Sunday, April 26, 2020

Remembering Lums Restaurants in Illinois

Lums was a casual-restaurant chain known for its hot dogs steamed in beer and tantalizing Ollieburgers. Stuart and Clifford Perlman started Lums in 1956 in Miami Beach, and the brothers had four restaurants by 1961 and began aggressively expanding and franchising the company. The Florida-based chain peaked at about 400 restaurants nationwide, and the last one closed in 2017 in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Lums Restaurant's busiest Chicago location was in the Old Town neighborhood on the southwest corner of North Avenue and Wells Street.
Standard Lums Stand-A-Lone Building
Lums restaurants were in Bloomington, Chicago, on Touhy Avenue west of Caldwell Avenue and in Old Town, Chicago Heights, Des Plaines at Rt. 83 and Elmhurst Road, Glenwood on Halsted, Hill CrestKankakee, Niles, Oak Lawn at 87th & Cicero, Ottawa, Pekin in the Pekin Mall on Court Street, Peoria, Rockford, Rolling Meadows on Algonquin Road west of Wilkie Road, Schaumburg outside of Woodfield Mall, Tinley Park, Urbana, Villa Park at St. Charles and Euclid, and Wheeling.
Also, a Standard Interior View
Lums offered Hot Dogs steamed in beer with Sherry-flavored sauerkraut and their famous chopped sirloin Lumburgers. Their huge Grilled Cheese sandwich was on a fluffy poppy-seed bun injected with American cheese and melty cheese slices between the bun for 45¢. Their $1.55 freshly breaded fried clam dinner was a best seller. Lums offered over 20 brands of beer, some on tap and others in bottles, but all served in ice-cold frosted glasses.

It was a sad day when the Miami-based Lums filed for bankruptcy and closed permanently in 1983.


  1. gee whiz you forgot the Lum"s on the west side of St.Charles on main st. Not to mention you forgot the wonderful roast beef sandwich which was the main reason many of us went there

  2. Lord,
    Working there, miss the family owned I
    , Now they own .
    Peppers Sargents on Stevenson drive in, Springfield l,l Illinois

    Argent's on Stevesondrive

  3. Use to be one around the corner from my high school in Arlington Heights. I regret not going more often.

  4. What about the Lums in the Pekin mall?

    1. I think the Pekin and Peoria Lums closed in the late 80’s and the owning partners went their separate ways

    2. Peoria Lums closed sometime in the early 2000s.

  5. There was one in Northwest Indiana too.


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