Submitted by liz on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:41
Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.
Meet the Literary Lights
Robert J. Casey, newspaperman, explorer, humorist and
mystery-story writer, has his nose buried deep in a Ger-
man apple pancake as big as an elephant's ear; Lew Sar-
ett, poet, sturdy woodsman and Indian authority, is
making short work of the Southern hash; Henry Justin
Smith, managing editor of the Chicago Daily News and
author of "Deadlines" and other novels of newspaper
life, prefers two boiled eggs, toast and jelly; Vincent
Starrett, the handsome bibliophile and essayist, obviously
likes his Southern ham with corn fritters, while Howard
Vincent O'Brien, literary critic and novelist, goes in for
ham and eggs; but big Gene Morgan, the columnist,
swears by the corned-beef hash with poached egg.
See them eating — the literary lights of Chicago. It is
Saturday noon at Schlogl's. They are crowded about the
big round walnut table in the right-hand corner — talk-
ing, laughing, joking and shouting "Hey, Richard!"
whenever the waiter is needed. Women are forbidden
here. Therefore, male camaraderie prevails, the atmos-
phere is thick with smoke from many a cigar and pipe,
everything is informal, diners take their time and tell
stories, and the Hamburger steaks and Wiener Schnitzel
are plentiful and appetizing.
Other regulars who come to the "round table" — al-
though, of course, not all at any one time — include John
T. Frederick, novelist and editor of The Midland maga-
zine; Dr. Morris Fishbein, author of "Medical Follies;"
S. L. Huntley, writer, epicure, and creator of the popular
comic strip, "Mescal Ike;" the drama critics: Lloyd
Lewis, of the Daily News; Gail Borden, of the Times;
and Fritz Blocki, of the American; Charles Layng, short-
story writer and globe-trotter; Phil R. Davis, lawyer,
Loophound, and sometime poet; Jack Brady, "the public-
itor;" Hal O'Flaherty, foreign news editor of the Chi-
cago Daily News; Paul Leach, political writer and author
of "That Man Dawes;*' George Schneider, lawyer and
bibliophile; Le Roy T. Goble, the advertising man and
connoisseur of the arts; and the Midweek magazine
group: Robert D. Andrews, editor, and two of his star
contributors. Sterling North and Upton Terrell.
What the Mitre tavern in Fleet Street was to the
writers of Dr. Samuel Johnson's day, Schlogl's is to the
scribes of Chicago's "Newspaper Row" at the present
time. Also, it is one of the oldest restaurants in town,
having been founded here in 1879 by Joseph Schlogl as
a combined restaurant and weinstube, or wine-room.
The interior is the same as on the day it was first opened,
only the ornate tin ceiling, the walls and the large oil
paintings depicting monks drinking wine in old cellars
have become a bit musty and smoky with age — which is
appropriate. The walnut tables, walnut panelling and
walnut service bar are kept well-polished by Richard and
his two assistant waiters, Charley and August.
Schlogl's had its beginnings as a literary lounge in the
days when Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, Ben
Hecht, Robert Herrick, Edgar Lee Masters and Maxwell
Bodenheim foregathered here. Others came after them
— Bart Cormack, playwright and author of "The
Racket;" J. P. McEvoy, of 'The Potters" fame; Pascal
Covici, the publisher; Charles Mac Arthur, who wrote
"The Front Page" with Ben Hecht; Clarence Darrow,
attorney and writer; John V. A. Weaver, author of "In
American;" Harry Hansen, the literary critic; John
Gunther, foreign news correspondent and novelist; J.
U. Nicolson, author of "The King of the Black Isles;"
the drama critics, Ashton Stevens and Charles ColHns;
Gene Markey, man of letters and bon vivant; Robert
Morss Lovett, of the New Republic staff; James Weber
Linn, columnist; Mitchell Dawson, poet and lawyer; Ir-
win St. John Tucker, poet and rector of Chicago's "poet's
church;" Kurt M. Stein, who writes in the German-
American dialect; Edward Price Bell, dean of foreign
correspondents of the Chicago Daily News; Don Lawder,
now of the New Yorker; Sam Putnam, literary critic;
W. A. S. Douglass, contributor to the American Mer-
cury; Junius B. Wood, the foreign correspondent; and
Horace Bridges, the essayist.
Since we seem to be doing nothing but listing names,
we might just as well go all the way and put in the names
of other well-known writers who have visited and dined
here — Witter Bynner, Heywood Broun, Alfred Har-
court, Donald Ogden Stewart, E. Haldeman-Julius, Paul
H. De Kruif, Upton Sinclair, Bobby Edwards, William
McFee, Sinclair Lewis, Konrad Bercovici, Arthur Bris-
bane, William Allen White, D. W. Griffith, Gilbert Seldes,
Horace Liveright, Louis Untermeyer, Jay G. Sigmund,
Nelson Antrim Crawford, and the English visitors, — Re-
becca West, Hamilton Fyfe, Ford Madox Ford, Francis
Brett Young, E. O. Hoppe, and Brig. Gen. Edward L.
You will find the autographs of all these literary no-
tables in what has become known as "Richard's Book"
— a copy of "Midwest Portraits," containing literary
recollections of the Schlogl gang, written by Harry Han-
sen and presented by him to Richard Schneider, who
waits on the "round table." No other restaurant in the
world boasts a book like this, wherein is described the
restaurant itself, and the people who eat in it, and having
in its end sheets the autographs of those written about.
Naturally, the "Who's Who" of the American literary
world would not come here unless the cuisine were such
as to meet the approval of fastidious men of letters. This
place serves food that the most cosmopolitan of epicures
would revel in. The Stewed Chicken a la Schlogl can be
gotten nowhere else. Millonaires who can afford sirloins
and tenderloins come here for Hamburger steak, which
is fried in butter and prepared as only Chef Paul Weber,
who has been here for thirty years, knows how to pre-
pare it. The steaks and chops demand more than just
this mere listing of them. There is also savory Wiener
Schnitzel and Hasenpfeflfer, roast young duck, and bouil-
labaisse. Too, the Schlogl pancake is deserving of a chap-
ter to itself.
When accompanied by a lady, you eat upstairs in an
old dining room, where the ceiling is cracked, the wall-
paper is beginning to peel in places and warmth in winter
is provided by an old coal stove. All is atmospheric and
thrillingly ancient — except George Kling, who has a
youthful alertness in seeing to the culinary needs of the
distinguished ladies and gentlemen at his tables.
You haven't dined in Chicago unless you've eaten at
least once in this historic restaurant. If you're in any
way literary, you are probably on your way over there
Schlogls German- American
37 North Wells Street
Open for luncheon and dinner (closed on Sunday)
A la carte only — and expensive, but worth it
Maitre d'hotel: Richard Schneider