Wiechmann & Gellert's Restaurant

Street Address: 
424 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL

Culled from: Drury, John. Dining in Chicago. New York: The John Day Company, 1931. pp. 36-38. .

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


Bear, Caribou, and Moose

It's a lucky thing that nature up in the New Brunswick
country in Canada is ever bountiful and replenishes her
woods and streams with new wild life each year, for if
this were not the case Herman Wiechmann would have
cleaned out the country long ago in supplying Chicago-
ans with the popular game dishes — bear, caribou, and
moose. Annually, for thirty years, he's been going there
with his rifle and returning home with a loaded bag, so
to speak. As a result, his restaurant at the south end of
the Loop is a rendezvous for all lovers of venison and
other game dishes.

And what a restaurant it is! You know that game is
featured here as soon as you step inside, for the walls
are decorated with sprig-like antlers and other trophies
of the hunt. And Herman Wiechmann did not buy
them, either; each antler comes from a deer that he
brought down with his own hands in the north country.
The walls are hung with big black turtle shells, indicat-
ing that this is a place of sea foods too. But the feature
that strikes you most in this South Wabash Avenue
restaurant is its old-style atmosphere, reminiscent of a
dining room of the nineties — long, rangy, and with a
highly ornate Victorian ceiling.

This ceiling, by the way, is of interest to old-timers
because it is all that is left of the famed Kuntz-Remmler
restaurant, which occupied the premises before Wiech-
mann & Gellert took it over six years ago. "Honest John"
Kuntz, who died in 1928, attracted many prominent
people to his place, among them Theodore Roosevelt, En-
rico Caruso, John Drew and John L. Sullivan. Harry
Hansen, the literary critic, writes of John Kuntz's place:
"In my college days, 1905-1909, I often ate a fine steak
at Kuntz-Remmler*s. They served a grand steak for fifty
cents, with potatoes and coffee. We paid twenty-five at
the University Commons, so you can see that we were

Meanwhile, over in the Standard Club Building in
South Dearborn Street, Wiechmann & Gellert 's was mak-
ing history and vying with the Kuntz-Remmler establish-
ment in catering to the epicures of the city. There came
venerable judges from the United States district courts
in the Federal Building nearby — Judge Kenesaw Moun-
tain Landis, Judge James Wilkerson, Judge Carpenter,
and such other celebrities as Charles ("Old Roman")
Comiskey, Ban Johnson, Armour, Swift, and many of
the mayors of the city. Wiechmann & Gellert were in
this location for twenty years and when the old club
building was torn down to make way for a new one, the
restaurant moved over to Wabash Avenue and took over
the vacant Kuntz-Remmler premises.

Today, Wiechmann & Gellert's is the most popular
restaurant in the city for game. Sea foods and German
dishes are also featured. What a treat to observe the wait-
ers hurrying back and forth among the tables with all
the fish and game — turtle soup, prepared from green
turtles (shipped alive from Louis Bay, Mississippi) , and
with a dash of sherry wine in it; partridges; bass and
stuffed lobsters; perhaps a saddle of venison requiring
two waiters to carry it; bear meat; opossums, raccoons,
beaver, Alaska mountain goat and Watertown goose.

The game, of course, is served only in season. Among the
German dishes, the pork shanks and sauerkraut and the
Beef a la mode with potato pancake are outstanding for
their palatableness.

Wiecbmann & Gellert German- American

424 South Wabash Avenue

Open for luncheon and dinner

Both table d'hote and a la carte — and reasonable

Mattre d'hotel: Herman Wiechmann




1931 - 1931



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