[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ather and Son Restaurant has stood as a beacon of old school Logan Square, perched at the corner of Milwaukee Ave. and Sacramento Ave. The iconic sign, featuring a father and son in a diamond, along with the green, red and black color scheme, is recognized and beloved, by those who have and still live in the area.
Father and Son Restaurant was born from humble beginnings. Marshall Bauer, the owner of Father and Son got his start when at 16 years old, he learned the pizzeria business from his aunt Irma, who owned Rossi’s Pizzeria on 87th and Stony Island since the late 1940s.
“My father who was looking for something to do out of the Merchant Marines learned the business with her,” current owner Billy Bauer said. “He worked with her and had the opportunity to purchase a restaurant in 1953 that was owned by an Italian family.”
The restaurant was being sold for $2,000 and with the help of uncles and other family members; Marshall Bauer was able to purchase the restaurant. A defining moment for the restaurant was when Marshall Bauer, while researching the business, learned that pizzerias in New York were delivering.
“It was an extremely brand new and unique idea that he decided ‘I’m going to try that in Chicago.’” Billy Bauer said, “He started working with police officers and firemen in their off time” to deliver pizzas.
The idea, according to Bauer, grew exponentially, as people became aware that they could call a restaurant and have their pizza delivered. It was a groundbreaking decision that made Father and Son pioneers in the delivery business. It was so successful; they had to eventually move locations to accommodate the growing business, leading to the establishment of the Logan Square location in 1965.
Using Marshall’s ingenuity, a massive kitchen was resurrected along with a separate room for eight phone operators and 60 drivers to accommodate the high volume. At that point, Father and Son Restaurant started a catering service with a party room.
As Logan Square developed into a trendier area and the demographic changed, Father and Son Restaurant has decided to change as well.
“I’ve known the Logan Square neighborhood for all my life, the 60s, 70s, 80s 90s,” Bauer said, “it was very family oriented…Today I see there are a lot more younger people.”
Father and Son Restaurant recognized the changes in the neighborhood, with customers asking for a bar and televisions in the restaurant. The restaurant, committed to listening to their consumers and acting accordingly, began selling alcohol and put up televisions as a way to not only evolve, but accommodate the younger demographic who asked for these changes. However, still wanting to maintain that nostalgia, they updated but have not completely revamped.
“We listen to our customers, and we’re like a big family because we have customers who are really dedicated,” Bauer said, “and we listen and we change that way.”
Billy Bauer, who began working at the restaurant in 1983, hopes that the preservation of Father and Son Restaurant will be an ongoing family owned and operated business, with his nephew, Brett Boudart, becoming more involved and managing the Logan Square location.
This post is also available in: Spanish