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The History of a Reuben Sandwich

A close-up image of a Reuben sandwich with corned beef and sauerkraut at a local restaurant in Springfield, IL.

The Reuben sandwich, originating sometime in the early 1900s, has become a classic American deli-style sandwich, making its way onto lunch menus across the nation. While there are conflicting stories of who invented the sandwich, there’s little quibbling about the original recipe. Layers of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese are topped with Russian dressing, laid between two slices of rye bread, then grilled to gooey perfection. The classic recipe still stands the test of time, and you’ll find it at many a local restaurant in Springfield, Illinois, including Loukinens’ on 4th.

How It All Started

A perfectly made Reuben sandwich on a wooden platter at a local restaurant in Springfield, IL that was created in the early 1900s.

The history of the Reuben sandwich is not clear-cut. The two most hotly contested origin tales are between Reuben’s Deli and Reuben Kulakofsky.

In the first tale, a famished actress goes into Reuben’s Deli, New York, in 1914, asking for a hunger-busting combo sandwich. The owner, Reuben, or his chef comes up with the recipe on the spur of the moment, creating the Reuben’s Special.

Another story has it that one Reuben Kulakofsky, at a weekly poker night in Omaha, Nebraska, requested a corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich from a local restaurant. The chef improvised a little, and the classic Reuben’s was born, finding its way onto the restaurant menu during the late 1920s.

Get Your Sandwich Fix

Today, the Reuben sandwich is a favorite of the lunch dining crowd in Springfield, Illinois. The Hand Carved Reuben by Loukinens’ on 4th is a sumptuous concoction offered on the lunch menu, along with other deli-style sandwiches. You’ll find the Fried Green Tomato BLT, Cheesy combinations, a classic Cuban, or Turkey and Cranberry grilled sandwiches tempting choices.

Dining in Downtown Springfield, Illinois

A group of four friends laughing and dining in at a restaurant in Springfield, IL that serves Reuben sandwiches.

Whether you’re visiting Springfield, Illinois, or are a local looking for a downtown restaurant dining experience, Loukinens’ on 4th is a premier destination. Extensive menu choices for lunch and dinner, with sophisticated, flavorful food dishes, cater to all tastes. The style is contemporary American with a twist. The environment is relaxed yet elegant. Get in touch at 217.670.1363 to enquire about our menus or make a dining reservation.

Need More Than a Restaurant?

Loukinens’ on 4th can offer you much more than the traditional restaurant experience. A private dining room is available for up to 100 guests. Banquet inquiries for weddings, parties, corporate dining, and other events are welcome. Tailoring menus to your specific needs and budget is a specialty of ours.

With free Wi-Fi, audio-visual equipment, and other essential technology available in the private dining room, this is also a perfect venue for business meetings and conferences. Get in touch to discuss booking our facilities for your private or corporate events.

We can cater to you from a classic Reuben sandwich for lunch in a relaxed, patio dining atmosphere, to a special evening dining scene through to an event banquet or buffet. You will be impressed with our service and attention to detail.

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Casual, Upscale Dining in Downtown Springfield, IL

Visit our restaurant in Downtown Springfield, IL for a dining experience that’s sure to impress. Chef Loukinen, creates menu options that are designed to delight your eyes and stimulate your palate.
Loukinens' on 4th 517 S. 4th St. Springfield, Illinois 62701

Locally-Owned, Surprisingly Affordable!