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Maxwell Street

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Maxwell Street
Real Location: Maxwell Street
Address: Maxwell St, Chicago IL
Status: Location no longer exists
URL: http://www.maxwellstreetdocumentary.com

Description: Although Maxwell St itself still exists, nearly all of the buildings were demolished and rebuilt. The area is nearly unrecognizable from how it appeared in 1980.

The exterior of the Soul Food Cafe was Nate's Deli. The interior was a Universal soundstage.

From Dave Newbart (Chicago Sun-Times):
There was Nate's Deli, Jim's Original and a store known as "Cheat You Fair." Today, there's a Caribou Coffee, Jamba Juice and a sports bar. The intersection of Halsted and Maxwell was once the center of a home-grown street market that thrived for well over a century. It's also where scores of blues greats, from Junior Wells to Howlin' Wolf, and some also-rans, cut their teeth.

But today, you won't hear any blues music there. Nor will you find Nate's Deli, which was forced to close in 1995 after 70 years (including nearly 50 years as Lyon's Deli) when the University of Illinois at Chicago expanded.

Nate's, formerly at 807 W. Maxwell, was backdrop for a scene in "The Blues Brothers" where John Lee Hooker sings a soulful version of "Boom, Boom" smack in the middle of the street. He was backed up by musicians including Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Muddy Waters was supposed to appear but was sick the day of shooting.

The inside of Nate's was loosely replicated on a Hollywood set and used as the location for Aretha Franklin's memorable rendition of "Think." "It was good," owner Nate Duncan, 75, recalls. "We used to have thousands of people there over the weekend. My deli was always so packed you couldn't get in."

Coordinates: 41.86475257926321,-87.64745328851313
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