|Don Roth prepares the spinning salad bowl for diners including|
actor Buster Keaton (at the right).
Much of its memorabilia became part of the Wheeling location, which ran 30 years before closing in 2009. Don Roth, one of the creators of Taste of Chicago, also was involved in national and local restaurant organizations, often serving in leadership roles. He died on November 21, 2003.
The restaurant, a legend to several generations, was named for the U.S. Army's Blackhawk infantry division, which in turn was named for the chief of the Fox and Sauk tribes in Illinois. The restaurant proved just as resilient. A stink bomb was tossed into the restaurant on opening night, which cleared the restaurant until "a lake breeze supplied a new atmosphere," according to news reports, sending guests back into The Blackhawk to continue celebrating. And when a statewide horse-meat scandal erupted, civic authorities closed the restaurant. Roth challenged the charges in court, where a jury found the restaurant innocent. Upon reopening, business went up.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.