Friday, February 4, 2011

SUN-TIMES: South Side soul food legend Army & Lou’s closes

Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times
UPDATE 12 Noon Columnist Dawn Turner Trice did a story on Army & Lou's as well today! Something in this article indicates that Izola's is closed as well. Is that true?

This is making the news everywhere isn't it? We knew about it on Saturday thanks to JP Paulus, then it moved over to the Tribune earlier this week, and now the Sun-Times has the story on this historic establishment. Customers included not only Harold Washington, but also Dr. Martin Luther King.

Here's more:
But South Side soul-food legend Army & Lou’s, 422 E. 75th St., thought to be the oldest black-owned restaurant in the Midwest, closed its doors for the last time Sunday.

“It’s really just due to the economy. People are not eating out as much,” said one of the five partners, Goldie McDuffie. “We had to close. We’ll see what happens in the future.”

For 65 years, Army & Lou’s has fed celebrities, politicians, business moguls and others who slid into its red linen-tableclothed booths for greens and ham hocks, catfish, chitterlings and peach cobbler. Celebs ranged from Cab Calloway to Muhammad Ali to former U.S. Sen. Charles Percy.
Army & Lou’s relocated to its current site in the 1970s, following a different migration: Chatham was where many middle-class and affluent blacks were moving then.

It was bought in 1973 by another husband-wife team, Mary and Charles Cole, who retired and sold it in 1987. It flailed a little, then its last owner, Dolores Reynolds, purchased it with two partners in 1992. Two years later, tragedy struck. One of the partners was murdered at the restaurant by a former employee, and Reynolds was left running the restaurant on her own, until a year ago, when a group of younger investors bought in.

“We tried to rejuvenate the business,”said McDuffie. “Things started tapering off probably in May, but we held on. Then we just couldn’t hold on anymore.”
This whole article is worth a read when you get a chance.

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