Skip to content

This post originally appeared on our sister site,

Motorcycle in front of Nick's Tavern in Lemont at Night. Photo by Katie Pawl / KJP Photography
Photo by Katie Pawl / KJP Photography

We always say that Nick’s Tavern is synonymous with Lemont. When you walk down Main Street for the first time and see “Established 1945” on the Nick’s sign, you know you’re walking into something historic. And, for one business to last over 75 years (77 if you do the math), they have to be a part of the community.

Photo of Don and host from Chicago's Best

Enter Don Quaid, one of the nicest men you will ever meet. Don purchased the restaurant in 2009, becoming the third owner in the history of the establishment (along with his son Don Quaid III and business partner Al Murawski). Nick and Vera Pappas started Nicks, then sold the restaurant to their daughter and son-in-law.

When Don purchased the bar, he wanted to make sure that patrons were coming to the same bar they had previously fell in love with. You can still see the old-fashioned cash register, you can still get a beer from the Bevador cooler, and most importantly of all, you can still get a Nickburger.

“Being local means helping the other businesses and people of Lemont,” stated Don.  “That’s one of the reasons I joined (and now a director of) the Lemont Lions Club.  All money collected by the Lions STAYS in Lemont.  All the small businesses in Lemont need all the help they can get.  That’s why I post other businesses on Nick’s Tavern’s Facebook page.  We are all in this together.”

Not only are you getting a great taste with the tried-and-true recipe of the Nickburger being cooked on a historically-seasoned grill, you are also getting a great taste with fresh ingredients from local vendors as well. Drive by and you might see a truck from Joliet’s Milano Bakery unloading. Sullivan Provisions supplies the fresh, never frozen meat from the famous Chicago Stockyards.

Picture of a Nickburger from Nick's Tavern

You can get the Nickburger in its famous 1-pound glory or the “Little Nick” 8 ouncer. The Tavern also serves Patty Melts, Italian Beefs, Hot Dogs, Grilled Chicken and more.

Picture of Italian Beef and NickBurger from Nick's Tavern in Lemont, IL.

Beyond buying local, Don is one of the biggest supporters of anything local. You can just tell by following Nick’s Tavern on Facebook. He will share, comment, and further help promote events, businesses, and charity organizations on his page. He’s been a huge supporter of the Lemont Chamber/Heritage Corridor Business Alliance and we couldn’t thank him enough.

Although we could pour more and more praise on Don and Nick’s Tavern, let’s talk about some of the accolades they have received:
-     Delicious Destination Award from the Illinois Office of Tourism 2015
-     Featured on Chicago’s Best 2011
-     Best Burger along the Illinois & Michigan Canal from the Heritage Corridor Business Alliance 2017
-     Business of the Year – Best of Lemont 2019’t matter if you’re a Cubs or Sox fan, you’ll be treated the same. Even if (gasp) you’re a Tigers fan like yours truly. That’s one of the great things about Nick’s – everyone is treated the same. That’s by Don, as well as some of the best wait staff around and both locals and visitors alike partaking of a tasty adult beverage or a Diet Coke. You naturally will sit down with a smile on your face and, most likely, you will leave with a full belly. Especially if you break the record for most Nickburgers in a sitting – SIX.

Ask anyone you come across in Lemont where the best burger is, and they’ll point you to 221 Main Street. It’s that little tavern that has stood the test of time since 1945, Nick’s Tavern. Go in, be treated like a local. It’s why you’ll fall in love with Lemont.

Find out more about Nick’s Tavern by visiting Photos from Nick’s Tavern’s Facebook Page and Web Site. Motorcycle photo from Nick’s Tavern FB page, taken by Katie Pawl (KJP Photography)

Picture of Nick's Tavern Outside Sign
Scroll To Top