Paradise restaurant, Elmhurst, Illinois - Call me "sugar", toots.

Today we have a post card from - uuh (Let's see... sort of Mediterranean design which is from 1968 or so, and sort of fifties looking... umm) 1968 or something!. It's a kind of diner that wants to be called a lounge, and I'd go there all the time if it were still there and looked like this. Behold, the Paradise Restaurant and Lounge!
Of course my patronage would also be conditional, depending on the savor and price of the food, but you know. It's got the diner-y counters, cleverly U-shaped, presumably with a waitress in the middle of each U. It's got the cool stainless menu clippy holder things and the standard napkin dispensers and shakers. It's got the checkerboard tile and the multicolored vinyl seating.

Waitresses at diners call you any one of the following without getting funny looks from customers: "sugar, toots, honey, darlin'". This level of familiar discourse is unique among the spectrum of American consumer establishments. For example, a dry cleaner or mechanic (a female one) who addressed me as "sugar" would make me wonder if he/she were hitting on me, and depending on my level of attraction to her, I would just enjoy the attention or take my business elsewhere. A male mechanic / dry cleaner / brain surgeon, etc. would have to be incredibly competent or amazing prices to retain my patronage after calling me "sugar", "toots", or "honey". This probably means I'm a terrible person or something.

Back in a past life, I ate at a diner called Tom's Family Restaurant kind of often. It's still there, in Homewood, IL, see?

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Tom's Diner (as it was not officially called, but everyone called it that), has all the diner earmarks listed above, and the waitresses are all matronly, and address you as they would their own child (honey, darlin', etc. Not sure about "toots", though).

Anyway, this Paradise Restaurant and Lounge looks kind of the same. What makes a "lounge"? What kind of accommodations does a restaurant have to offer to make the leap from "restaurant" to "restaurant and lounge"? A side room with a bar in it? Well, BAM! The Paradise has you covered!

Chekkity check the padded leather bar. Swank, baby! And the paneling is frikkin wood-like! I can hear the Sergio Mendes right now...

So what's there now? Well, it's still a restaurant, and it's still across from a bank, but the bank is a branch of the 2009 Grand Prize winner in the Stupidest Name for Anything Competition: 5/3.
The restaurant is now called 100 South Chop House. Turns out I've actually eaten there! It looks totally different inside now, though. Lots of trendy dark wood and pictures of Hollywood people. They're going for that "Bogart ate here" kind of thing. Meh. If they really want a good tip, they'll call you "honey"

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Zuatetsia, Queen of All Known said...

Sweetie Darling,

It's all about the chandeliers.

Look at them.



PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Thanks, Toots!


Craig F. said...

My mom used to eat at a place just like that in Nashua, New Hampshire, only it had those yellow plastic stained glass window-esque panels between the booths.

It was ironically named "The Modern." The last time that place was modern, Dewey Eisenhower just got elected.

Clingy said...

Sweetie Darling,

This will refresh your memory banks:


Anonymous said...

I have eaten at 100 South as well. And now I must go nurse that creepy/queasy feeling you get when you realize the Internet may not be that big a place after all....

Are you familiar with the old Steven's Steakhouse building farther north on York? The restaurant is closed, but the building and sign are still there and amazing. At least they were this past winter when I last drove past.


PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

You know what? I HAVE seen the vacant steakhouse and yes, it IS fantastic. I'd like to buy it and live there.

Thanks, for reading, Non-mouse! The internet is pretty small. In fact, I live in your garage. Sorry I bent your snow shovel. I was using it to open a can of peanuts from 1973 I found in that wall cabinet behind the baby food jars full of washers.

Anonymous said...

No, *I* am going to buy the steakhouse and, well, I don't know what I'm going to do there yet but I feel I must own it.

You have described my garage to a T. My home was built in 1950 and I am only the second person to live there since its original owner. Stuff like baby food jars and strange tools are always popping up in the garage and basement rafters. Sorry about the ant problem out there.

Anonymous said...

Was owned by a Greek guy Dino. Head waitress was Bobbie. I worked there.

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