Alex DeMilio began it all in 1939. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, Alex teamed up with a charming restaurateur, nicknamed Blackie, and together they attracted a clientele ranging from Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey to the Harlem Globe Trotters and Rocky Marciano to the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges. Alex stayed on until the late 1970’s when his grandson, Jeffrey Thomas, became involved and responsible for introducing the rehabbed Blackie’s to the South Loop/Printers Row.