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History

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In the Heart of the Chicago Loop

Exchequer Restaurant & Pub
226 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604

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H I S T O R Y   O F   T H E   E X C H E Q U E R

How do you say the name and where did that name come from?

Exchequer is pronounced "ex checker."

The restaurant is located in the financial and banking district of Chicago. It was originally patterned after an English style public house (pub). "Exchequer" is the name for the National Treasury of England. Hence our name, Exchequer Pub.

Let's go back to the beginning...


The Wonder Bar at Wabash & Jackson, Chicago
  
Al Capone
Al Capone

226 South Wabash Avenue has historically been occupied by restaurants. The first restaurant was established at the location during the roaring '20s. It was called the 226 Club. Rumor has it that the restaurant was a "speak-easy" in those days, patronized by none other than Al Capone. After all, Big Al lived just a few blocks south.

During the '30s and '40s the restaurant was renamed The Wonder Bar. The focus was, as its name suggests, on the elaborate bar located in the back.

During the '50s and '60s the restaurant was then renamed Browns. It was reinvented as a casual dining establishment with a steam table up front, hand-carved sandwiches, and peanut shells on the floor. At that time, the area was famous for its musical influence. Orchestra Hall, Auditorium Theater and The Schubert Theater attracted businesses like Lyon and Healy, Wuriitzer, Carl Fisher, Rockola Juke Box, American Music World, and Frank's Drum Shop.

In 1969, Browns was closed. The restaurant was completely remodeled, with the bar relocated to the front. In September of that year, the restaurant reopened as the Exchequer Pub. The menu was limited, but featured the Exchequer Deep Dish Pizza. The pizza was an instant favorite, and has become one of our signature items.

The Mannos family, the restaurant's present owners, took possession in March of 1982. Since then, it has become a popular destination for business lunches and afterwork get-togethers, family dinners, students, and tourists.

Speaking of history...

The Exchequer Restaurant & Pub features over 500 pieces of great memorabilia on its walls. When you dine with us, you'll appreciate historic newspapers, photos, and posters decking our walls. It's a treat for your eyes as well as a a feast for your belly.

Enjoy!

  

Mannos Brothers
The Mannos Brothers (Exchequer Owners)

Mannos Brothers as Kids
The Mannos Brothers (as budding young restaruanteurs) critique a competitor

 
 
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Exchequer Restaurant & Pub
226 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-5633
Contact Us