The Golden Age of Diners
By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 3, 2008 3:00PM
Sometimes it pays to look up and have a camera on you. We ate breakfast yesterday at this greasy spoons called MiLady Soul Food on 55th and Halsted (short review: do avoid unless you're just looking for some grease to fight back the hair of the dog). On the way out we noticed the marquee. Even today, MiLady is still known to many locals as Le Meck's. Le Meck's, back in the day, was a steakhouse that one person said had "lots of Edwardianesque (sic) atmosphere, high prices and crummy food." Reminds us of some of the steakhouses that used to populate the Loop around Gallery 37.
It wasn't all that long ago that marquees like these were fairly common, and not in the disrepair that we found Le Meck's. Bridgeport Restaurant is another example of a diner with signage for specials of the day that's fallen on hard times. Although the signage at Bridgeport Restaurant is nowhere near as downtrodden as Le Meck's/MiLady's, it does still light up at night. We suspect they either lost the lettering years ago or just stopped using it. It's those signs that makes for a good part of the charm, the romanticism, of diner culture.
Where have you seen classic diner or steakhouse signage that's either in disrepair or, better, use?