History in University Village

807 West Maxwell Street

The Blues Brothers - Soul Food Cafe

Fans of the Blues Brothers will recall Aretha Franklin, owner of the Soul Food Cafe at 807 West Maxwell Street in Chicago, bustin' out in song after Jake and Elwood drop by to steal away her husband, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and her busboy, "Blue" Lou Marini, because the band was getting back together.  

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History in University Village
Vintage Restaurants

1250 South Union Avenue

Jim's Original

From 1939 to 2001, Jim's Original was a mainstay at the once bustling corner of Maxwell and Halsted Streets, but the expansion of the University of Illinois-Chicago ultimately pushed it out of the rapidly-changing neighborhood.  A purveyor of juicy and delicious Polish sausage sandwiches (served by default with grilled onions and mustard only), it was opened by the eponymous "Jimmy," who originally acquired the location from his aunt. 

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1068 West Taylor Street

Mario's Italian Lemonade

Mario's Italian Lemonade has been serving a unique form of drinkable Italian Ice from its Italian tricolor shack since 1954, when it was opened by Mario and Dorothy DiPaolo at 1068 West Taylor Street in the University Village neighborhood of Chicago.  It remains essentially unchanged in the same location today, still owned by the DiPaolo family.  On warm summer nights, it lights up the entire street and draws heavy crowds.

1531 West Taylor Street

Pompei Bakery

Pompei Bakery was established by Luigi Davino back in 1909 at 1531 West Taylor Street.  He named his restaurant "Pompei" because of its close proximity to the Our Lady of Pompeii Church (which, like the bakery, remains active today).  Luigi, his wife, his four sons, and his daughter lived above the bakery, and the entire family participated in the pizza-making operations. 

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1073 West Vernon Park Place

Tufano's Vernon Park Tap

Joseph and Theresa (Tufano) DiBuono opened Tufano's Vernon Park Tap in 1931 at 1073 West Vernon Park Place in the heart of Little Italy's golden age, long before the University of Illinois crashed the neighborhood.  Theresa, the family matriarch, used to live right next door.  She would cook the meals from her kitchen and then pass the plates through an interior window that connected to the restaurant.  That tiny opening still exists today.  

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History in University Village

800 South Halsted Street

Jane Addams

Jane Addams was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  She co-founded Hull House, the first settlement house in the United States, with her sister, Ellen Gates Starr, in 1889.  She was head resident of Hull House at 800 South Halsted Street until her death in 1935.  Hull House provided social services and cultural events for immigrants.  

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