August Thode, early Village of Harlem pioneer, emigrated from Germany in 1868 when he was 14 years old. After working as a farmer, he became a bricklayer after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and remained in the trade for just over a decade.
In 1883 he opened his first restaurant and saloon at Desplaines Avenue and Randolph Street (formerly Sterling Street), and after only two years he built a new home for his business at Madison Street and Desplaines Avenue.
Thode’s restaurant was “the largest of its kind,” according to a 1906 guide to Harlem, and it was likely accommodating large funeral parties.
Thode was a village trustee, vice president of Forest Park State Bank (with Albert Roos as president), and a member of fraternal and benevolent societies. He is buried with his wife and children in the Druid section of Forest Home Cemetery.