Eat Here, Die in the Alley

1970s Building Ontario Street

The MCA's first café gets a name.

We had this café in the basement. And you know the old building had once been a bakery or something. I think there were ovens in there, so it was a thick wall. And I wanted to name it, so we had a contest about naming this place. We had some of the worst names. So, Dennis, who worked here—Dennis, blessed Dennis, he came up with the winning one. It was called Eat Here, Die in the Alley. So we all voted for that. However, I think the board just didn’t—they wouldn’t go for it. So, we had this installation in the wall, which I believe was paid for by Doug and Carol Cohen. Why can’t I think of his name? And so it was site-specific. So, that’s what we called it: the Site Café. S-I-T-E. But Eat Here, Die in the Alley was still everybody’s favorite.

Installation view, Charles Simonds: Circles and Towers Growing, MCA Chicago, Nov 6, 1981–Jan 3, 1982. Photo © MCA Chicago.

Installation view, Charles Simonds: Circles and Towers Growing, MCA Chicago, Nov 6, 1981–Jan 3, 1982. Photo © MCA Chicago.

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