Owner of oldest restaurant in Chicago celebrates 91st birthday

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - An estimated 60 percent of restaurants go out of business within the first three years.

That didn’t happen at Schaller’s pump.

But if it had, they’d have gone under sometime before 1884.

Opened in 1881, it’s the oldest restaurant in Chicago. And today, its legendary owner turns 91 years old.

Jack Schaller took over the family owned tavern in 1966,  forever securing himself a spot in the illustrious legacy of classic Chicago restaurants.

Good luck getting Jack Schaller to brag about himself or his restaurant’s 135-year old history in Chicago,
He is a man of – to say the least – few words.

But on this his 91st birthday, both he and Schaller’s Pump deserve for someone to sing their praises.

Kim Schaller is the joint’s manager and Jack’s daughter.

When she’s not working her way around the tavern, she’s a great person to reminisce with about its history – from being the go-to place for the White Sox’s 2005 World Series run, to a must-stop location for Richard Daley,  to even some rumored stories tying the place to the prohibition.

But for Jack himself, it comes down to one thing – the one thing that really gets him talking.

Family – it’s the one thing that’s remained constant at Schaller’s Pump. Because you don’t last in this city for 135 years without someone around who has your back.

That, and a place to call home.

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