Sunday, December 4, 2016

The First Morrison Hotel and Boston Oyster House, Chicago, Illinois.

The first Morrison Hotel building at the corner of Clark and Madison Streets in Chicago was built in 1883. It was eight stories high with one basement level. It was replaced in 1914 by the second Morrison Hotel.
The first Morrison Hotel at the corner of Clark and Madison Streets in Chicago. 1907
Colonel John S. Wilson began his restaurant in Chicago in 1873 establishing Wilson’s Oyster House in the ground floor of the Morrison Hotel. He is first and only caterer in Chicago to bring live lobsters to this market to be served.
Boston Oyster House Restaurant, Chicago. 1908

In 1875, the name was changed to the Boston Oyster House. The Boston served as the training ground for Charles Rector, the new owner, who sold record amounts of fresh shellfish in his restaurant, but also opened a branch in New York City that became equally celebrated. 
The Boston Oyster House offered no fewer than 42 oyster selections, divided among "select," "New York counts" and "shell oysters." In 1893, a dozen raw oysters were 25 cents. If you ordered the same dozen fried the price doubled. The most expensive were broiled oysters (60 cents a dozen with celery sauce, or 75 cents with mushrooms).
A Menu - Click for a larger image.
The Boston survived several changes of ownership and locations until it floundered during the great depression and shut its doors. 

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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