It’s no secret that Union Station is very close to my heart. That’s why I was delighted to hear that the space in the middle of the Grand Hall, originally the train station’s ticket booth, and more recently Union Cafe, had reopened as Harvey’s at Union Station. The station needs a restaurant like this to complement the more upscale Pierpont’s, a destination unto itself. Harvey’s has one of those menus with something for everyone, at a price that families can afford, and the food is solid.
Mary Carol Garrity of Nell Hill’s decor shop was brought in to revitalize and improve the look of the space and she has succeeded masterfully. She installed black curtains, pushed open, around the exterior walls so that diners can look out across the expanse of the station yet still feel enveloped and cozy. It’s amazing what a difference it makes in defining the boundaries of the restaurant. And the fabric is a black and white print that helps set off the black and white photos dotting the walls. This living history lesson of Union Station through the decades is all the decoration needed to complete the look, and remind diners of the magnificence of where they are sitting.
I recently went to Harvey’s with some friends who love the station as much as I do, and we were all happy to see it experience some stability after years of hard work to get it there. The relocation of the Chamber of Commerce offices required a restaurant of Harvey’s price point, and its employees are keeping it hopping at both breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. (It’s not open for dinner.)
We sampled a hamburger, soft tacos and a Chinese chicken salad. There are also a large number of other entrée salads, sandwiches, a variety of pizzas and fountain classics, a holdover from Harvey House, so you can still get a milkshake or banana split. Nothing revelatory, but that wasn’t the goal here. Union Station finally has a restaurant for parents and kids who want a bite to eat after going to Science City, business types needing a place to meet for breakfast on their way downtown, tourists in search of a meal after touring the station, or temporary exhibit-goers wanting to stick around for lunch. And, at a price that won’t break the bank.
Union Station is one of our city’s prettiest venues. Now it has two restaurants to enhance the visitor experience.