Speaking of eating out on Madison Street, the Historical Society is readying a fun trip to the way-back machine on Sept. 8 when it hosts its first restaurant crawl. Long before Francesca’s and Shanahan’s, before Jimmy’s Place and Skrine Chops, Forest Park was home to a stretch of great spots to meet up with friends, toss back a few and have a darned good meal.

It might not have been fine dining – there wasn’t much of that conceit back in the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s. But often with an ethnic twist and always with a full bar, Forest Park offered Otto’s, Homer’s, Richard’s Tavern, Caesar’s and Olde Town West. These were heady days just before Madison’s rapid decline into third-rate antique stores and naprapaths. Happily the turnaround came fast to the street and restaurants have played a leading role in the resurgence.

So on Sept. 8 diners will visit current-day eateries while learning the storied history of past restaurants, their owners and their specialties. Find out more by calling 708-232-3747.

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