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We at Bishop's chili feel that the best way to start your visit is to give you a little background information on ourselves. So, here it is THE REAL HISTORY OF BISHOP'S CHILI as told by the 4th generation granddaughter (I wouldn't suggest arguing with her about this one).

Back in 1925, when Mary Bishop began her career as a chili cook, her bosses at Ole's Chili didn't agree withchanging of their recipe and they fired her. Having no other way to support herself, Mrs. Bishop (Bishop was her 4th husbands name) moved down the block from her prior place of employment, to 18th and Damen Streets on Chicago's west side, and opened her namesake restaurant, Bishop's Chili. (We're not quite sure where the famous part came in, but since she was a four time widow, no one was very quick to ask questions or offer criticism). Apparently, the famous part was a good omen, as her business took off, her son George Koritzke joined her, and together they formed a "Chili Dynasty". (Well, "Dynasty" may be a bit strong, but its my family story to tell and I can take liberties). Sadly, (but truly) Mary Bishop passed away and (hopefully) went to family owned restaurant heaven, where she has reliable, trustworthy and loyal employees, for eternity.

Her son George, was a shrewd business man and saw the opportunities available in the western suburbs of Chicago, namely Forest Park, IL and opened the second Bishop's Chili in 1950. (Alright, maybe it was sheer laziness that brought him to the second location, since he lived in the area and didn't want to commute). George Koritzke and his wife Helen were smart enough to have two daughters, Aileen and Patricia, and the daughters were smart enough to mary two men, Joe and Jerry, who wanted to take over Bishop's Chili legacy.

They worked together to open the 3rd Bishop's Chili in Westmont, IL in 1973. Unfortunately, the family owned restaurant business is not immune to change. The Forest Park store relocated to N. Riverside in 1998 and just recently, March 2003, decided to hang up their chili ladle and retire.

Now dry your tears. The Bishop's Chili in Westmont is still cooking up a storm. I hope to be here for many more years, with many more stories of chili and tradition. I sincerely thank you, our loyal customers, who have followed Bishop's in an almost "cult-like" fashion for almost 80 years. Without you, none of this would be possible. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Mary Ellen Hope
Great Granddaughter of Grandma Bishop

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Bishop's Famous Chili • 250 N. Cass Avenue • Westmont, IL 60559
Phone: 630.852.5974 • Email: info@bishopschili.com

 
 
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