Geja’s Cafe Celebrates 48 Years

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Geja’s Café, 340 W. Armitage, the legendary fondue and lovers’ landmark, will celebrate its 48th anniversary with a series of special events the week of Sunday, June 30th through Thursday, July 4th. In addition to offering its traditional anniversary discount of 48% off all food bills during the 5-day Anniversary Celebration, Geja’s will also host its fourth annual recipe contest and third annual poetry challenge.

This year, Geja’s will honor its 48th year with poetry by inviting its devoted diners to compose original poetry about the Geja’s and what it has meant to them over the years. Poetry submissions will be accepted between Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 23rd. The poetry may be posted on Geja’s Café’s Facebook page. Geja’s team will then select from the top three poems and announce the winners just prior to the anniversary kick off week. The first place prize will include a dinner for 6 with premium wines selected by Geja’s Café’s Sommelier, Michael Roberts.

Geja’s also invites all aspiring fondue foodies to submit an original dipping sauce recipe to accompany Geja’s meats and seafood entrée. To enter, contestants should send their recipe and explain why the sauce should be served on Geja’s Café’s entrée platter. The winning recipe, in addition to being featured at Geja’s during the anniversary week, will also win a dinner for 6 with selected fine wines. Recipes must be submitted between Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 23rd to be considered. Both recipes and poetry entries should be submitted to Jefflawler@gejascafe.com. In the subject line please put Recipe or Poetry Contest.

Geja’s has been the site of 132,750 first dates and 16,124 engagements and diners have enjoyed over 306 tons of cheese fondue and over 917,500 bottles of wine over its forty-eight year existence. John Davis founded Geja’s Café in 1965 on Wells Street in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. For six years, Geja’s operated in that location, serving as a Bohemian enclave for artists and writers. In 1969, Davis began the Geja’s Wine Society, one of the nation’s oldest tasting groups, and the restaurant began to be known as Chicago’s first “wine bar.” In need of additional seating, Davis relocated Geja’s to its current Armitage Avenue location in 1971, where the restaurant continues to thrive. The original 1965 bar and many of the fixtures are still a part of Geja’s charming atmosphere. Today, Geja’s Cafe continues to be voted “Chicago’s Most Romantic Restaurant” by numerous local and national publications. In 1993, CNN featured Geja’s as the “Best Fondue Dining” in North America. In 2008, Food Network Channel featured Geja’s as the Ultimate Romantic Dipping Place in North America and in 2010 Geja’s was named one of America’s 50 Most Romantic Restaurants by OpenTable.

Known for romantic fondue dining – food one prepares and shares – and an extensive list of fine, moderately priced wines, Geja’s Café features over 20 different types of fondue entrees including cheese fondue and chocolate dessert fondue. An enchanting wine cellar atmosphere, private booths, and subdued lighting contribute to its intimate surroundings.  Live flamenco and classical guitarists provide romantic accompaniment.

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