Located at 4400 Golf Road in Skokie, Il you’ll find The Charcoal Oven Restaurant. Back in the twenties it was known as the Oasis Little Club and was operated by a woman named Celina Tulley. She ran this “off the beaten path” roadhouse/speakeasy until she sold it to Eddie “Dutch” Vogel, a contemporary of Al Capone in 1932. Eddie Vogel outfitted Chicago and the suburbs with “one-armed bandits” and used the Little Club as his safe-house and private club. When “Dutch” thought he would retire, he sold it to Phillip Georgouses in1949. Phill, attended Northwestern and socialized at the popular Northwestern hangout, The Little Club, before he went off to WWII. Phill was in the first wave of the D-Day Invasion at Omaha Beach, The Battle of The Bulge, and the Liberation of Paris. When Phill returned, the Northwestern University favorite since the twenties would be renamed The Charcoal Oven Restaurant. Phill transformed it into a true Supper Club. By the 1950s, a kitchen would be added to cook up the Charcoal’s new regime of dining fare – fresh fish, Prime Steaks, Greek chicken, and lamb chops served on white linen tablecloths with real silver. Today, many of the regulars still order off the menu, and sometimes call the night before to say, “You know, tomorrow night I’m going to feel like having a roast duck.”
This 65-year-old gem (longest continuously run restaurant in Skokie, IL.) The Charcoal Oven is worth visiting, not just for it’s great food, but for a nostalgic taste of what restaurants used to be. The Charcoal Oven is 100 percent authentic. The original retro neon sign out front, dining room, and vintage bar all harken back to an era of supper clubs, classic American food, and big powerful automobiles. Phillip Georgouses passed away on December 25, 2010 at 87 years of age.
Today the Charcoal Oven enjoys a resurgence under the direction of Phill’s daughter Maria and her husband Rich. Under Maria & Rich, the Restaurant has been carefully restored to be the original north shore supper club that Phill had originally envisioned.