Poro Tea Room

4415 South Parkway*

Where the wealthier class of colored people dine and lunch.  Very elegant and refined and located on the first floor of the Poro Beauty College, founded many years ago by Annie M. Malone, said to be one of the richest colored women in the country.  This college occupies the imposing gray stone mansion in South Parkway built by the late John R. Thompson, who established the chain of one-arm restaurants.**  The food is of the best quality and the menu contains a few Southern specialties.  Miss MacMurray is hostess.  This tea room is patronized frequently for afternoon tea by groups of sightseeing students from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.  Open for luncheon, afternoon tea and dinner.

* South Parkway was re-named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in 1969.

** According to the blog Restaurant-ing through history, one-arm restaurants were where people sat in chairs that had a little table area coming from the right arm, similar to school desks. It should be noted John R. Thompson just built the building which held the Poro Tea Room. According to Restaurant-ing through history, Thompson’s chain was notorious for refusing to serve black people.

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