Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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Photos from Michael Lans's Page

Sophie's Busy Bee

Sophie's Logo A fantastic Polish diner on Damen at Milwaukee and North Avenue, in Wicker Park, Chicago. GK introduced me, and Michael, and Megan, and Donnan, and all of our friends to it.

Counter Sophie's had great potato soup. And thin crispy potato pancakes. Aaron Solomon ordered the blood sausage there - I never had that kind of courage. I loved the simple sausage and sauerkraut. It was old world, Eastern European food at its best.

There was a room with a long counter and a few booths. Always old dudes, Polish folks, cops, and hipsters munching on delicious heavy salty fare. There was also a dining room, and always policemen eating. On the walls were glowing tributes, including one letter from a Polish diplomat who said it was the best Polish food he'd ever had anywhere in the world!

Dining Room We took several trips there from our school had some lunch, gathered there some times in the evenings. One time, after my first time on LSD, GK took us to a Polish cathedral for an evening mass, and we ended up at Sophie's, where twenty scrubbed clean white kids, the 4H club from Ohio had gathered there to eat.

The last time I ate there was with my Mom. She had the brisket, and thought it tasted great.

It was a grand old place for regular white folk. When Wicker Park was colonized by artists and gentrifiers, the character of the neighborhood changed enough that Sophie found an excuse to retire. There's still many Polish folks in Chicago, but there ain't no more Sophie's Busy Bee. Thank you Sophie Madej!

Photos from Michael Lans's Page

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