was always at his bowling alley. The Kenilworth Inn at Lincoln and Touhy (southeast corner before it moved?) and Allgauer’s Fireside were favorites, and Toppers for ice cream. You’ve probably covered all this before, but I grew up in Lincolnwood in the 40s and 50s. Great little town then.

  146. My first job was a busboy at Kenilworth Inn. Then I got a job across the street at Kohl’s grocery store. I also remember when Ho King Lo caught on fire and burnt to the ground. My friends and I went there looking through the burnt rubble. I would also ride my bike to Emily Lagoon in Skokie to go fishing. Lincolnwood was a great town to grow up in.

  147. Margie Hallwas

    So many comments…I wonder if you can confirm maybe with photos, that Jim Moran the Courtesy Man had a home in Lincolnwood that he would decorate for the holidays. And people would come from miles to drive by his home, as I guess he went all out. I’ve searched the web and found a lot of information about him, but nothing about his home and the decorations he was famous for while he lived in Lincolnwood. Thank you for any information you can provide My cousins and I all have vague memories of driving by his home in the 50’s.

    • Hi Margie – You’re right – information about him is easy to find online, including a Wikipedia page and Chicago Tribune article when he died. By the time my parents took me to see the holiday decorations in the Towers, he lived in Florida, so I can’t help. But perhaps another reader can. Also, if you’re on Facebook – I suggest joining Lincolnwood Time Machine: Longtime Lincolnwood resident Barbara Smith has amazing knowledge and will likely know if you pose this question there.

  148. Jim Moran’s first Lincolnwood home was on the west side of LeMai, just north of North Shore in the ’40s and ’50s. He moved there from Longmeadow – perhaps at some point in the 1960s. At Christmas time, the Morans had displays that included a few live animals, as I recall. My grandparents lived right across the street on Lemai and North Shore, so we always saw streams of cars in December driving through the Towers. Unfortunately, the Christmas displays became larger over the years and the charm of the early light displays diminished. The cars continued to come anyway.

  149. Marcy Blankenship (Sands)

    Betsy , thanks for letting me know all about the Graff’s after I left. I did remember Cynthia’s name after I posted and we always called Anthony, Bunky, for as long as we were there. For a while, the house next to the Graff’s was the Kester’s. I was friends with Lee Kester. She and I took riding lessons every Wednesday at Idle Hour Stables together. I hated Florida. I hate the heat and bugs. I couldn’t wait to get out of Florida, so when my sister moved to Colorado in 1979, I left Florida in 1982 and have never missed it even for a day. I love winter and snow! The Feingold’s were on the other side of the Graff’s. I sure loved Lincolnwood back then.

    • David Feingold

      I tried writing you on our Classmates page but it didn’t go through. Do you see this? If you do, can you let me know? The first question is the one I didn’t get to ask you when we were little because you moved away before I could get up the courage to ask…”will you marry me?” 🙂

      • Marcy Blankenship (Sands)

        Hi David, I can see this but didn’t know about anything posted on the Classmates page. Well, my loss in more than one way to have had to move from Lincolnwood right after 8th grade! I often dream about that house in Lincolnwood. My dad drove us by it one day and the new owners had “popped the top” of it. Sad, I thought it was perfect just the way it was. Do you remember Marcie Hoffman? She lived on your side of the street a couple houses down. She had a brother, Judd Hoffman. I am still in touch with her. She is living in Utah now on a 66-acre ranch with horses and owns a Mercantile in the small town. Sad about the climbing tree. I remember one time Judd and some of his friends were cooking little grilled cheese sandwiches on a little grill on one of the platforms in the tree. I think I saw that the railroad tracks are now a pathway or greenbelt. Boy, do I miss those days. Nothing was ever like Lincolnwood back in the 50’s and 60’s.

  150. Hi, does anyone here remember a seafood restaurant in the Chicago area owned by the Kozak Family; Frank Kozak and his wife – Alice or Eleanor? They had a son Jeff Allan Kozak who helped out at the restaurant.

  151. Steve Settler

    Howard Johnson’s was on the northeast corner of Lincoln and Crawford – across from Jalin’s.

  152. Jeffrey Schuman

    I believe that Eric Salm was in the little shopping center on the southeast corner of Touhy and Crawford? I think it was next to Baskin Robbins. The little old man who owned it I think his name was Emil?

  153. Abbe Diamond Heller

    It was so much fun reminiscing and seeing all the feedback from familiar names. Thanks for starting this. I was on a zoom chat in which you had to tell school memories. I brought up my 5th grade teacher who wore her hair in a bun. One day she let her hair down and it went to her knees. Her student teacher had a pet spider monkey. My friends and I lived at the Lincolnwood pool all summer. It was the best. Thank you Betsy.
    Abbe Diamond

  154. Abbe Diamond Heller

    Betsy, You are so nice and I remember you as being down to earth and genuine. My teacher was Mrs. Clifford. It came back to me.

    • Hi Abbe – I had Miss Patterson – nobody liked her and I remember one of the kids put a pincushion on her chair and got in trouble!

  155. Abbe Diamond Heller

    That’s funny. I’m sure it wasn’t you that did that.

  156. Lawrence Kagan

    When Edie says Janet, does she mean that girl with the million dollar smile, Janet Schiller? I sometimes wonder about the ladies we grew up with Betsy. Another one was Karen Sherwood, who was tall and quiet. I retired from the Army in 2010. I sometimes would be in the field or in the middle of a war like in Iraq, and think about some of the people I grew up with in Lincolnwood. Once it was Ivy Chaplik, who tragically died with her father in a plane crash over Xmas vacation when we were at Niles West, in 1974. They all were wonderful people. I wish them fair sails and pleasant winds.

  157. Lawrence Kagan

    I think I first heard about Ivy and her father’s tragic deaths in the news. We had the same English class together with Mr. Bates. This was just before Homeroom made the intercom announcement. Mr. Bates said with deep regret Ivy had passed away during Xmas vacation. The whole room broke down crying. After class was dismissed it was Homeroom time, and the announcement was made over the intercom. I didn’t know what to think. We lived blocks away from each other. I lived on Lawndale and she lived on St. Louis. I always expected her to get on the bus, as it stopped right at her house…that this was some bad dream and she was actually alive.

  158. Jeffrey Schuman

    In response to Cary Chubin – hot dog stand – The Ranch?

  159. Don Sporleder

    The Ranch or to my knowledge what I knew as “The Red Hot Ranch” was on Devon East of McCormick Blvd., on the North side of the street about two blocks East of McCormick.

    I ran a business on Devon known as Marine World from 1967-1995. Went there many times. Don’t recall any stand at Devon/Lincoln, but do remember the Bunny Hutch.

  160. William Golden

    My father’s best friend owned the Bunny Hutch, Novelty Golf, Hollywood Golf and batting cages. I worked at all three as a teen. I believe they owned the property at Kiddieland too. Richard and Buddy Klatzco built both miniature golf courses by hand.

  161. Do you remember the Voorhees Novelty Golf and Driving Range that was located where Binny’s and adjacent properties are located, between Lincoln and Touhy Ave, back in the 1960s? I have fond memories playing miniature golf there as a child!

    • No, the only thing I recall in that mall was the Kohl’s grocery store where my younger sister worked very briefly during high school (probably 1979) in the bakery department. But we didn’t shop in this area and always went to Novelty Golf at Lincoln and Devon, so that’s probably why.

  162. Lawrence Kagan

    There were two miniature golf courses only blocks away from each other that I remember. Novelty Golf still remains and there was a miniature golf course next to Kiddieland, Penny Arcade, and the batting cages. Betsy the ballplayer has put her pictures in this blog, knocking them out of the batting cages. I don’t recall a miniature golf course at Lincoln and Touhy in Lincolnwood. It was a Jewel/Osco like store before Binnys.

  163. Jeffrey Schuman

    Before the Jewel there was a driving range at that location.

    • Jeffrey, you have a good memory! The driving range and novelty ‘miniature’ golf was a large piece of property now delineated by the Loeber Motors properties on Touhy and Lincoln Ave. I remember seeing tumbleweed rolling across the driving range field! I bet there are many red-striped golf balls buried in the ground! The building had a red shingle roof with ‘Bob Voorhees’ written over the roof’s top. Another Voorhees miniature golf and driving range existed on Addison Ave in Chicago, next door to Lane Tech High School’s Football Stadium, Riverview Amusement Park, and WGN Studios.

  164. Meghann Sullivan

    I grew up in Peterson Park – the lady who was married to the guy who owned the Milk Pail was my across the street neighbor. Her name was Hedda and she had a daughter named Jenny. We still talk about her. I grew up two blocks south of Novelty Golf, attended Queen of All Saints for grammar school and Good Counsel for high school. I lived right behind the convent grounds :).

    • Lucy Bennett Kloss

      I grew up in Andersonville but enjoyed this Memory Lane. I went to Good Counsel as well. What year did you graduate?

  165. Who remembers the last name of the original Milk Pail owner? I used to work there.

  166. William Golden

    Paul Bedford, I don’t know how to post a photo. Email me and I’ll send it to you.

  167. Steven Settler

    Could you be thinking of the Weser family? Emil was 6 ft 8 and owned the driving range on Golf Rd.

  168. My grandfather (Martin Stenson) owned and operated a business called Kenilworth Inn back in the 1920s. I have a photo that was taken of another photo hanging up at L. Woods. It was a food stand/sundry shop that also had a gasoline pump. My mom’s family lived above the shop. We brought my mom by there on her 80th birthday. She is still alive at the age of 95. She recounted that they moved to Budlong Woods around 1930 and there were mostly pickle farms around at the time.

    As best as my mom could recollect, the Kenilworth Inn they owned was situated on what is now the southeast corner of Touhy and Kostner. Martin Stenson came over from Ireland in 1907. He ran several “speakeasies” throughout Prohibition and I suspect moving out of Tessville had something to do with Mayor Henry Proesel’s election in 1931.

    • Hi Matt: Your personal connection to Tessville is fascinating. I had no idea the Kenilworth Inn dated back to the 1920s – that was quite a different business than the restaurant most people remember prior to it becoming Bones. Indeed, Tessville was a wild place with an illegal gambling den called Dev-Lin at the corner of Devon and Lincoln Avenues. But Dev-Lin was still around in 1935, four years after Mayor Proesel was elected, according to a Chicago Tribune article.

  169. My family often went to the original Kenilworth Inn at Touhy and Lincoln in the 1940s and 1950s. Allgauer’s Restaurant was always a favorite as well until the mob burned it down. Gus and Katie Allgauer wouldn’t go along with the mob’s demands. Lincolnwood lost two great restaurants at the same intersection.
    Ken Norgan

  170. TOPPER’S was located on the north side of Touhy, about half way between Cicero and Allgauer’s at Lincoln. East of TOPPER’S was a 15+ chair beauty salon “Ruth of Lincolnwood.” My mother was a beautician there for a few years and when my Dad and I went to pick her up after her evening shift, we’d stop at TOPPER’S for some of their Chicago-style hot dogs (on steamed poppy seed buns!) Always crowded! Lots of neon lights – so common in the 1950s. I have no recollection of when it closed.

    My godfather had business accounts, for those then famous customer martini lunches, at the Kenilworth Inn and Elliot’s Pine Log in Skokie. He owned a small manufacturing factory and used these two restaurants to regale his customers…and on occasion, his godson. The federal ERTA Act in 1981 put an end to business lunch deductions and restaurant businesses suffered revenue losses.

    My Dad coached at Thillens Stadium for about six years. Sometimes I was allowed to operate the lights for the scoreboard. Wow! Was I a big shot or what!!! Jack Brickhouse sometimes broadcasted from Thillens, and he always had a big, black four-door Cadillac. We would follow him from the stadium to the ice cream store south of the Thillens’ property. Went to Notre Dame High School with Bob Thillens. I still encounter some Thillens family members.

    Thanks, Consumer Grouch, for a trip down memory lane.

  171. David: My mother also worked as a beautician on weekends at Ruth of Lincolnwood. I visited the shop many times as a child and remember that it was always busy on Friday and Saturday. We lived on Kenneth Ave, near the Skokie border from 1954 to about 1969. Both my sister, Susie and I attended Lincolnwood schools. I finished 8th grade in 1964, our class being the first to attend each of the three buildings. We started kindergarten at Lincoln Hall and subsequently were the first group to enter both Todd and Rutledge Hall when they opened, finishing where we had begun at Lincoln Hall.

  172. Suzy bye seifried

    Hello all, I was just trying to find an old movie theater that I think my great grandma Mary Pivour opened. Not sure about that. Also, my great grandma lived at 7109 Keeler Avenue with Mary Oller and George and Anne Perpitch. My grandma was Anna Oller Martin and my mother is Pamela Ann Mary Martin Bye. I have an Aunt Irene Louise Pivour Pearson as well.

    Anyway, I am also looking for a gas station/repair station that George owned and a grocery store that Anne owned and operated. My mother Pamela was born in 1947 and she was friends with a little girl named Margaret DiVarco whose father was in the Chicago outfit – Joseph DiVarco.

    • Jeffrey Schuman

      My name is Jeff Schuman and I grew up at 7112 N. Keeler Ave. My father built our house and we moved into it, around December 1957. We lived in that house probably until some time in the 1980’s.

      How many houses from Estes did your great-grandma live? We lived in the second house from Estes.

  173. Does anyone know anything about Hess Dairy? It would have been in the 1940s-1950s, I think, at Devon and McCormick, across from Kiddieland. Also next to a gas station. This information is coming from my mother-in-law. I don’t know exactly when it opened or closed, but she remembers it from her childhood years.

  174. Hi All Lincolnwood Friends:

    It is indeed heartwarming to read all these names and stories from the past. I had the excitement of walking down Karlov Avenue and past the home my dad had built in 1957, at 7347 North Karlov Avenue accompanied by my wife Patti, in 2012.

    I still remember my mother, Shirley and I sitting outside on a cement fence in front of Lincoln Hall on a windy summer day to enroll for the fall.

    After enjoying great health, I was diagnosed with first Hodgkin’s lymphoma, then non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2019. The blood cancer is under control now, thanks to the great care at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Ironwood Cancer Research Center.

    I will never forget the time that Merrick Garland asked for my vote for student council in 1966 or 1967, at Rutledge Hall. I guess Merrick did even better later on!

    I hope all of my fellow Lincolnwood brothers and sisters are happy and healthy!


    Donald Castle, MPA
    Phoenix Arizona since 1974

  175. Always good memories of Lincolnwood. We lived on the 6500 block of Lawndale – steps away from Jim Berggreen and William (Bill) Mann. Our neighbors across the street were Michael Cohen and Leon & Terri Edelson. We used to go to Mr. Henry’s Hamburgers all the time which was on Lincoln Avenue. My mother would pick them up all the time for us after Hebrew School, which was at AG Beth Israel (still there) on Devon at 7 pm. Kind of different, but we didn’t keep Kosher and enjoyed them nevertheless. I want to say Mr. Henry’s closed down in 1968 or so.

  176. Hello all. I’m actually from Pennsylvania but I found this neat site via a Google search for ‘Topper’s Drive In’. I recently purchased on eBay an old photo album belonging to a girl from Cook County, Ill. There are about 15-20 carhop photos in it. One of the photos shows a small drive-in with a sign that reads “TOPPER”. The pictures are all from 1945. I wonder if that is the same place as the “Topper’s” referred to here? Was Topper’s around in 1945? Here is an eBay link to the album if anyone is interested in seeing some of the photos:

    Most of the carhop photos are in the ninth image. The photo with the TOPPER sign isn’t shown in the listing but I have it right here. They’re very cool images and now I’m determined to learn as much as I can about what location they’re actually from. I know we’re going back quite a ways here but I would appreciate any insight that anyone might have. Thank you for reading. 🙂

    • Hi Stephen:

      I looked through the comments people left on this blog about Topper’s. Yes, I believe it was around in 1945. Really cool that you won the album – there were a lot of bids!

  177. Hi Betsy – thank you! And yes, there were a lot of bids and a lot of money – more than I wanted to spend actually. But I really wanted those carhop photos, and I think that’s what drove the bidding up with others also. Pretty cool if these are actually from Topper’s. I never heard of it before but assumed it was maybe a chain across the country. But then I read that there were only one or two in Illinois. Of course, the sign on one of the photos I have reads TOPPER and not Topper’s, so I have to dig around and see if maybe Topper (without the apostrophe) was the name in its early years. There was actually a drive-in called Topper in Topeka, Kansas around that time, so I don’t know what the exact truth is – whether these are related to that place or the Topper’s mentioned here. But something to investigate. Thanks again!

  178. I had the honor of being with the distinguished Betsy Weiss in the third (1966-1967) and fourth grades (1967-1968) at Rutledge Hall. When we were in school together, I remembered that Xmas vacation generally started on the last Friday before Xmas and lasted for two weeks. It was always a special time.

    Although our school had a large number of Jewish students, we would make special Xmas cards in art class and distribute them to fellow students. We would decorate the classrooms with Xmas decorations. I’m sure we also made Hanukkah decorations. Many of us attended Hebrew school during that time after regular school and certainly got into the Hanukkah spirit. I recall my first menorah was bought at AG Beth Israel, as the gift shop had special hours. It was built like something out of a homemade arts & crafts kit, but we still had fun.

    We kept a TV schedule during Xmas vacation. This was our chance to watch the Ray Rayner Show at 7 am, Bozo’s Circus at 12, and Garfield Goose at 4 pm. Of course, we enjoyed the traditional Xmas cartoons: Suzy Snowflake, Frosty the Snowman, and Hardrock, Coco and Joe.

    We would go to our own “Center of the Universe,” known as Lincoln Village and across the street to Community Discount. In the evening, we would pile into a car to go see the Xmas decorations in “The Towers” or West Lincolnwood. Even go to Old Orchard. If we were really lucky, maybe we’d go to downtown Chicago to see Marshall Field’s window displays.

    I remember weeping on Xmas eve 1968, when the crew of Apollo 8 read from the Bible, on their historic journey around the moon. We watched the traditional Xmas movies that we still watch today. We still get mad at Uncle Billy from, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Time marches on and we’re now approaching senior citizen status, but the fond memories of Xmas vacation made a lasting impression on our lives.

    • Hi Larry – Thanks for posting your thoughtful and sweet recollections of this special time of the year. It brought back many fond memories of childhood for me, including all those great TV programs, shopping at Lincoln Village, and driving through the Towers to see the famed Xmas decorations. Happy Hanukkah!


    I love this – I felt like you were narrating my life. My family went to St. Peters in Skokie, grew up on the east side of Morton Grove on the other side of the Edens. My Godparents owned Kiddie Land in Lincoln Village and for my birthday I received a book of tickets and would bring a friend to ride the rides.

    My father owned Convenient Foods on Lincoln until 1980 – my siblings and I always had a job in junior high and high school.

    My husband grew up at the southeast end of Skokie across the street from Lincolnwood Towers. We dated in high school – he was in the last graduating class of Niles East and I attended Niles West.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane – Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  180. Thanks and to all our fellow classmates: Todd Hall to Niles West, “A Happy Holiday Season.”

  181. I did not read through all the comments…did anyone mention the little bowling alley on the west side of Drake just north of Devon? There was a red building just south of there on the northwest corner of Drake and Devon that sold candy. It later became the 1st National Bank of Lincolnwood.

    • My wife and I were at the plant store – she asked me when I first became interested in gardening. I thought back a bit. Remember in the 7th and 8th grade at Lincoln Hall, it was called 10th period or am I getting that mixed up with Niles West HS? We had an extra curricular class period. I remember taking Botany Class with Mr. Ryan in 8th grade to learn about plants and gardening. I remember such diverse subjects as films with Mr. Polster, photography with Mr. Feinberg, and Model Club with…I don’t remember the male teacher’s name. If you didn’t get your extra curricular class, you got study room.

    • The remains of that building were there for a long time. I want to say to the late 1970s. Till either the tennis courts were built or the parking lots were extended. I remember my Aunt telling me when we played in the adjacent park that there were rats in the building. Rumors were that vagrants hung out there.

  182. My family moved to Lincolnwood in 1960. My fond memories are spending time at Mitman’s Hardware talking to the owner. I believe his name was Harvey. We hung out a King Kole, eating fries and cherry cokes before Hebrew school at Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation. I believe the waitress was Trixie and the grill guy wore green high heels. We also went to Ruben’s Deli across the street – Ruben was a bit of a curmudgeon. I got my first job in 1969 at Nebas Roast Beef on Touhy and East Prairie. Started mopping floors, then worked my way up to sandwich maker. I remember filling up the cigarette machine – they sold for 25 cents a pack. My next job was at Marine World on Devon Ave. People would line up on the street to get in. We came home after sundown, scraped our knees on the swinger at Chase Park and lived a wonderfully safe wholesome life.

  183. Harry Kurgans

    I fondly remember both “Normie’s and Burt’s restaurant at Foster and California. I did not know they were brothers. Fascinating!

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