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A 1968 Review of Greektown’s Parthenon Restaurant from the WFMT Guide

1976, The Parthenon Restaurant (Source: Chicago_History)

1976, The Parthenon Restaurant (Source: Chicago_History)


WFMT Guide, December 1968

A sign posted today in front of Greektown’s historic restaurant, the Parthenon, read: “After over 48 years in business we are sad to inform you we are permanently closed. We want to thank you for your support over the years and for the wonderful memories.”

The restaurant, credited with inventing flaming saganaki, was a long-time advertiser with WFMT. In fact, the Parthenon was also the subject of a review in the WFMT Guide, a monthly arts magazine, in 1968, soon after the restaurant opened.

The review describes the area of the southwest edge of the Loop as “where the Greek truck drivers eat,” mentioning the business are filled “only with Greek-speaking immigrants and their families.”

According to reviewer Allen Kelson, “The nice thing about real Greek restaurants: the democracy. If you drink a bottle, you pay for a bottle; if you drink a third, that’s okay too, you pay for a third. They’ll just refill the bottle and use it again.” The drink of choice? Ouzo, of course.

His appetizers included Greek salad with feta and anchovy, boiled dandelion greens, and a dish of fish eggs, lemon, and oil. After the appetizers, Kelson enjoyed traditional egg-lemon soup and two entrees: moussaka and gyros, which he describes as “for the not-so-adventuresome.” For dessert, the requisite baklava and coffee.


A 1968 review of the Parthenon in Greektown from the WFMT Guide. Click to enlarge.

While he makes no mention of the Parthenon’s famed flaming saganaki, it seems like he enjoyed his meal none the less, particularly since the entire bill for two people totaled under $10!


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