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24 hour/late night restaurants closing earlier - Why?

24 hour/late night restaurants closing earlier - Why?
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  • Post #31 - May 5th, 2008, 2:10 pm
    Post #31 - May 5th, 2008, 2:10 pm Post #31 - May 5th, 2008, 2:10 pm
    jpschust wrote:
    davecamaro1994 wrote:I find it funny that most of the people speculating on this topic have probably not even been in a bar after midnight in the last 5 years Most of us are old(er), married, and really don't hit the 4am bars. If you did you would pull up and see the mass of people in the alleys huddled together and smoking in the freezing cold the last few months. You would think they were criminals smoking crack. At least that is how the government portrays them.
    I don't have to speculate, I know this is affecting businness and I will be more than happy to talk to the local owners at the places I frequent and back that up.
    Most, but not all :)


    I can also confirm that the bar's lucky enough to have a 4am/5am license are hardly suffering. If you have a 4am license then your bar/club is jam packed after 2am....and yes at 26 y/o I frequent them as much as im ready to deal with the piss drunk crowd where its hard not get in an altercation, even when not looking for one. As far as business suffering, I know owners of glascotts, Nick's beer garden, Nicks uptown, Maproom, elm st. liquors and a few others, all of which I frequent commonly, they are not seeing any type of drop off. Maybe in the winter b/c it was the worst winter I can remember, but come summer, business will be back to normal, theres just alot more people on the street smoking now.

    Also as far as the restaurants go maybe they weren't getting the late-night crowd and jam packed early mornings like TBP and weiners circle do that make it worthwhile staying open late. Places like those spots make double during the late night what they do during the day, tips are also alot better late night from the drunken crowd.
  • Post #32 - October 11th, 2008, 6:56 am
    Post #32 - October 11th, 2008, 6:56 am Post #32 - October 11th, 2008, 6:56 am
    Here's an update on Jack's. The once 24/7 haven that started closing at 11:00 after the Skokie smoking ban went into effect has now been hit by the bad economy and has begun closing at 3:00 P.M. every day. No more dinner service at Jack's. Sadly, they have gone from 24/7 to being open for only breakfast and lunch in a period of only a couple of years The food is a good as ever, but many of the long time staff has been laid off.

    Jack's Restaurant
    5201 Touhy Ave
    Skokie, IL
    847-674-5532
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #33 - October 13th, 2008, 11:02 am
    Post #33 - October 13th, 2008, 11:02 am Post #33 - October 13th, 2008, 11:02 am
    thank you stevez for posting up the info and insight. this smoking ban is ridiculous. it should be up to the owners.
  • Post #34 - October 13th, 2008, 11:43 am
    Post #34 - October 13th, 2008, 11:43 am Post #34 - October 13th, 2008, 11:43 am
    I am not a smoker and I'm glad I never have to be exposed to cigarette smoke anymore, but I agree with stevez that the smoking ban has adversely affected late-night restaurants.

    As an inveterate night owl, I can tell you that if, before the ban, you went to Jack's or any other 24-hour restaurant during the wee hours and asked to be seated in the no-smoking section, you'd be sitting there by yourself.

    For whatever reason, smoking and staying up late seem to go together.

    Mike G is correct in that late-night is not a Chicago strength. The City That Works goes to bed early.

    Yet that's been true a long time. The cutback in such late-night restaurants as there are seems to date from the smoking ban. But I have no doubt the economy is playing a role, too. For one thing, not only restaurants are scaling back. There are far fewer 24-hour supermarkets, too.
  • Post #35 - October 13th, 2008, 11:56 am
    Post #35 - October 13th, 2008, 11:56 am Post #35 - October 13th, 2008, 11:56 am
    LAZ wrote:Mike G is correct in that late-night is not a Chicago strength. The City That Works goes to bed early.

    OTOH, my 24 year-old nephew from North Carolina was blown away by the fact that, in Chicago, he could hang out in a bar Saturday night 'til 5 AM.
  • Post #36 - October 25th, 2008, 9:02 pm
    Post #36 - October 25th, 2008, 9:02 pm Post #36 - October 25th, 2008, 9:02 pm
    LAZ wrote:Mike G is correct in that late-night is not a Chicago strength. The City That Works goes to bed early.


    Part of the longer-term shift might also have to do with industrial shift work disappearing. For example, over the past 20 years, CTA ridership in Wicker Park hasn't grown so much as compressed: people used to go to work throughout the day but now everyone's crowding on for the 9-5. 24-hour joints don't just fill with drunkards and insomniacs :)

    I've been frustrated by the disappearance of late-night coffee haunts. As an undergrad, I stayed out most Friday and Saturday nights until midnight, and I certainly wasn't old enough to be in bars. Nowadays (and even before the ban), everywhere closes at 9 or 10 PM -- and opens unbelievably early. That might also have something to do with sociology, as the vampire-hour artists get displaced by perky Trixie morning people, but it seems to be citywide.
    --
  • Post #37 - October 28th, 2008, 1:39 pm
    Post #37 - October 28th, 2008, 1:39 pm Post #37 - October 28th, 2008, 1:39 pm
    On the bright side, IHOP is still open 24 hours. At least the one at Diversey near the Kennedy is. I won't vouch that they have the best pancakes in the free world, but their egg dishes are good, and they have a range of salads, sandwiches, and entrees that probably stack up favorably next to those of your average coffee shop/diner. About an hour ago, I had a veggie-cheese omelet at the Diversey one that would place fairly high on my list of veggie-cheese omelets consumed in Chicago. If you're a coffee drinker, I'd think the whole pot of coffee on the table would be an attraction, and mrs. riddlemay says the coffee is damned good. By the way, they had a sign on the door announcing a pancake eating "contest" through November 2. Eat 20 pancakes, and they're free.

    So, anyway, the next time you're driving around the city looking for an all-night diner that's still actually open all night, IHOP near Logan Square is an option. Maybe all IHOPs are. I wouldn't have thought of the place in the coffee shop/diner category, but it actually does belong there, judged on its menu.
  • Post #38 - October 28th, 2008, 2:43 pm
    Post #38 - October 28th, 2008, 2:43 pm Post #38 - October 28th, 2008, 2:43 pm
    Instead of stooping to IHOP, I'd consider visiting one of the fine open-all-night diners that still adorn our city. Diner Grill, Kevin's Hamburger Heaven, Jerry's, Hollywood and GNR Winner White Palace come to mind without having to think about it very much.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #39 - October 28th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    Post #39 - October 28th, 2008, 2:47 pm Post #39 - October 28th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    OTOH, my 24 year-old nephew from North Carolina was blown away by the fact that, in Chicago, he could hang out in a bar Saturday night 'til 5 AM.


    My mother used to tell me, nothing good happens after 2am. :D
  • Post #40 - October 28th, 2008, 5:39 pm
    Post #40 - October 28th, 2008, 5:39 pm Post #40 - October 28th, 2008, 5:39 pm
    stevez wrote:Instead of stooping to IHOP, I'd consider visiting one of the fine open-all-night diners that still adorn our city. Diner Grill, Kevin's Hamburger Heaven, Jerry's, Hollywood and GNR Winner White Palace come to mind without having to think about it very much.

    I'm all in favor of supporting locally-owned eateries (I guess that's one definition of a localvore), but IHOP isn't really stooping. I mean, you might hate the idea of it, and I'd understand why, but my guess is that a blind taste test putting some typical menu items from IHOP against the closest equivalents from some of our local indie havens would result in IHOP winning about as many comparisons as it lost.
  • Post #41 - October 28th, 2008, 5:44 pm
    Post #41 - October 28th, 2008, 5:44 pm Post #41 - October 28th, 2008, 5:44 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I'm all in favor of supporting locally-owned eateries (I guess that's one definition of a localvore), but IHOP isn't really stooping. I mean, you might hate the idea of it, and I'd understand why, but my guess is that a blind taste test putting some typical menu items from IHOP against the closest equivalents from some of our local indie havens would result in IHOP winning about as many comparisons as it lost.


    Well, I'll admit that it's been decades since I've set foot in an IHOP, but I'd find that hard to believe. I'm sure the inverse is true, that you can find an all night diner that's as bad as an IHOP, but I doubt that any IHOP can equal the food turned out by a skilled grillman at a good diner.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #42 - October 28th, 2008, 10:58 pm
    Post #42 - October 28th, 2008, 10:58 pm Post #42 - October 28th, 2008, 10:58 pm
    riddlemay wrote:blind taste test putting some typical menu items from IHOP against the closest equivalents from some of our local indie havens would result in IHOP winning about as many comparisons as it lost.

    Good one Shecky, you had me going for a second.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #43 - October 29th, 2008, 5:56 am
    Post #43 - October 29th, 2008, 5:56 am Post #43 - October 29th, 2008, 5:56 am
    G Wiv wrote:Good one Shecky, you had me going for a second.

    Your incredulousness that I could be serious (which I am) makes me feel less like a comedian than a scientist who's made a major discovery! Moreover one that's been right in front of our faces all along.

    I'm not saying I don't get the skepticism. I avoided IHOPs for decades myself. Back in the midsixties in northwest Baltimore it was a good go-to place after high school dates. The novelty of all those flavored syrups! Which caused us all as grownups to go ugh. When I came to Chicago and discovered Walker Bros., I discovered what great pancakes were all about, and never looked back--and never looked at an IHOP without disdain. But in the last couple of years I've had occasion to be in a couple of them in the city, and have been pleasantly surprised. I don't order the pancakes (having been spoiled by Walker Bros.) and when they come on the side, I certainly don't use the flavored syrups--opting instead for the one labeled "old fashioned," since it will most resemble maple syrup, even though it isn't. I order an omelet, or fried eggs, or a salad. All I can tell you is that based on empirical, not prejudgmental, evidence--i.e., I cleaned my plate--the veggie-cheese omelet I had yesterday was very good. And I finished the side of pancakes, too--with gusto.

    Take away the hideous architecture, take away the prejudice against national chains (and let's face it, once you get inside, you find a place where all the employees are salt-of-the-earth neighborhood Chicagoans, not Stepford Cooks and Waitresses), and just look at the menu--and you'll find that it contains substantially the same offerings as found at your typical neighborhood coffeeshop/grill/diner. Which means that it belongs to the same genus that they do. And it's open 24 hours, which is what this thread is all about. While Steve points out correctly that it is not the last 24-hour restaurant in Chicago, nor, I'm certain, the best, the category is a dying breed as noted by the OP, so survivors of the breed are worth noting.
  • Post #44 - October 29th, 2008, 8:21 am
    Post #44 - October 29th, 2008, 8:21 am Post #44 - October 29th, 2008, 8:21 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:Good one Shecky, you had me going for a second.

    Your incredulousness that I could be serious (which I am) makes me feel less like a comedian than a scientist who's made a major discovery! Moreover one that's been right in front of our faces all along.


    I knew you were serious. I also know I get the same reaction when I state I like McDonald's. Less now, because it is well beaten discussion and the surprise element is gone.

    When my nieces were tiny, we celebrated one kid's birthday at IHOP for the clown faced pancakes. We proceeded to the Kohl's Children's Museum to see an Elvis impersonator for their annual Elvis Birthday Weekend. The kids thought their birthday was celebrated in style and good taste! :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #45 - October 29th, 2008, 11:36 am
    Post #45 - October 29th, 2008, 11:36 am Post #45 - October 29th, 2008, 11:36 am
    I too have avoided IHOPs for decades. They always seemed like a place you go to when on vacation.

    I went to an IHOP recently for lunch - work related. I ordered a hamburger and onion rings. Hamburger was nothing special, but the onion rings were outstanding. Large, crispy and flavorful. IHOP for onion rings...who knew?
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #46 - October 29th, 2008, 1:46 pm
    Post #46 - October 29th, 2008, 1:46 pm Post #46 - October 29th, 2008, 1:46 pm
    My one encounter with a late-night IHOP (over 25 years ago) has taught me a lot of about late night ordering: Pancake houses are not the place to be adventurous, and judgement is impaired at 3AM even without alcohol.

    Namely, Eggs with Italian Sausage at IHOP. Just don't.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #47 - October 30th, 2008, 9:36 am
    Post #47 - October 30th, 2008, 9:36 am Post #47 - October 30th, 2008, 9:36 am
    I took my daughter for a medical test yesterday and she insisted that we had to stop at Steak & Shake before heading for home so she could get a milkshake. I was surprised to see that, at least for the Steak & Shake in Tinley Park on Harlem Avenue, the hours have changed. They now open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 3:00 a.m. I think they used to be 24 hours. There was no sign of breakfast food on the menu at all. I used to love their little potato pancakes when I was intoxicated, which quite frankly is almost never at this stage of my life, but still, I will miss them.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #48 - November 12th, 2008, 1:54 am
    Post #48 - November 12th, 2008, 1:54 am Post #48 - November 12th, 2008, 1:54 am
    Our city as a whole is getting "softer." We allowed a smoking ban. (which, imo, is a sick, twisted joke but since we can't talk politics, i decided not to explain myself for the sake of everyone on the board). The gentrification process is in full tilt. the relative cost to living in the city is continually rising. The economy sucks.

    all of that right there = less neighborhood bars, 24 hours joints and hole in the walls. People not going out "late".

    fortunately, bars have always survived the woes of the world because no matter what's going on - good or bad - people love to drink.
  • Post #49 - November 13th, 2008, 8:13 am
    Post #49 - November 13th, 2008, 8:13 am Post #49 - November 13th, 2008, 8:13 am
    stevez wrote:Here's an update on Jack's. The once 24/7 haven that started closing at 11:00 after the Skokie smoking ban went into effect has now been hit by the bad economy and has begun closing at 3:00 P.M. every day. No more dinner service at Jack's. Sadly, they have gone from 24/7 to being open for only breakfast and lunch in a period of only a couple of years The food is a good as ever, but many of the long time staff has been laid off.


    The moment Jack's started closing at 11pm, the late night business at Whistler's (on Devon in Lincolnwood) increased dramatically. Whistler's is really hit or miss; it can be pretty good or REALLY bad. Extremely cute waitresses, though!

    As for Jack's situation, I'm not surprised. The last few times I ate there, the food was mediocre and the service was so poor, I swore I would never go back, and I haven't. It's too bad. I have fond memories of eating cheeseburgers at Jack's at 5am on Sunday morning with my dad before his weekly round of golf.
  • Post #50 - November 22nd, 2009, 5:21 am
    Post #50 - November 22nd, 2009, 5:21 am Post #50 - November 22nd, 2009, 5:21 am
    My opinion of IHOP is inbetween stevez and AngrySarah, I'm not the biggest fan of it, but I've gotten to the point where I'll make do, if I am dragged there. I've found if you stick to the basics(particularly the breakfast items like pancakes), it's tolerable. I still would stay VERY FAR AWAY from the lunch or dinner items(i.e. burgers, meatloaf, etc.).

    That said, while I'll gladly take IHOP over Denny's any day, I definitely do not take it over Steak 'n Shake, and certainly not over a quality diner(i.e. Alexander's, Lucky Grill, Cozy Corner(I so wish both their locations stayed open at least till 9, a la Lucky Grill), etc.).
  • Post #51 - November 22nd, 2009, 1:44 pm
    Post #51 - November 22nd, 2009, 1:44 pm Post #51 - November 22nd, 2009, 1:44 pm
    dumpstermcnuggets wrote:My opinion of IHOP is inbetween stevez and AngrySarah, I'm not the biggest fan of it, but I've gotten to the point where I'll make do, if I am dragged there. I've found if you stick to the basics(particularly the breakfast items like pancakes), it's tolerable.


    Sorry, this made me LOL. It's been a long time since I've been to an IHOP but I can't recall a single experience where it didn't feel like everything I touched stuck to me.
    *Bolding in quoted post added by me.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #52 - January 12th, 2010, 3:34 pm
    Post #52 - January 12th, 2010, 3:34 pm Post #52 - January 12th, 2010, 3:34 pm
    I was thinking about the subject recently relating to the Indian/Pakistan restaurants around devon. Then I remembered starting this thread a while ago.

    Can anyone off the top of their head name a few decent indian/pakastani restaurants that are still open all night? or at least until 3 or 4am? Seems every one i loved to eat at late keeps pushing their closing times earlier... :cry:
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #53 - January 13th, 2010, 1:07 pm
    Post #53 - January 13th, 2010, 1:07 pm Post #53 - January 13th, 2010, 1:07 pm
    Even my local Steak n Shake, once 24 hours, has scaled back, and is now closing at 3 a.m.
  • Post #54 - January 13th, 2010, 2:15 pm
    Post #54 - January 13th, 2010, 2:15 pm Post #54 - January 13th, 2010, 2:15 pm
    I'm a musician, so I'm intimately familiar with late night bars and food. My first recommendation is to go home, unless you really, really need to eat immediately, because almost all late night food sucks really hard, even drunk. My second recommendation is to keep drinking until you fall asleep, then wake up the next day and eat something from any of the many fine restaurants open at that time. My third recommendation is to drive to Pilsen from wherever you are. If you're out at that time because of work and not play, pack a 'lunch'.
    "The life of a repo man is always intense."
  • Post #55 - January 13th, 2010, 2:31 pm
    Post #55 - January 13th, 2010, 2:31 pm Post #55 - January 13th, 2010, 2:31 pm
    It continues to astound me that seemingly everything closes at 9 in the Loop...businesses still haven't realized that people actually LIVE down here now. And woe to you if you want to do anything on a Sunday.
  • Post #56 - January 13th, 2010, 3:21 pm
    Post #56 - January 13th, 2010, 3:21 pm Post #56 - January 13th, 2010, 3:21 pm
    laikom wrote:Can anyone off the top of their head name a few decent indian/pakastani restaurants that are still open all night? or at least until 3 or 4am?


    Tabaq
    24/7
    1245 N. Clybourn
    Chicago, IL 60610
    312-944-1245

    Hyderabad House
    24/7
    2225 W. Devon
    Chicago, IL
    773-381-1230

    Zaiqa Indian Restaurant
    24/7
    Chicago, IL
    858 N. Orleans
    312-280-6807

    Delhi Darbar Kebab House
    Opens 5pm - Late
    6403 N California Ave
    Chicago, IL 60645
    993-338-1818

    Ghareeb Nawaz
    Open until at least 2pm
    2032 W Devon Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-761-5300

    Middle Eastern:

    Al-Amira
    24/7
    3200 W Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-267-0333

    George's Kabab Grill
    24/7
    3216 W Lawrence Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-0588-1800

    Chinese:

    'Little' Three Happiness
    Until 5am, 24/7 on the weekends
    209 W Cermak Rd
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-842-1964
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #57 - January 13th, 2010, 9:09 pm
    Post #57 - January 13th, 2010, 9:09 pm Post #57 - January 13th, 2010, 9:09 pm
    Thanks Gary.
    You've put me at ease. A couple of weeks ago I tried to go to Hyderabad House only to find it closed! I have confirmed that it is indeed 24/7 (again?), not sure why it was closed on that night.

    Ghareeb Nawaz is one of my favorite places to get Palak Gosht (about $3 if i recall correctly!). It's mostly goat coated in the spinach and spices, rather than more common spinach dish with some goat thrown in. I'm glad this is open until 2 still, but am i wrong or did it used to be open 'till 4? I guess i'll have to start eating dinner a little earlier! haha

    thanks again,
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #58 - January 22nd, 2010, 12:29 pm
    Post #58 - January 22nd, 2010, 12:29 pm Post #58 - January 22nd, 2010, 12:29 pm
    It seems like all the late night places are closing earlier. Gulliver's in West Rogers Park, which years ago had a 4 a.m. license, is now closing at 11, according to its web site, but when I tried to go there the other night at 10:30, they were already shut tight.

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