by Michael R. Allen
I barely had time to appreciate DeMar’s Coffee Shop on Chicago Avenue in Chicago during the three months that I lived there, but I enjoyed my handful of visits. Chicago is a great city for diners and greasy spoons, ranging from the stand-by Golden Nugget chain to the excellent, now-shuttered Zorba’s on Halsted (which had Greek food in addition to diner mainstays) to the more obscure ones like DeMar’s. A city that gets as cold as Chicago had better be able to provide filling food at all hours.
DeMar’s seemed to have everything the cinematic imagination desired: cheap food, salty wait staff, no crowds, a big menu, great coffee and one of the coolest neon signs I have seen. The only drawback was the hours, which had been cut from all-night to a fairly early close for a diner. Unfortunately, now there are no hours at all, because DeMar’s closed in 2005. I had not managed to swing by on subsequent trips to Chicago, but through Flickr I found not one but two photos of DeMar’s windows boarded by Chiacgo’s ubiquitous Buzy Bee Board Up.
Alas, the little diners in Chicago seem to be dropping like the flies around the grill. Please tell me that Golden House in Uptown is still open.