LOGAN SQUARE — For decades, Terminal Restaurant in Logan Square was a popular stop to grab a bite before catching a show at the Logan Square Auditorium, Cedric Hall or Masonic Temple.
The restaurant has been gone since the 1970s, its location giving way to what’s now City Lit Books. But now the old favorite is the inspiration behind a benefit dinner that will pay homage to Terminal by serving its menu items and showing off memorabilia as organizers raise money for a public park.
The benefit is set for 4-10 p.m. Monday at Andros Taverna. Half the food and drink sales will go to building a public park on a Milwaukee Avenue lot, a community-driven project that has gained momentum in recent months.
Reservations for Andros Taverna’s benefit can be made online.
Husband-and-wife chefs Doug Psaltis and Hsing Chen opened Andros last year in the Logan Apartments complex at 2542 N. Milwaukee Ave. The restaurant serves modern Greek food influenced by Psaltis’ Greek heritage.
For the benefit, Psaltis and Chen are taking their cue from Terminal Restaurant, which served seafood, steak and a wide-ranging a la carte menu in its heyday. The menu will include dishes like the d-luxe hamburger sandwich with twin soutzoukakia patties and crispy cod with garlic whipped potato.
Psaltis and Chen are collaborating with several other neighborhood restaurant and bar owners on the cocktail menu: Billy Sunday, Estereo, Longman & Eagle, Mi Tocaya Antojería and Spilt Milk will have cocktails on the menu, each one a tribute to Terminal Restaurant.
The event is being put on in partnership with Logan Square Preservation and Beam Suntory. Commemorative Terminal glassware will be available for sale. Diners will also get to take home special menu cards.
Terminal Restaurant opened in 1911 as a coffee stand in the old Metropolitan “L” station on Kedzie Avenue south of the square, according to Logan Square Preservation. It was founded by John Papas.
The coffee shop morphed into a restaurant with a cult following for several decades. It became a part of neighborhood history, raising money for American troops during World World II by selling war bonds and stamps.
Terminal closed in the 1970s, around the same time the Logan Square Blue Line station moved to its current location on the other side of the square.
The park organizers are fundraising for would include a water feature and bleacher seating on the city-owned lot just north of the restaurant. As of last fall, the project was in the early stages.
The old Terminal menu:
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: