Submitted by liz on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:42
Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.
HARDING'S GRILL, 131 North Clark Street
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, greatest of gourmets, in his classic work on gastronomy, "The Physiology of Taste," says, in effect, that history has been made in cafes and restaurants. The truth of this observation is nowhere more fittingly illustrated in Chicago, we believe, than in Harding's Grill, on North Clark Street, across from the County Building and City Hall and around the corner from Randolph Street.
For during the days when Al Capone was sucking lollipops in a New York tenement doorway, Harding's Grill was the famed Righeimer's Bar — where Chicago political history has been made. Need we go further than to say that Righeimer's was the cradle of "Big Bill" Thompson.
Today, Righeimer's lives on — the same bar is here, the same furnishings, the same "Ship's Cabin" upstairs, and it is still a political rendezvous. Only the name is changed — and the molecular density of the products offered for consumption. For, since John P. Harding, known as The Corned Beef King, took over Righeimer's and changed it into a sandwich shop and restaurant, it has become popular in the town for three things — its corned beef and cabbage, its roast beef, and its steaks and chops.
Harding's Grill is worth visiting, both for the food and the old-time atmosphere. They have a fine a la carte dinner menu in the "Ship's Cabin," where you may take your wife or sweetheart. The service in the cabin dining room is from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. And the waiters are civil and alert. The whole establishment is open for breakfast, luncheon, dinner, and after the theatre.
Other Harding Grills in the Loop district are at 68 West Madison Street and at 4 North Clark Street.