Posted July 15, 2009 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized


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  1. I remember the Ivanhoe, especially the Catacombs. My mom was the first bar waitress hired. I believed the first three hired included a blond, redhead and brunette. My mom was the brunette. I have the photos of my mom at the club in her wild outfits and a few other things from this club. I remember this place and how scared I was as a little girl going into the Catacombs via the scary, dark tunnel. I cried every time my mom made me walk this path.

  2. The Ivanhoe Restaurant was the highlight of the evening on my first date. Ah, and the tour in the Catacombs…

  3. i worked at the ivanhoe in 1948 , so did my brother, we were busboys..

  4. My mom worked there when I was a little girl (30s & 40s). I loved the catacombs.

  5. My husband and I would come on special dates to the Ivanhoe in the early 50’s. We especially liked the Catacombs and also the bar where the bartender was a magician and did magic tricks. Always a wonderful evening spent.

  6. Ivanhoe was so fun in the 70s I remember taking a Clark street bus to see BB king for 5bucks like every other weekend! What fun!

  7. Dad, born in 1911, took me to the Ivanhoe on my 21st birthday (1951) to get me drunk. We ran out of money and went home sober, Dad told me his uncle was Head Chef at the Ivanhoe and it always was the place for my parents “date night”. Excellent food, small band and a dance floor. Real entry to the catacombs was by a rickety elevator and the path to the Piano Bar was tended by pre-Disney scary characters. I recall the Ivanhoe had seven bars including the Piano Bar like Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans French Quarter.

    Thanks, Richard, yours is the kind of comment I always welcome on the site.
    John Chuckman

  8. As I recall from the mid 1950s, the entrance to the restaurant was through a faux elevator that took you “down” to the catacombs. It may be old memory embellishment, but I think the floor vibrated and the “counterweight” clacked upwards visibly through the elevator car vents while you “descended.” The wall torches, skeletons, and air blast tricks were the gauntlet you had to run to get in.

  9. I went there in the late fifties. I would take customers of the companies we dealt with to wine & dine them..I was a Field Service Technician for a lift truck company at the time. I remember most of all that I have read here & will add two. One of the bars was tended by a Magician & there was a waitress who would wipe off the table & drag her damp cloth over a bald mans head. I am not sure of this but I believe there was a stream that ran partially around the building that had trout in it & they would net a trout you picked out & prepare it for you.


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