Established in 1945 by Paul Contos, this legendary Chicago continental restaurant became famous under Paul's son, Bill. When it was open this was the oldest French restaurant in Chicago,  and only exceeded in prestige by Le Francais (which also just recently closed).
Bill Contos died in April 1993 and though the restaurant was struggling, his wife, Regina kept it open for a few more years, long enough to see its 50th anniversary.
Paul Contos opened Chez Paul at Delaware Avenue off Michigan Avenue but moved it into the McCormick mansion in 1964 after refurbishing the building. The steps and pillars are marble, as is the mantel in the Louis Room, which was presented to McCormick when he was Ambassador to Italy by Victor Emannuel III, King of Italy.
A replica of the restaurant's interior was used for a scene in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Bill Contos said of the replica, "It was either that or ship the McCormick mansion to the West Coast, and this just seemed easier."
A similar set was used in the 1985 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- Pacyga, Dominic A.; Skerrett, Ellen (1986). Chicago, City of Neighborhoods: Histories & Tours. Loyola University Press. pp. p. 43. ISBN 0-8294-0497-X.
- "Legendary Chicago restaurant closes". chowhound.com. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- "William Contos Obituary". News Library.com. 1993-04-28. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Maggie Daly. "Rosalynn will skip Carter's visit here". Chicago Tribune. October 12, 1979. D6.
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