Friday, August 29, 2014

IGNATZ & MARY'S GROVE INN - Ignatz and Mary Lafnitzegger


  1. I ate there several times in the 1970's. Fantastic food and service. Maybe I am just getting old and tired of all the chain restaurants but the Grove Inn oozed an atmosphere of style and grace. Even back then you felt all the history this place had experienced. Ignatz and Mary were truly proud of their business and they poured their hearts & souls into making your stop there a very memorable one.

    As for the lost of their son, Pvt. Joseph I. Lafnitzegger, in WWII.... Godspeed to this national hero. This must have weighed heavily on them both till they passed away and were re-united with him.

    As you have said before, a grave maker tells so little about what one accomplished, saw, experiences, suffered through and gave in life. I have seen private mausoleum buildings that housed the remains of mafia crooks to an unmarked grave that belonged to a national hero. You just never know.

  2. Worked there in the late 70s as a bus boy. Real old school. Great pickled red cabbage

  3. Great to see history of I & M Grove Inn in print. Good memories. Thanks for your hard work. Some corrections are needed though. First, Joseph I. Lafnitzegger was killed in action in Luzon. However, he is buried at the US Military Cemetery in Manila and not with his mother. His pic is on gravestone is for a memorial. Second, 1950's photo was actually taken after the last addition in 1962. Lastly, family never considered keeping restaurant on corner lot. Sale of full 5 acre parcel was best and only economic option for Ignatz & Mary.

  4. Amazing fine dining family restaurant serving Chicago' North Shore and Northwest Suburban patrons for over 40 years. Located between Lake Michigan and Arlington Park Race Track the Grove Inn hosted politicians, celebrities, sports & horse racing fans and thousands of guests serving Austrian/German and American cuisine. Superb steaks, roasts, chops & many European speciality dishes were the reasons for guests to return. Ignatz & Mary were local Chicago suburban restaurant heroes in my world, providing their guests with personalized customer service, entertainment, and the finest dining experience along famous Rt. 21 / Milwaukee Ave.

    Late 1970's Rt. 21 Milwaukee Ave. / Euclid/Lake Avenue intersection reconstruction took a toll on business for 2 years while newer, fast casual restaurant chains grabbed the Chicago spotlight in suburban Glenview, Northbrook, and Wheeling.

    The quality of Ignatz & Mary's meats and entrees were unmatched by local North Shore suburban restaurants and the newer nationwide casual dining chains. During the best of times Ignatz & Mary's guests were more than willing to wait over an hour for their favorite tables.

    Thanks for a great memory of the Chicago suburbs' finest restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue.

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  6. My dad, Leonard Noesen, was Ignatz's right hand man for heating, air conditioning, and general repairs and construction. Many a day, we would have the car packed for a picnic when the phone would ring, and Ignatz would say, "Is your Father there, I'm in a mess!" Naturally, Ignatz came before a family outing. My dad always took Mom and their 7 children to the Grove Inn for the Schlachfest and wild game dinners. When weddings used to be an all day celebration, when 2 of my sisters were married, the breakfast after the morning wedding ceremony was held at the Grove Inn! The evening celebration was held at a much larger venue. I have been trying to find fried chicken equal to Mary's, but none is to be found across all of America.