Greektown

The National Hellenic Museum is in the heart of Chicago’s Greektown. You can extend your cultural experience before or after visiting the Museum by exploring Greektown.

History of Chicago’s Greektown

The first Greeks in Chicago arrived as ship captains in the 1840s. They started out as food peddlers and, by natural progression, became restaurant owners. Around the turn of the century, the Greeks concentrated around the Harrison, Blue Island and Halsted area, originally known as the as Delta but later re-named as Greektown. During the 1960s, Greektown was displaced by the Eisenhower Expressway and the University of Illinois at Chicago, forcing a move north a few blocks.

In 1968, gyros and saganaki (flaming cheese) were introduced in this country by Chicago’s Greektown. From 1970 to 1990, most of the current restaurants and businesses opened, and the Taste of Greece summer festival became a tradition. In 1996, the City of Chicago helped erect traditional Greek temples and pavilions at the major intersections in Greektown.

Today, Old World traditions are prevalent in the many establishments of Greektown. The language is still heard in the neighborhood, and the community comes together during the annual Greek Independence Day parade, the Taste of Greece and the days surrounding Greek Easter.

For more information about the businesses and restaurants who are a part of Chicago’s Greektown, please visit www.greektownchicago.org.

 

 

 

 

Explore Greektown Circa 1950

1) Holy Trinity Church, 1101 S. Peoria St. 32) Dore Public School 63) Sarantakis Greek Grocery Store 94) Row of Houses and Horse Barns
2) Mrs. O’Leary (origin of Great Chicago Fire) 33) Jimmy’s Pool Hall 64) Sarta Coffee House 95) Horse Barns
3) Turner Brothers Clothing Store 34) Soter’s Shoe Shine Supplies 65) Greek Taverna 96) Horse barns
4) 12th Street Store 35) Cigar Store 66) Kephalonia Coffee House 97) Psihalinos Wholesale Butcher
5) Salerno Undertaker 36) Mandakas Jewelry Store 67) Halfpap Fish Store 98) Print Shop
6) Italian Photographer 37) Italian Restaurant (upstairs Hotel run by Mr. Petmezas) 68) Klein’s Sporting Goods 99) Gypsies
7) Banco Di Napoli (Bank) 38) Shoe Repair and Shoe Shine 69) Unknown 100) Elias Coffee House
8) Broadway Restaurant 39) Greek Restaurant 70) Syros Greek Pastry Shop 101) Kournelis Bakery
9) Fontanella Italian Sweet Shop 40) Waverly Theater 71) White Glove Barber Shop 102) John Psihalinos Undertaker Parlor (w/ Marzano)
9A) Conti Di Savoia Italian Grocery 41) Crete Bakery 72) Trianon Pharmacy (Yiannis brothers) 103) Arcadia Bakery
10) Hull House (Jane Addams) 42) Laski 73) Tri-Motto Restaurant 104) Doukas Hay and Grain
11) Tavern 43) Parthenon Restaurant 74) Athens Grocery Store 105) New Agora Meat Market
12) Greek Snack Shop 44) Kalavreta Coffee House 75) Athens restaurant 106) Spargos Italian restaurant
13) Athenian Candle Shop, (747 S. Halsted) 45) New Congress Hotel 76) “Greek Press” (Paul Javaras, Ed.) 107) Poulakes Bakery (Greek American Printing Co. Between 107 &108)
14) El Paso Mexican Tavern 46) Tavern 77) Mallars Wholesale Greek Grocery Store 108) Poulakes Bakery (Greek American Printing Co. Between 107 &108)
15) Kastritis Travel Agency 47) Pool Hall 78) Factories 109) Eptanson Bakery
16) Thessalia Greek Restaurant 48) Standard Wholesale Grocers 79) Messinia Grocery Store 110) Lot for city truck
17) Book Binding Shop 49) Unknown 80) Kesaris and Rikos Grocery Store 111) City Electric Department
18) Barber Shop 50) Turek Hardware Store 81) Camperis Funeral Home 112) City Electric Department
19) International Greek Restaurant 51) Tavern 81A) Bruggemeyer Wholesale Candy (corner of Peoria and Harrison) 113) Hellas Greek restaurant
20) Kalamata Coffee House 52) Furniture Store 82) Damianos Printers (Greek Art Printing and Publishing Co.), 831 W. Harrison 114) Kentrikon Coffee House
21) Row of Greek Houses 53) Tenement Flats 83) Pantheon restaurant 115) Stamos Store Fixtures
22) Collias Undertaker 54) Seven Seas Restaurant 84) New Era Building 116) Atlas Grocery
23) Pilafas Greek Grocery Store (Washington Dairy) 55) The Villa Theater 85) Melissa Candle 117) Sterea Ellas Coffee House
24) Crete Coffee House 56) Halsted Jewelry Store 86) Makedonia Greek restaurant 118) Galanopoulos Leather Shop
25) Tuxedo Rental Shop (Italian owned) 57) Cigar store 87) Bouras Linen and Wedding Dress Shop 119) Mid-City Butcher Shop (Klikas)
26) Verros Travel Agency, 617 S. Halsted 58) Fruit Store 88) Mavritsas Coffee House 120) Gramatikakis Photographer
27) Muzakiotis Music Store 59) Mid City Hardware 89) Italian Barber Shop 121) Ice Cream Wagons
28) Deligiannis Greek Grocery Store 60) Mr. Chips Restaurant 90) Horse Barns 122) Hall for Greek Affairs
29) Phoenix Pastry Shop 61) “L” Restaurant 91) Kynouria Coffee House 123) Collias Grocery Store
30) Seven Islands Cigar, Dennis Gianakis 62) Diana Greek Store 92) Minerva Gambling House (Barbout Game) 124) Coffee Shop
31 ) Row of Tenement Flats 62A) Eureka Flower Shop 93) James Lalagos Grocery and Restaurant