Determining Harry's Place in History

Saturday, September 3, 2016 - by Harmon Jolley
Harry's Place served customers in downtown.
Harry's Place served customers in downtown.

That I learned of Harry Koskos began with seeing a match cover for sale on eBay for his restaurant known as  Harry’s Place.  There is not much room on the front and back of a 1.5 by 4.5 inch piece of cardboard to provide much information.  Still, the match cover described Harry’s Place as being located at 11th and Market streets, that it was “Your Eating Place in Chattanooga, Tenn.,” and that the menu included “juicy steaks and town talk sandwiches.”

A bit of sleuthing at the Public Library and on the Web uncovered more information, but I’m hoping that more is available.  That’s where you, the reader, can help.   If you remember Harry’s Place or the Koskos family, or have been told of them, please contact me at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.  I’ll update this article with the additional information that you provide.

From information available on www.archives.com, one can see the World War I draft registration for Harris Koskos.  He was born June 1, 1895 in Polichmito, Greece on the Metelin Island.  He registered for the draft in Detroit, Michigan.  However, according to the 1930 U.S. Census found on www.archives.com, Harry Koskos was not a veteran. 

The 1930 census lists the 35-year old Harry Koskos as living in the 7th ward of Chattanooga in a $4,000 home with his 25-year old wife, Sophia, and 3-year old daughter, Katherine.  Harry had stated to the census worker that he was the proprietor of a lunch room and that he had immigrated to the United States in 1913.

The Chattanooga city directories recorded Harry’s Place as being at 1029-35 Market Street across from the Hotel Plaza beginning in the 1920’s.   Harry Koskos selected a location with a lot of traffic and potential customers.  His eatery was between the two train stations in downtown, and near several hotels.  City Hall was a few blocks from Harry’s.  Railroad commerce and its workers were nearby.  There was a large automobile unloading ramp from the railroad between Market and Broad streets, and produce and grain were also unloaded in the area.  Businessmen, rail workers, and travelers all got hungry, and Harry’s Place was one of their options for a good meal.

Harry Koskos passed away in 1939.  His widow, Sophia, continued to operate the restaurant into the 1950’s.  She passed away in 1972.

Those are the details that I was able to find.  Again, if you have more information, please contact me

Aerial view of rail and automobile traffic in the vicinity of Harry's Place
Aerial view of rail and automobile traffic in the vicinity of Harry's Place

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