Think you know Polish Chicago? Here are old-school hangouts and updated spots.
By Gretchen Kalwinski|
OLD Bobak’s(5275 S Archer Ave, 773-735-5334) is known for its huge variety of grocery and deli items, and for Pope John Paul II’s 1979 visit.
NEW Andy’s Deli(5442 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-631-7304) offers a variety of hot and cold prepared foods (pickled salads, luscious sausages), plus café seating and imported groceries. It’s the Eastern European Fox & Obel.
OLD Maya Polsky Gallery(215 W Superior St, 312-440-0055) made its name by representing painter Ed Paschke before his death.
NEW Polish Museum of America(984 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-384-3352) curator Monika Nowak presents exhibitions like “Pressing Matter” (March 26), featuring graphic artists considered the future of Polish printmaking.
OLD In the 1890s, St. Stanislaus Kostka Church(1300 N Noble St, 773-278-2470) was known as a Tiffany-chandeliered hub of the Polish community, doubling as a venue for dramas like Jadwiga, Queen of Poland. Now, it operates only as a church.
NEW Chopin Theatre(1543 W Division St, 773-278-1515), owned by Polish émigre Zygmunt Dyrkacz and his wife, Lela Headd, houses avant-garde international theatrical productions (some of which are Polish).
OLD Pre-gentrification, Wicker Park’s Alliance Bakery(1736 W Division St, 773-278-0366) was the place for still-warm rye bread and sekacz, a layered tea cake. Now, it doles out cakes and espresso and only a few Polish items like kolacky. Sigh.
NEW Jefferson Park’s Delightful Pastries(5927 W Lawrence Ave, 773-545-7215) specializes in paczki and tarts, selling its delicious wares at the Green City Market.
OLD Zakopane(1734 W Division St, 773-486-1559) used to open in the wee hours for the night-shift workers.
NEW Zakopane. What’s old is new again, and this 20-year-old bar (which now opens at 7am) swarms with hipsters and fratties. Beware: The bartender has zero qualms about hitting on your boyfriend right in front of you.