Town is saddened by loss of Jeff Russell owner of Cross Rhodes restaurant



I am shocked to hear that Jeff Russell passed away suddenly Sept 11th. I had known Jeff for 20 years and when I would call in to order food he would recognize my voice and say “OK Noah, give me 10 minutes”. This was the nicest man and a person who had no enemies anywhere. The food was excellent and Jeff’s humor was something you would never forget. The best burgers Gyros, chicken and an unusual way of doing his fries fried in Olive oil instead lard or what ever they use. This is a great shock.

I quote Brian Cox of the Chicago Tribune now:

One thing that was not officially on the menu at Evanston’s Cross Rhodes restaurant was free advice.

But regular customers at the popular Greek-American establishment at 913 Chicago Ave. knew that if they wanted feedback on anything, all they had to do was sit at the table by the front window and start chatting with Jeff Russell, who owned and operated Cross Rhodes for 28 years.

Russell, 60, died Sept. 11 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston from injuries received the night before, when he fell down the back stairs of his apartment above the restaurant.

Two days later, more than 100 people attended a memorial for Russell at his restaurant, many still in shock and teary after hearing of his sudden death.

“He had genuineness,” said longtime customer Becky Nulle. “He’s been angry with me at times in my life because I made poor choices, but he always loved me and I will always love him.”

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