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Our History: Blue Plate’s Timeline


Culinary Culture

We’re celebrating a huge milestone as we mark our 40th Anniversary, so we wanted to share more about our rich history and timeline to commemorate these last four decades.


1980s graphic
The 80’s

  • 1983 – First order taken August 23rd
  • 1983 – The first facility was the 2nd floor of a coach house in Chicago’s Wrigleyville
  • 1985 – Hired the “on-strike” well-trained and personable flight attendants from Pan Am Airlines to provide top-notch service 
  • 1987 – Moved into first official facility on Clark Street in Wrigleyville
  • 1988 – Full house at the Blue Plate Deli on 8/8/88 for the first night game of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley


1990s graphic

The 90’s

  • 1992 – Became a preferred caterer at Chicago Historical Society
  • 1994 – Moved to 1061 W. Van Buren doubling our facility
  • 1995 – Selected as the exclusive provider for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra including Rhapsody Restaurant
  • 1996 – Awarded the foodservice contract for the new Museum of Contemporary Art
  • 1998 – Museum Campus Opening Gala – 2500 guests
  • 1999 – Catered PGA Tournament at Medinah Country Club


2000s graphic

The 2000’s

  • 2001 – Blue Plate/Mainstay Hospitality Awarded food service contract for Millennium Park
  • 2003 – Park Grill at Millennium Park opened
  • 2006 – Allstate Insurance celebrated their 75th Anniversary in Millennium Park with 2500 guests and a private concert by Elton John 
  • 2007 – BluPrint restaurant opened at the Merchandise Mart
  • 2008 – Catered the 2016 Olympic Bid fundraiser at Millennium Park for 3000 guests
  • 2009-  Took over management and exclusive catering services at River East Art Center


2010s graphic

The 2010’s

  • 2010 – Blue Plate becomes the first Chicago caterer to be recognized as the Certified Green Caterer by the Green Restaurant Association
  • 2012 – Rhapsody rebranded as Tesori in Symphony Center
  • 2012 – Blue Plate opens/operates a special event venue at the Museum of Broadcast Communications
  • 2014 – Blue Plate selected by Choose Chicago to cater the opening reception for the IPW Opening Reception for 7000 guests at Cinespace Chicago
  • 2016 – Blue Plate moves into its new facility at Fulton and Ogden
  • 2017 – Blue Plate is awarded the exclusive food service contract for LinkedIn’s Chicago office
  • 2018 – Blue Plate is awarded the exclusive food service contract for McDonald’s new headquarters in the West Loop
  • 2019 – Blue Plate is selected as a preferred catered at the newly renovated Old Post Office


2020s graphic

The 2020’s

  • 2020-21 – Many companies, especially in the hospitality industry, are faced with difficulties because of the pandemic
  • 2022 – Business comes roaring back
  • 2023 – Blue Plate celebrates 40th Anniversary