LOGAN SQUARE — Marcello’s Father and Son Restaurant is closing after 72 years in the neighborhood.
It’s true the owners have decided to keep the old-school family restaurant open for carryout and delivery only, but only until the property sells.
The property at 2475 N. Milwaukee Ave. is currently being shown to multiple developers and the owners have already received “quite a few” offers after only a few months of showings.
Should a developer tear down the one-story building and build something new in its place, the neighborhood will lose a piece of history.
The building was built in the early 1920s for Globe Motor Sales. At the time, the stretch of Milwaukee Avenue was a thriving auto district lined with auto repair shops, dealerships and ornate showrooms.
Father and Son didn’t move in until the mid-1960s. Prior to that, the restaurant called a building at Diversey Avenue and Whipple Street home.
More history below from Logan Square Preservation’s Andrew Schneider:
The property that today comprises Father & Son was once a much larger building, originally home to a Globe Motor Sales, an auto dealership selling, among others, the “Peerless” brand of early luxury automobiles. Peerless was one of the “three Ps” — Peerless, Packard and Pierce-Arrow — that marketed high-end luxury automobiles. The company went out of business during the Great Depression.
The original building was approximately three times the size of the storefront on the site today – it’s terra cotta – which probably stretched about 75 feet down Milwaukee Avenue, wouldn’t have been a standout – it was just one of the auto dealerships that lined Milwaukee Avenue from Sacramento to Sawyer and comprised one of the greatest early auto markets in the city of Chicago. In addition to auto garages and used car dealers, this district featured dealers of every manufacturer. What is today Father & Son’s parking lot was once a Standard Oil gas station.
That district declined as auto dealerships increasingly moved to the urban and suburban periphery and by 1962, Globe Motor Sales had been replaced by a completely different business, Stor-Dor Drug Service, Inc. and used as a warehouse to store drugs and cosmetics. A fire, estimated at causing $400,000 in damage (today worth about $3.35M) tore through the business, destroying two-thirds of the building and damaging ten rental trailers parked at the neighboring gas and service station.
Today, as development pressure on Milwaukee Avenue continues, a different kind of fire is perhaps destroyed one of the oldest businesses in the neighborhood.
This Throwback Thursday feature was produced by Block Club Chicago and Logan Square Preservation. The newsroom and Logan Square-based group are reviving a partnership that started at DNAinfo which aims to share photos from Logan Square’s Preservation’s archives. When possible, we’ll work together to share photos that are topical and relevant to the news of the week.
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