Submitted by liz on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:44
Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.
FRED HARVEY'S, Union Station, Jackson Boulevard and Canal Street
What a contrast is the lofty dignified and luxuriously furnished Harvey dining room in the Union Station here to the little counter lunch rooms of the Fred Harvey system along the Santa Fe Railroad in the small tank towns of the West. Everything is done on a grand scale, from the antique clock with mirror and stand in the foyer (discovered by Miss Mary E. J. Colter, decorator of the Fred Harvey restaurants), to the high wainscoting of American walnut and the comfortable Windsor chairs. You get the illusion of dining in the formal dining room of some Michigan Avenue hotel or club. This is probably one of the most elegant railroad terminal dining rooms in the country. And all of the dishes of a first-class hotel are on the menu here, prepared by a staff of chefs and bakers the equal of any in Chicago. Steaks, chops, sea foods, and bakery products are featured. The prices are standard and the waiters are courteous and efficient.
In popularity, however, the Harvey lunch room, adjoining the main dining room, takes first prize. It is a big rangy dining hall, with both table and counter service, and also a mezzanine for afternoon tea. The lunch room gets a heavy patronage because the service is quick and because it is open all night. At noon the counters and tables are crowded with workers from office buildings in the neighborhood surrounding the Union Station. Luncheons are 50 and 65 cents and dinners are $1.00 and $1.25. The Coffee Shop, located at the east end of the lofty concourse, is a small intimate room, uniquely decorated in mosaic tile work, and is patronized mostly by suburban passengers for breakfast and afternoon tea.
1931 - 1931