Friday, October 25, 2019

A brief history of Loree’s Snack Shop and Ice Cream Parlor at 3232 West Foster Avenue in Chicago.

In the 1960s and 70s, there were a lot of places to buy ice cream. Several businesses on Chicago’s Far North Side were famous for what was called “ice cream creations.” 

I’m not sure anyone still uses that phrase, but it meant more than a scoop or two on a sugar cone. Drama and excitement were dished out with over-the-top, imaginatively named sundaes, shakes and sodas at places like Buffalo’s on Irving Park, Lockwood Castle on Devon, Zephyr Café & Ice Cream Parlor on Wilson and Ravenswood Avenues, and, of course, Loree’s Snack Shop.

The original owners of Loree’s named the restaurant after their daughter. The Dickers kept the name and the menu but expanded the list of ice cream specialties.
Robert “Bob” Dicker behind the counter at Loree’s in 1962, the year he and his wife, Sybil Dicker, bought the snack shop and ice cream parlor.
Loree’s was a much-loved restaurant and ice cream parlor was in the North Park community, frequented by both North Park College (now University), Northeastern Illinois University, and Von Steuben High School students. 
Sybil Dicker at Loree’s, 1962.
Customer favorites include ice cream creations which were the big draw, but Loree’s was a full-service diner. Here are a few items from Loree’s menu that stood out as special for Loree's:
Pecan Roll - untoasted.
Pecan rolls (from Levinson's Bakery) - toasted, the Test Pilot Sundae had chocolate chips and two sugar wafers sticking out from the ice cream scoop's like the wings of an airplane, and their multicolored whipped cream which was made fresh, on-site, with food coloring, added to it
The Francheezie
Another very popular item was the Francheezie, a sliced hot dog with cheese and wrapped in bacon. 

As popular as Loree’s was, it was no gold mine. Robert "Bob" Dicker (1962 to 1972), the 2nd owner, put in long hours: breakfast through dinner added up to 15-hour days and Loree’s was open seven days a week. 

The business became even more family-run when Gayle Dicker started waitressing in eighth grade. She remembers the first time she worked a Saturday night and made $13 in tips. At the time, it seemed like a small fortune.

Despite the hardships of owning a restaurant, Bob Dicker loved his work. He enjoyed talking to students and being his own boss. Ultimately, however, the hours were too much for the family and they sold the business. The new owners tore down the wall separating the adjacent storefront to enlarge the restaurant and kept it open as Loree’s for many years. 
Today, Loree's location is Starbucks.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

2 comments:

  1. I mentioned Loree’s to someone yhe other day. I miss that place!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally cannot remember this one, even though I grew up in North Park near Kimball and Foster. Only restaurant right I around there I >do< remember was right across the street on the NE corner called (IIRC) "The Gay 90's".

    ReplyDelete

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