St. Hubert's Old English Grill
Submitted by liz on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:41
Culled from: Drury, John. Dining in Chicago. New York: The John Day Company, 1931. pp. 34-36. .
Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.
Merrie England in the Loop
Thick English mutton chops and plum pudding await you in delightful old St. Hubert's English Grill. This little bit of England in the Loop, tucked away at the foot of the towering Union League Club, is located happily on narrow, London-like Federal Street, and on a foggy day you'd think you were in some by-street just off Piccadilly Circus. Here, polite pink-coated English waiters bring you a mutton chop so thick and juicy that its taste lingers in your mouth for days. Dr. Sam Johnson might utter an immortal bon mot over it. As for the plum pudding,
Mr. Dawell, the proprietor, is apologetic. "We haven't the brandy so necessary in making it," he explains wistfully. But his cooks do an excellent job of it with what materials they have.
Here is the atmosphere of an old English inn such as you read about in Thackeray or Dickens. The ceiling is low and beamed; long English clay pipes, smoked by Chicago celebrities who dine here, hang from the beams; old English sporting prints decorate the rough stone walls; the atmosphere is quiet and homey and heavy with smoke; the fire-place puts you in a mood of ease and relaxation. Upstairs, where you dine when accompanied by a woman, framed pictures of British royalty abound and the plate-rail is filled with English crockery and other mementos of British life.
Mr. Dawell's guest book shows visitors from all over the globe — Rio, Singapore, Paris, Scotland. Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, William Faversham and other Anglo-American theatrical stars have eaten here in the past, as well as Sir Thomas Lipton and Charles Dickens, Jr., son of the novelist. This is one of the favorite dining places of those two noted Union Leaguers, General Charles Gates Dawes and Frank O. Lowden, former governor of Illinois.
The late John J. Mitchell, the banker, came in often; even "Big Bill" Thompson, former mayor of Chicago, has reveled in English mutton chops here on a number of occasions; Clarence Darrow, the great criminal attorney and liberal, had his wedding breakfast in St. Hubert's many years ago; Richard Henry Little, conductor of the popular "Line O' Type Or Two" column in the Chicago Tribune, and his wife, Shelby Little, the authoress, are frequent visitors. St. Hubert's has even made its way into contemporary fiction, being described in Mary Plum's "The Strange Death of Judge McFarlane" and in John Gunther's "The Red Pavilion" and a number of other novels.
Try St. Hubert's. We know of no more charming and pleasant adventure in town than a dinner of mutton chops in this picturesque and authentic old inn. You'll like the London accent of the waiters and their inborn courtesy. And Mr. Dawell, who was born in a little town in Illinois, is our idea of a perfect host.
St. Hubert's Old English Grill English
316 Federal Street
Dinner a la carte only — and rather expensive. Business men's table d'hote luncheon.
open until 9 P. M.
Mattre d'hotel: Charles A. Dawell
St. Hubert's Old English Grill
Maitre d’hotel: Charles A. Dawell
Location: 316 Federal St.
1931 - 1931