If this place is really called "Chicken in the Rough" they were part of a chain that was prominent during the middle part of the 20th century (still weird to think in those terms). They had numerous outposts throughout the midwest. There was one here in Skokie just outside Chicago. The building was shaped like their carryout boxes; rectanglular structures with big windows on three sides, and a high peaked roof topped off by a "carrying" handle! As a kid it was great fun just going in to the building.
There were more locations around the other side of Lake Michigan, in the Michigan City, Indiana area. I remember going there when we rented a little cottage near the beach in the mid 60s. The only other remaining location I was aware of up till now was Haab’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan, east of Ann Arbor. Haab’s is atypical of the chain in that it resides in a "downtown" building that is wedged between two other buildings; it does not have the signature carryout box shape.
Our first meal at Haab’s several years ago brought back brilliant childhood memories for me. The chicken is deep fried beautifully and, as was the case forty years ago, is served with honey for dipping. Accompanied by a generous portion of shoestring potatoes, it was true comfort food for me. One added benefit at Haab’s is their late summer Gazpacho. They make it fresh so they only serve it in late summer when local tomatoes are at full ripeness. Haab’s version is more a puree with less emphasis on chunks of vegetables. It is smooth and rich yet very light. Be sure to ask for a jar of Tabasco if you get the Gazpacho; a couple of drops make all the difference in the world.
Back when I was a kid, at the completion of the meal, they would bring out a little metal bucket filled with warm water and lemon slices and a stack of towels to clean your hands. Haab’s still has the metal buckets on the table but, now they’re filled with crayons for the kids. Sadly the lemon water at the end of the meal has given way to the moist towelette.
bethlulu, thanks for reminding me of this wonderful childhood memory.