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Aug 17, 2004 02:03 PM

Bats (old Chicago restaurant)

  • s

Does anyone remember an old Chicago Restaurant called Bats? It was located around Michigan and 22nd
Near Cermack, about a mile and half from the Loop.
I remember it was a fancy sit down deli with really good soup. Me and my brother went there with our grandparents in the late 70's. Also it was the location of the infamous opening of Al Capones vault.

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  1. I think it was called Mama Batt's. I remember it as a coffee shop-ish place that had a shuttle bus to White Sox games. My father and another father-son combo used to make a once-a-year White Sox outing that always included dinner at Mama Batt's. Which was fine for a 14 year old (all hamburgers = good chow at 14). Maybe once upon a time it was something on a grander scale.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Steve C

      I have very fond memories of Batt's, especially the cheese blintzes; I'm pretty sure of the 2 t's, but I don't think "Mama" was in the name. The building that housed it was, by the time I knew it, called the New Michigan Hotel. It was something of a flop house, and deteriorated from that after Batt's closed. It was built for visitors to the Columbian Exhibition in 1893 and was originally called the Lenox Hotel; it was still called that when it was Capone's headquarters.

      1. re: Jane

        It was definitely called Mama Batt's. I would go there with my grandparents in the late 60's/early 70's (I was born in '63) and I would always get the cheese blintzes. My grandfather would always ask that we be served by the same waitress, "Cassie".

        1. re: Jim Taggert

          I know it's weird, but my memory is that it was called Batt's Mama Restaurant. Could this possibly be right?

          1. re: Akatonbo

            No, it was definitely Mama Batts. My dad had a mattress factory around the corner, and those two pieces of property were the only ones not owned by the Donnelly Company for a long time. They finally bought out my dad and he moved the business, but I have fond childhood memories of visiting dad at the factory and being taken to Mama Batts for lunch.

      2. re: Steve C

        Mama Batt's Restaurant and Lounge was the complete name of the restaurant founded by my grandmother and grandfather back in 1921. It was never a "grand" restaurant as my grandfather always believed that you have to cater to the "masses and not the classes."
        The restaurant was known for its shuttle busses to White Sox Park and McCormick Place. On a typical day, during a show at McCormick Place, the restaurant would serve around 500-1000 people for lunch as the food at the convention hall was not that great. As for the food at the restaurant, everything was home made and I don't ever recall anyone complaining about anything. It was one of the few restaurants where the customer was truly the king.

        1. re: Harry Batt

          This was a great restaurant...My Dad worked there are many years. Wish I could find a photo of the place.

          1. re: Harry Batt

            My father had a store about a block away that had belonged to his father before .My Mom and I used to meet him at Batts for lunch regularly.

            1. re: Harry Batt

              Hi Harry,

              I remember your grandfather. They called him "old man" Batts. My dad worked for him later working for his sons Nate and Bob. Nate helped my parents with the down payment on their first house. Harry, do you have a photo of the restaurant? If so can you post.


              1. re: jonesbev

                Sorry, I think the brother's name was Sam...Nate and Sam Batts. My dad worked there for almost 30 years. One of the other guys that worked there started their on Barbecue Restaurant after leaving Batts. The barbecue restaurant is still open, however the owner has passed and his grandkids now operate the restaurant.

              2. re: Harry Batt

                Hi Harry....I think I remember the phone number for Batts....Victory 29449...that is funny.....

                1. re: jonesbev

                  The Phone number was VI 2-7222, 112 East Cermak Road.

            2. No, it was definitely Mama Batt's. My father had a mattress factory about two blocks away. The factory and Mama Batts were the only two pieces of property not owned by the Donnelly Company when I was a kid. I have fond memories of visiting dad at the factory and being taken to Mama Batt's for lunch -- a special treat!

              1 Reply
              1. re: sdritz

                My family owned Donnellys.

              2. Try the website called Forgotten Chicago (big message board for queries around "does anyone remember").