Sally's Original Bar-B-Q

From HistoryWiki

Sally's Original Bar B Q actually started on Ogden Avenue, west of St Louis Avenue on the West Side. In the early sixties they moved to 6345 N. Western Avenue location on the east side of the street just south of Devon Avenue. They opened in a spot that was originally the Town Pump a 40s, 50s nightclub.

The ribs were nicely hickory smoked, and covered with Sally's Alabama Kum-back sauce. The sauce was SO secret that Sally would mix up the spices in her little office, put them in a zip lock bag, and hand them to her brother Harry, who ran the kitchen. When asked, he said even HE did not know what went into the sauce, except for the tomato sauce, vinegar, and molasses. Sadly, the spices went to the grave with Sally. When they were on the West Side they actually bottled and sold the Sauce in the 30s and 40s.

Parking was tight on Western but you could park in the city lot next door for free if you got your ticket validated.

Sally’s eventually closed. Joe Bortz purchased the building and reopened under the name "Sally's Stage" where the waitresses sang and were on roller skates. "Food played second banana at vaudeville-style eatery". The opening date was cited by the Chicago Tribune as being in 1977. The Bortz Brothers ran the restaurant until 1983, when they sold it to Bob Proskin.

The large neon sign (a West Ridge icon for 35 years) was kept, when it became Sally's Stage which offered bad food, roller skating waitresses, and a large pipe organ. They went out about 5 years later when folks got tired of the schtick and bad food.

Sally's Stage, according to a Chicago Tribune article dated April 26, 1985, was still going strong, with the waitresses on skates etc. It closed by the time of a Tribune article in 1993 about Western Avenue.

A second location of Sally's Stage opened in Lombard in 1979. The Lombard location became Blue Suede Shoes in 1983 and was sold in 1986. It is now the home of Whirlyball.

The Western Avenue location is now a large Indian restaurant.