Daley's Restaurant was established
The original owner of Daley's Restaurant was John Daley. He was a young Irish
iron worker who came to the USA to work on the construction of the elevated
line. By 1892 the University of Chicago, The World's Columbian
Exposition and the Rapid Transit Line were all under construction and young
John Daley saw the need for a food facility to feed construction workers.
Daley was quick to recognize that it was better running a restaurant that
swinging from I-beams in the cold Chicago winds. He chose an empty store at
809 E. 63rd Street for his "temporary" workers diner. It soon became Daley's Restaurant.
Daley prospered and invested well by 1918 he sold Daley's Restaurant to two young Greek immigrants:
Tom Kyros and Paul Emmanuel. Tom was a waiter and Paul was a cook, they came
to this country to live the "American Dream".
Tom and Paul worked well together and Daley's continued to
prosper and by 1932 they decided it was time to replace the
frame building that housed Daley's with something more sturdy. They carefully
arranged financing at the Washington Park National Bank, also at 63rd and
Cottage Grove. Contractors quickly demolished the old building and dug for
the foundation of the new building. The bank failed, Tom and Paul lost it
all and Daley's was nothing but a hole in the ground and remained so until
Tom went to work for Deppie Baking Co. as a driver and Paul
worked as a night cook at Power's Cafeteria. By 1937 they had saved and borrowed
enough to rebuild Daley's. It reopened as New Daley's Restaurant and was an instant success. It had only 16 stools and 7 booths. To compensate
for size they stayed open around the clock, it became a favorite meeting place
for celebs of the time.
Paul retired in 1960 and went back to Greece.
He was replaced by George Kyros, Tom's son. Tom and George worked well together
and through a series of remodeling and expansions they brought Daley's back
to it's original size.
In 1965, after 47 years at the helm, Tom
Kyros retired. He was replaced by George Potakis (Tom's nephew) who had worked
there since 1955. The two Georges worked hard and successfully guided Daley's
through the worst years in Woodlawn's history.
1990, George Potakis retired and was replaced
by Nick Zee (cousin to George Kyros). George and Nick work well together and
Daley's continues to improve and prosper.
1995, George Kyros retired and was replaced
by Alex Vlahos (no relation). Nick and Alex work well together and many improvements
are made at Daley's.
2005, Alex announces that he will soon retire
and will be replaced by Michael Zee (Nick's son).
To be Continued