Third generation restaurateurs Jimmy and George Bannos were born and raised in the restaurant business. Both sets of grandparents owned restaurants, so it followed that their parents would enter the business. From the time they were boys, the Bannos brothers helped out in their parent's restaurant; bussing tables, washing dishes and greeting regulars.
In 1980, with Jimmy fresh out of cooking school, the Bannos family - Mom, Dad, Jimmy and George - opened its concept of a "neighborhood restaurant in the middle of the loop." On the seventh floor of the Garland Building, the "New Garland Coffee Shop" was born. The Bannos' love of people, along with Jimmy's skill in the kitchen drew the customers in, and got them hooked.
It was in 1984, while experimenting with Louisiana recipes, that Jimmy's real passion and talent for cooking emerged. Soon regular customers were going crazy over his gumbo and red beans, demanding Cajun specials year round.
Feeling a true affinity for the South, something he'd had even as a little boy, Jimmy and wife Annamarie headed for New Orleans to immerse themselves in the culture. What had started as just a diversion from coffee shop fare grew into a true passion for everything Cajun and Creole. In 1985, compelled by a real love for this food, the Bannos family transformed their neighborhood coffee shop into "Heaven on Seven."
Aptly named to identify its seventh floor location, and to describe the heavenly clouds of steam wafting from Jimmy's scrumptious gumbo, "Heaven on Seven" was created with heart and soul. Jimmy's goal was then and is now for "Heaven on Seven" to be the best Louisiana style restaurant outside of New Orleans.
Today a visit to "Heaven on Seven" will transport you right out of Chicago and down to the bayou. Stop in and see Jimmy and George, and join the impassioned throngs who can't get enough of this heavenly food with a devilish kick!.