Ireland's Oyster House
Submitted by liz on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:42
Culled from: Drury, John. Dining in Chicago, New York: The John Day Company, 1931, pp. 68-69.
Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.
IRELAND'S OYSTER HOUSE
Delicacies From the Deep
When Chlcagoans think of sea foods they think of Ireland's. For over a generation, Jim Ireland has been purveying every conceivable form of deep sea delicacy, and delicacies from seas not so deep, to diners-out all the way from the exclusive Gold Coast to "Back-o'-the-Yards." Being an open-all-night establishment, Ireland's is as popular with after-theatre crowds as it is with diners before the theatre.
And on Fridays, either for luncheon or dinner, the place is packed with people from offices in the Loop and with politicians, executives, theatrical people, newspapermen, and big. red-necked, policemen. During the many years that his restaurant has been located on North Clark Street, a short distance north of the downtown district, Jim Ireland has made hundreds of friends and he has kept them by virtue of the excellence of his sea foods.
His oysters arrive every day fresh from the coast and are a luscious treat to the palate; his $2.75 lobster shore dinner has become an institution in Chicago; his $1.00 fish dinner is like none other in town; and his jumbo frogs' legs, scallops, clam chowder, and halibut, to mention only a few of his other items, are appetizing beyond compare.
Of outstanding merit, however, is Jim's planked Lake Superior whitefish. This sea food is said to be Chicago's gift to the nation's edibles, just as Boston has contributed baked beans, New Orleans the pompano, and San Francisco chop suey. And nowhere in Chicago can you get Lake Superior whitefish prepared more expertly than in Ireland's.
In keeping with the nature of his board, Jim has arranged several very delightful dining rooms in his establishment. The main dining room, known as the Marine Room, is done in the nautical style and is replete with shipboard effects. The Lobster Grotto is distinguished by the design of a big lobster in colored glass on the ceiling. Then there is the Grill Room, with its own ingenious decorations and atmosphere of camaraderie. Another feature of Ireland's is the absence of any closed kitchen, all of the cooking being done in the open. As for the waiters, you will find them as alert as messenger boys at the Board of Trade — and as intelligent.
Ireland's Oyster House American
632 North Clark Street
Open from noon until the roosters crow
Table d'hote luncheon, 65 cents. Table d'hote dinner,
$1.00, Also a la carte
Maitre d' hotel: J. H, Ireland
1931 - 1931
Open or Closed