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James Colosimo
AKA: Big Jim Colosimo
February 16,1875 ----- May 12,1920

Colosimo's Restaurant was opened in 1909. It started out as a cafe, then became larger with showgirls and highly talented orchestra with a new rising stage. Many big names of the times appeared or dined here.
 Big Jim Colosimo, the Owner, was constantly at the restaurant personally looking over the menu and music arrangements. It was here that Big Jim Colosimo fell in love with Dale Winters.
It was also at this cafe where Big Jim himself was whacked by Frankie Yale in 1920.

The Colosimo family

Victoria Moresco, Big Jim's 1st wife.

Colosimo's Restaurant /Cabaret /cafe
2126 - 2128 South Wabash

Actual photo of Colosimo's 1930.

Colored postcard
(courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters collection)

Colosimo's Cafe/ Restaurant at 2126 South Wabash Avenue as it looks today.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters)

Colosimo's Listed in 20's Chicago telephone book.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Big Jim.

(Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters)

Colosimo is killed in his cafe/restaurant May 12,1920.
(Copy by the kind courtesy of Mr. Bill Smith).

The day Big Jim was shot.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters)

Victoria Moresco was sought after Big Jim's murder. Jealousy was first thought to have played a hand in his demise.
The accepted fact was that newly married and now soft Big Jim wanted no part in bootlegging. His associates thought otherwise, and had him exterminated.

Colosimo dead in the entrance of his restaurant.This bloody photo was taken before the doctor and police turned the body over.
(Special thanks to Author Bill Helmer)

NewYork's infamous Frankie Yale, probable Colosimo killer. Yale was in Chicago during the Colosimo murder, and the O'Banion murder of 1924.

The after shot once some of the blood was cleaned up and Colosimo was turned over on his back.

Next day it is highly suspected that his ex- wife had a hand in his murder.
The slaying was never solved. Frankie Yale was in town the day of the killing.
Torrio now became leader of the Southside along with his protege, one Alphonse Capone.
(Copy by the kind courtesy of Mr. Bill Smith).

Colosimo's funeral procession passes by his restaurant before reaching Oakwoods cemetary.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Inside photo.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters)

Big Jim Colosimo with his new bride in French Lick.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters )  

"Big Jim" James Colosimo
At the time of this photo the front door of vault was broken and appeared to have been vandelized. His death date on marble slab is off by one year 1919 instead of 1920. He is sadly alone in this vault.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Bill Emblom)

Colosimo's then girlfriend  and future bride Dale Winters, appearing on this 1917 advertisment for Colosimo's
(Courtesy of Dr. Pete N. Nickolas)

Dale Winter (ex Mrs.Colosimo) in later years.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Colosimo's still open for business in 1948.
(Detroit News)

Colosimo's circa 1958
(Photo taken by Joseph Fay, Sun Times)

What was left of Colosimo's in 1966.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters

Spoon from Colosimo's Cafe
(Mario Gomes collection)

Colosimo's 25 cent token. 13/16 in size
(Mario Gomes collection)

One dollar version of smaller coin above. 1 1/4 in size
(Mario Gomes collection)
Special thanks to Mr. John Binder

Colosimo's one dollar coin. 1 1/2 inch.
Mario Gomes collection
Special thanks to Mr. John Binder

1930's Colosimo's party favor
(Mario Gomes collection)

Close up of clicker or clacker noisemaker.
(Mario Gomes collection)

This one advertised entertainer Nils Thor Granlund that appeared at Colosimo's in the 30's and later in 1946.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Colosimo's listed in 1924 Chicago Daily News. (Mario Gomes)

Interior of Colosimo's night club.
(Mario Gomes collection).

Colosimo's closed for prohibition violations.

Two sided ticket for two at Colosimo's (Probably from the 40's)
(Mario Gomes collection)

Big Jim opened another Colosimo's in Burnham when authorities kept closing his dive in Chicago.
Notice his love interest singing here too.

Inside Colosimo's restaurant circa 1910

Dale Winters Soprano appearing at Colosimo's

Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters

Mike "The Greek "Potson  real name D. Mihail Bodoglou, gambler /bookie and part owner of Colosimo's restaurant and cafe.

Real and authentic Colosimo's matchbook.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Another authentic example of a Colosimo's matchbook
(Mario Gomes collection)

Inside view of Colosimo's
Postcard courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters

Another view.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Joe Walters

Naughty show advertisment for Colosimo's
(Courtesy of Mr. Bryan Lloyd)

Earlier silver spoon with Colosimo's stamp. This silver cutlery is from the opening time of Colosimo's. Big Jim was probably alive when this spoon was made for his restaurant.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Colosimo's stamp.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Later dirigold cutlery stamped with Stolen from Colosimo's. Made after Big Jim's demise, these were made after patrons started to pocket the cutlery to take as a souvenir and Colosimo's owners had to constantly replace them. While they look like real gold once they are shined up, they are of way lesser value.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Colosimo's dirigold spoon
(Mario Gomes collection)

Stolen from Colosimo's stamp

(Mario Gomes collection)

For a more complete and futher reading on the Life and times of James "Big Jim" Colosimo, please click on photo below.

Above authentic items grouped in a frame.The matchbook on the right is a fake,but i included it in the set for posterity.
 (Mario Gomes collection).

Jim Colosimo's cafe novelty matchbook.

Novelty matchbook. Many of these are up on Ebay and many people unknowingly dish out hundreds for them much to the delight of sellers. Please be aware that these never existed as originals ,and were simply a novelty Item to promote a place called the Gaslight restaurant. They were around in the late 40's and were reprinted in the 60's and 70's. Their total worth in pristine condition as a novelty item is $15 dollars tops!
Al Capone would never in a million years accept that his name be put on matchbooks showing he was a manager.(Proof of employment).That would have lead him to the slammer faster, since he had paid no income tax.
Real Colosimo matchbooks are plain, with no mention of stars and employees. Ask yourself this question, Stars names that appeared there changed weekly ,so why would Colosimo's print up costly matchbooks for one event?

First Posted July 2003