“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

One Last Thought on Limehouse – in Chicago

Posted: November 18th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

I commented the other day that the 1934 film Limehouse Blues with George Raft, Anna May Wong etc was changed to East End Chant when shown in America. I suggested that this might have been because American audiences weren’t familiar with Limehouse. Possibly, but not in Chicago it seems. Here’s a menu and flier for the Limehouse Chinese Restaurant on Howard Street.

Howard Street was quite the place – home of the Howard Theatre at 1621 from 1917, one of the largest and most ornate theatres in Chicago, and very close to the Limehouse – as were the Club Silhouette and Club Detour. The Birchwood Beach Country Club was at 1426, built around the turn of the century near some pretty smart condo buildings. So, Chicago at least, knew Limehouse. I like to think the owner was some entrepreneurial Chinese Cockney who’d jumped ship to Chicago, but I’ve no idea.

limehouse USA restaurant

limehouse USA menu

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2 Comments on “One Last Thought on Limehouse – in Chicago”

  1. 1 Carol Ross said at 12:29 am on November 5th, 2018:

    A recent conversation with my stepfather, who is 103 years old, led me to this blog post. My stepfather came to the US from China when he was 12 years old. He was brought over by his uncle who owned a restaurant in Chicago, and as my stepfather told me, it was what got them through the Depression. When I asked him the name of the restaurant, he replied, “The Limehouse, on Howard Street.” When I asked him the exact address, he said, “1561 Howard.” I would love to connect the two of you.

  2. 2 Chandler Joe said at 11:47 pm on May 15th, 2020:

    My Father is Benjamin Joe who co-owned the Limehouse on Howard street. He came over to the US from China in 1917.

    Carol, what is the name of your stepfather?


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