The Whitehall Club was once located inside the fabulous European inspired Whitehall Hotel which is hailed as one of Chicago's most best and luxurious. James Ward's fabulous 1979 book Restaurants Chicago Style describes the Whitehall Club as a private old school members only type of place that by then charged $150 as an initiation fee, $75 a year to keep membership and an average dinner tab of twenty bucks including drinks. Who wouldn't love all that fine dining at that low, low price? Though, was it really that low for its time?
Opening in 1956, the Whitehall Club has a pretty rich history just like most of the other restaurants we featured from Ward's fantastic peek into Chicago restaurant past. This one was especially elegant with fancy maitre d's at the helm of running the restaurant. I have never been to a restaurant with a maitre d. I guess this isn't your ordinary Prince Castle, Red Barn or Super Cup. That's just fine and dandy. Ward describes the place as "....Warm and gracious with its crystal chandeliers, dark-tan suede cloth on walls, and overall color scheme of muted browns and reds. There are red leather chairs, a mirrored bar, an antique marble fireplace and, everywhere, fresh flowers-usually roses. Silver service plates and fine English bone china are beautiful embellishments."
The Whitehall Hotel itself opened its doors in the late 1920s and is legendary in Chicago with a wonderful and colorful past. It the Whitehall Club was still around it just might make a great Mother's Day dinner.