Tina Fey Helps Boost Chicago Resto's Business

Comedian endorses North Side eatery in Web video

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Star comedienne recommends Chicago's Athenian Room, Golden Apple Diner, Muskies in Internet video. (Published Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010)

    Forget about an endorsement from a top food critic, a thumbs up from the likes of Tina Fey may the best business boost a restaurant can receive.

    Just ask Chicago's Athenian Room.

      "I lived on the North Side. You need to go to a place called the Athenian Room on Webster. You need to order the roasted chicken. It's cooked on a spit, it comes on a bed of steak fries and the chicken juice gets into the fries. Unbelievable," Fey says in a web video for her NBC sitcom "30 Rock."

    And ever since the Second City alum endorsed the Webster Avenue restaurant,  business has been booming.

    "The phone has been off the hook.  We've had lines out the door Sunday night and just lots of new customers have been coming in.  And she gave such an accurate description of it from the TV show," said waitress Anastasia D'Amico.

    Owner Alex Poulakis told the Chicago Tribune there were so many unexpected customers outside the restaurant on Sunday that he was afraid he'd run out of chicken.

    Things haven't always been so positive for Poulakis.

    When he opened the spot on Halsted and Webster 38 years ago, the rent was just $45 per month.  Back then, the now-trendy area was saturated with prostitutes and drug dealers.  Poulakis remembers that his restaurant was broken into on a near-weekly basis.

    "I would leave open my register because I didn't want them to hit with a hammer and break it," he said.

    The city ultimately cleaned up the area and the Athenian Room expanded to the bustling restaurant that it is today, enticing the likes of Fey and others.

    The dish endorsed by Fey -- the Kalamata chicken dinner -- will run you $9.50.

    Fey also mentioned the Golden Apple Diner among her Chicago favorites, and a manager at the North Side eatery tells NBCChicago.com that he's also noticed an influx of new customers, specifically ordering the hot veal, hobo skillet and British breakfast that Fey championed in the video.

    And if you want to finish off your Fey's favorites food tour, make your way over to Jimmy John's -- not Potbelly.