- Information About Ken’s Diner
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Information About Ken’s Diner
3353 Dempster St. , Skokie, Illinois , 60076
- Restaurant Menu
Succah On Succot
Nine Days Menu
Open For Pesach
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About Ken’s Diner
Ken’s Diner has become a landmark in Chicago over the past 30 years. In 1976 owner Ken Hechtman first found himself coming to 3353 W. Dempster Street in Skokie, Illinois. Once called Kosher City, Ken’s Diner is now the most popular Kosher-eating establishment in the World. This grocery, deli and sandwich shop was the first of its type on the North Shore of Chicago. Ken did not have a fluent understanding of Kosher when he began, but felt that it was by far an underdeveloped industry for such a large Jewish marketplace.
Inspired by a little deli in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin called the “Pop or Shop” Ken had the idea of creating a 50’s diner and grill for the Jewish community. As a child, Ken use to frequent the Pop or Shop and sit for hours playing music on the jukebox while downing French fries and milk shakes.This was something that they never had and might never have if he didn’t become proactive and taken a huge chance.
The owner recalls about when he first opened, “I had very little money back then and had to build the diner in sections”. As shelving units from the grocery store came down, new red and white-checkered tiles went on the floor, landscaping the future of Ken’s Diner. As more money became available, four new tables were bought. Finally a new kitchen was built and the fifties music rang, while the first “Burger Buddy” made its magnificent debut. By this point, Ken had been at this location ten years and worked seventy plus hours a week to keep the diner open.
Onto the food: The famous burger served with curly fries, always on the menu for good reason, again and again gets a five star rating. All the burgers are nice and juicy. Other great menu items include popcorn chicken which are homemade hand dipped white meat chicken, crispy brown fried, served with tangy dipping sauce, and the Bay-Ken Burger; a burger with all the toppings including crispy frye and sauteed mushrooms. Travelers and locals alike agree that Ken hits the mark with his restaurant.
Ken attributes part of his success in the loyalty of his customers. Some of the clientele that came to the restaurant as teens are still coming well into their 40’s and 50’s with their kids.