Ciro's Grill

Street Address: 
18 W. Walton Pl
Chicago, IL

Culled from: Drury, John. Dining in Chicago, New York: The John Day Company, 1931, pp. 90-92.

Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.


Resort of Fashion

As everyone knows, there is a Ciro's in Paris, one in Monte Carlo, one in Deauville, and one in London. But not everyone knows that there is also a Ciro's in Chicago. It, too, is a swanky place, the haunt of Chicago's beau monde, just as the European places are the rendezvous of fashionables. The London and Chicago establishments, if you care to know, have no connection with each other or with the French establishments of the same name.

We don't know which of the following is the reason for the frequent presence of Chicago millionaires, dowagers, debutantes, and dandies in Ciro's during dinner time. It might be due to the excellent French cuisine; or maybe to the fact that the exclusive Opera Club happens to be located on the floor above; or to its delightfully intimate atmosphere. The restaurant is small and cozy and unique in decor. Also, it is conveniently located near the Gold Coast. Last, but not least, its prices are alluringly high.

Anyway, for whatever reason. Ciro's Grill is foremost of the resorts of fashion. If you're a connoisseur of automobiles and wish to observe the most luxurious foreign models, walk past Ciro's any evening during the winter months and feast your eyes on the cars parked at the curb.

Why winter months? Because Ciro's follows the social season and is closed during the torrid days of summer. Having a small but very exclusive clientele, this place would be empty in summer when everybody who is anybody in the social world is out of town.

Then you wouldn't be seeing such frequent diners as John Borden, the millionaire explorer, and his authoress-wife, Courtney Borden; Cyrus Hall McCormick, head of the International Harvester Company; Burt Massee, another millionaire explorer, and Mrs. Massee; the two opera singers, Cyrena Van Gorden and Edith Mason; and Georgio Polacco, the opera conductor. Of course, these are only a few of the wealthy and celebrated people who come here. There are many more.

As for the decor, Ciro's is tasteful and novel, the motif being that of a submarine garden. Fishes in gay colors and decorative undersea plants are painted on the walls. Inverted lighting is used here by suspending bowls of gold fishes under the electric bulbs — which must be rather hard on the fishes. The whole atmosphere of the room is charmingly intimate, quiet, novel, and colorful.

The a la carte menu is inviting, both in variety of dishes and quality, and the service is suave and Continental. Try Ciro's some evening when your purse is sufficiently fat. And you needn't go formally, although you would not be out of place if you did.

Ciro's Grill Franco-American

18 West Walton Place

Table d'hote luncheon, $1.00. Table d'hote dinner, $2.50
Also a la carte — and pretty high

Open for luncheon and dinner




1931 - 1931



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