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Mar 22, 2006 03:39 AM

Claim Company

  • t

One of my all-time favorite restaurants, the Claim Company, left its former locations that I knew of in Chicago and the suburbs. Does anyone know if it's still around anywhere? Has it ever reopened under another name in other locations? The food, service, and especially the salad bar are missed a great deal here. Thanks.

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  1. I believe they are all gone. The original in Northbrook Court was a favorite of mine as well. I still miss it. The Motherlode burger, great cottage fries, and as you point out, great salad bar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jj

      The original was not in Northbrook Ct, it was in Lincoln Park, on Clark, and it was my very favorite restaurant growing up.

      1. re: sake

        The original was in Chicago, you are correct.

        Also, the owners, Errant Enterprises, opened Timbers in Highland Park many years ago, which is seafood based and still around. I have not eaten there recently, but recall it being good.

    2. d
      dashboard diner

      I've been waiting to try FortyOne North.
      The menu on their website lists 8 0z burger,
      bunch of bread choices, bunch of topping
      choices and "41 housemade chips" which I'm
      hoping are the same cut as at R.J. Grunts.
      The topping choices remind me of Claim
      Company, but that was only a million years
      ago. Don't remember any posts on 41 here
      or at the other Chicago site.

      41 North
      445 Skokie Blvd.
      Northbrook, Illinois

      2 Replies
      1. re: dashboard diner

        41 North is good, but not as good as Claim Company. It was formerly Friedman's (and had some connection to the Myron & Phil's crew, I believe). The menu is varied, and everything is good, but not amazing.

        1. re: jj

          41 North was started by the old manager of the Northbrook Claim Company. That's why there are some similarities. I give it a 'close but no cigar'. There's no Claim sauce!

      2. We used to love the Oak Brook one (in the space now occupied by Wildfire). They had excellent mozzarella sticks (in a wrapper that was almost eggroll-like) and, of course, the motherlode and salad bar! It was a shame when they closed their doors.

        1. Thanks so much for your responses regarding the Claim Company. I'm sorry to read that (those of you responding) believe it's gone. I really miss that place - enjoyed it so much, as did everyone I took there. What restaurants have any of you visited in recent times that are comparable (especially with salad bar creations and atmosphere)? Thanks again for your responses.

          1. I'm a former employee...

            Claim sauce was very ketchup-y with some orange juice. Mozzarella sticks were wrapped in won ton skins. Honest.

            Errant Enterprises once ran a family of restaurants that included the original Clark Street Claim Company at Clark and Belden (closed in the mid '80s), the Northbrook and Oakbrook Claim Companies, Gentleman Jim's (anybody remember that one?), Timbers CharHouse, Zarrosta's (two of these, both long gone) and America's Kitchen which opened in late 1988 in the 600 N. Michigan Ave. building. That place eventually became a Claim Company as a last gasp.

            41 North is owned by two former Errant employees, one manages the front of house and one the kitchen, hence the menu similarities.

            Jim Errant was (I think) an early partner (or maybe just a manager) of Rich Melman and took the salad bar concept from him. Melman was an occasional customer when America's Kitchen opened as he was opening Tucci Bennuch on the floor below at the same time.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Diannie


              Do you happen to know the recipe for Stagecoach Chicken? It was super yummy and I miss it a ton. They had it "off the menu" a few times in 41 North's early days, but that was a long long time ago.



              1. re: Diannie


                Since you are a former Claim Company employee with some detailed knowledge, perhaps you know something about a story I once heard.

                There was a restaurant called the Copper Kettle in the Vernon Hills area, which has since closed. Someone I once met claimed Copper Kettles menu and style was borrowed heavily by people who later opened 41 North. I never once stepped foot into the Copper Kettle to know if there any truth to it. I know 41 North borrowed heavily from Claim Company, do you know anything about the Copper Kettle?

                I always had the Motherlode at Claim as well as at 41 North. I wonder if I can get Stagecoach chicken today ... though I have no clue what it consists of.

                From an old 1970's Chicago restaurant guide and cookbood, there is a recipe of the Claim Company's signature sauce. It makes well over a gallon!


                1. re: Cathy2

                  The Copper Kettle was a former Errant manager at Claim Company, Timbers and Zarrosta. He is also with the 41 North now.

                  The Stagecoach Chicken is dipped and marinated in ranch dressing, breaded with bread crumbs, pan broiled in lemon, butter and white wine and topped with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese.

                  I was with Claim Company for nine years, first as a server/bartender at Northbrook, then a manager at Northbrook and 900 N. Michigan.

                  41 North is defintely owned and run by former Errant managers.