The story behind Otto’s Place

When we were trying to come up with an appropriate name for our restaurant, we thought of several clever and catchy ideas. We liked a lot of them but weren’t sold on any of them.

After doing research on the building we discovered that it was built in 1899 by a man named Otto Sallman. His intent was to have a restaurant. An article we found from the Galena Daily Gazette dated October 20, 1899 states, “Otto Sallman’s Restaurant Handsomely Equipped” “The lower floor is divided up into a sample room, buffet, ladies’ waiting room and a restaurant with a kitchen attached from which will be served lunches and meals at all hours.” Due to financial difficulties, sadly, Otto was never able to open his much acclaimed establishment.

Suddenly it hit us, ‘what about calling it Otto’s Place’? Seemed like a good idea and we were leaning heavily towards that.

Upon further investigation we learned that the week we originally looked at the building was the same week in 1914 that Otto died! Done! It had to be called Otto’s Place!

Otto’s Place is the quiet place. This is an establishment where you can come and enjoy a meal, an appetizer, a piece of homemade dessert, a cup of coffee or glass of wine and actually enjoy the conversation of the people you are with.

Our intent is that Otto’s Place will be an off Main street alternative for local Galenians as well as for tourists seeking a quiet and peaceful retreat and relaxing experience.

Otto lived upstairs in this building, next to the train tracks for years. Ironically enough, Otto was killed on the train tracks in Chicago, IL. It is said that people have often seen the figure of a man walking along the train tracks by our building. Could it be Otto saying ‘welcome friends, enjoy my restaurant’?

We think so!

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