Vera Megowen

Name: Vera Megowen
Birth Date: December 28, 1895
Birth Place: Alton, Illinois
Death Date: July 23, 1987
Death Location: Evanston, Illinois


Vera Megowen (1894-1987) was a professional chef who trained at the Cordon Bleu. She opened her first restaurant, the Vera Megowen Restaurant, in 1926 and from that time until her retirement in 1973, was involved in the restaurant industry. She had several restaurants in Evanston – the first at 1501 Davis Street (serving early American food) and the second at 512 Main Street (serving French Provincial cuisine). She called her restaurants “tea shops” serving lunch, tea time, and Sunday afternoon chicken dinners.

Megowen was also known for her philanthropy, generously supporting many local organizations and funding the creation of the Merrick Rose Garden and restoration of the old Fountain Square fountain. She is remembered in Evanston by a park and playground named for her.

Father: Lewis Oren Megowen
Mother: Olive Powliss
Children: Two: Sylvia, Karl
Education: University of Chicago: Master of Archealogy. Columbia University: MA. Schurtleff College: BA. Cordon Bleu, Paris, France
Years in Evanston: 1927-1987

Sources: Archives and Collections: "Megowen, Sylvia." Biographical Files. Evanston History Center. Evanston, IL. Newspapers: The Chicago Tribune- November 24, 1956; June 1, 1943. Evanston Review- December 11, 1969.