Restaurants & Bars 6

White Soul Food

john m | Nov 18, 2003 04:12 PM

The recent threads on sould food provided me with an opening to ask a question that that I have pondered for a while--are there any hillbilly diners and bars left in Chicago?

It wasn't too long ago that the north side of Chicago had an enormous population of migrants from Appalachia, mostly centered in Uptown and Lakeview, but with pockets in Roscoe Village and the area around Belmont and Whipple. Even 10 years ago, you could still find a good Southern breakfast at any number of greasy spoons on the north side--I still remember the country ham off the bone and biscuits I had in a place around Roscoe and Wolcott. (I forget the name of it, but believe it is now a bar.)

What's left now? Carol's Pub on Clark is still there, but I believe their food is limited to sandwiches. Are the Uptown bars like the Wooden Nickel and Sharon's Hillbilly Heaven still around? There were at least three diners on Belmont between Ashland and Damen when I lived in Roscoe Village in the early '90s, but I think they are gone.

Any thoughts, comments, ideas? BTW, I am aware that the term "hillbilly" can be considered pejorative. However, I use it because "rural Appalachians of Scots-Irish descent" is a bit much, and because I suspect that most of you will know the kind of joint I'm talking about when I use it.

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