I seem to get into ruts when I write here on Chicago.Metblogs. Now it’s pizza.

My dad came by earlier tonight. He’s in a nostalgic mood, as this weekend was the 50th reunion for his class from John Marshall High School. With that in mind, he half-kiddingly suggested we should go have dinner at Barnaby’s, one of the few restaurants in this slice of the suburbs that survives from my youth. Seemed like a reasonable choice to me — IMHO, they make the best thin-crust pizza in the area, still.

Imagine our shock and awe when we arrived at 5:10 PM to find the place was SRO. Not a table to be found, and it wasn’t all because of the couple of kiddie birthday parties in progress. I’ve been in there a few times in the last few years, but dad hadn’t stopped by in over 20 years. He remembered the grungy menu board that was displayed behind the counter, with a very minimal choice of pizza, pasta, or burgers. None of this grilled pork chop sandwich silliness back then.

As nostalgia goes, Barnaby’s does well. The interior and setup is fairly unchanged since I was in diapers — it’s still one of the few places I’ve ever seen where you have to order and pay for beverages separately. Still, they have tablecloths now…sigh. I guess that’s a nod to modern suburbia.

I believe there are still several Barnaby’s scattered around Chicago. Tonight’s trip to the Northbrook location defintely scored several points in the memory lane department, for both father and son.

5 Comments so far

  1. Eric (unregistered) on November 8th, 2004 @ 9:14 am

    I used to go to Barnaby’s in Northbook all the time. Your post totally brought me back – the dark interior, the wonderful thin-crust pizza… time for a road trip back out there.

  2. Kathy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2004 @ 12:20 pm

    ohhh, Barnaby’s! My grandparents used to take my brother and me there every weekend. I also remember that they’d make the pizza heart shaped near Valentine’s Day and shamrock shaped near St. Patrick’s Day.

  3. Joe (unregistered) on November 9th, 2004 @ 12:36 pm

    The Barnaby’s I grew up going to (with scouts, family, etc.) was right on Howard St. in Rogers Park (technically Evanston). It closed a few years back, before I had the chance to go in there and see if my and my friends names were still carved in our favorite table. Now it is a Jewish community center of some kind. I feel so old.

  4. mark (unregistered) on May 16th, 2005 @ 2:40 pm

    Grew up with, and still go to the Barnaby’s in Niles. My parents used to take me there, and now I take my kids there.

    Best thin crust pizza ever.

  5. RSMBob (unregistered) on August 30th, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

    I grew up on pizza at the Barnaby’s on Ogden Ave in Downers Grove (that and Shakey’s down the street). SOmeone tell me if the remaining Barnaby’s have 2 key things…the area where you can watch the pizzas being made, and of course, the light up sign at each table telling you your pizza is ready to be picked up. Good pizza and fond memories!

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