Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores

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DavidEMartin
Cheeseburger
2006/06/13 12:14:57
I was having a conversation with a high schooler. He was telling me about his classes that day and mentioned in History they were discussing the Lunch Counter Sit-ins of the 50s.

Then he asked "What's a 'lunch counter'?"

After the initial shock of being reminded that I'm middle-aged (50), I explained to him how dimestores had a diner where you could get a simple meal for a buck or two.

"What's a 'dimestore'?"

sigh.....

Anyway, that got me to noticing how this once-plentiful aspect of the American hospitality business has pretty much gone extinct. Dimestores usually had their lunch counters right up in the window (seems to me the right side of a Woolworth's). Drugstores usually had the paperback stand and the magazine rack somewhere nearby, with a big sign telling patrons to BUY the magazines before taking them to the lunch counter.

Even as dimestores mutated into Woolco's and K-Marts, the lunch counters survived, at least for a time. A short-order cook was able to provide you with anything he could make on a grill or in a fryer. But then sometime in the past 15-20 years, the general purpose lunch counter was replaced by modules that served reheated franchise food.

I can't think of when I last saw a drugstore that had a lunch counter.

Department stores, depending on their size, had lunch counters AND restaurants. Higbee's Department Store, the haunt of my '60s Cleveland childhood, had a stand-up snack bar in the basement, a cafeteria, a coffee shop, and The Minotaur Room, a really nice restaurant with murals of Greek mythology.

Mall stores had their restaurants too, always smaller but at least worth the time to seek out. Higbee's Severance Mall store had a really good smorgasbord on Saturday, for example. The Gimbel's in Brookfield Square (here in Milwaukee, my current home) had their restaurant on a balcony overlooking the rest of the mall.

Now? Nothing. Department stores got out of the restaurant business, sending customer and employee alike to the food court. Of all the department stores in Milwaukee, only Goldman's Department Store stubbornly, proudly retains their lunch counter. They even exploit the fact that since such a thing is an anachronistic rarity, it can be a tourist attraction.

So...... anyone know any lunch counters or department store restaurants that survive? Or care to share any memories?

renfrew
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 12:47:27
No Memories of these as I am also too young. However all the Nordstrom's I have been too have had a restaurant. and a small cafe. Not really a lunch counter though.

In Belgium there is a department store chain called Inno. I have dined in their restaurant which was pretty good. Full menus, real silverware and glasses, etc. I remember talking with my wife about how weird this was, since in the US we dont have this at all. This was about 5 years ago.
Ashphalt
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 12:51:46
That is sad. I just did some research on the Web and it looks as though even Macy's Herald Square has farmed their dining rooms and lunch counters out to McD's, Annie's Pretzels and Starbucks (please tell me if I'm wrong).

You did remind me that I heard of one still in existence, at least a couple of years ago, on our local restaurant review show, The Phantom Gourmet. http://www.phantomgourmet.com/Showpage.aspx?content=ReportCard&id=3175


PhantomGourmet.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mary Anne's Luncheonette

446 Main St.
Medfield, MA 02052
(508) 359-6859






Lord's in Medfield, Massachusetts, is true throwback. In the age of Super-Duper-Mega-Marts, this family owned department store has thrived for 65 years offering one stop shopping for everything from clothes to canning jars. And at the back of the store, behind the school supplies, is another blast from the past, an old-fashioned lunch counter.

Mary Ann's Luncheonette is one of the few lunch counters still in existence. And as you might expect, the Fonzie-friendly atmosphere is straight out of the fifties. Black and white tiles, a red stool lined counter, and some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet.

Mary Anne Richmann - Owner, Mary Anne's Luncheonette: "You come here to lunch and you're never by yourself, you'll always know somebody, and if you don't know the person you're sitting next to, you'll make a friend while you're having lunch."

It seems like everyone here really does know everyone else, and just like the old days, customers come to chew and chit-chat.

Mary Anne Richmann - Owner, Mary Anne's Luncheonette: "Most of the people that come in here everyday, we know them by first names and 'how's your kids, how's the dog, how's the cat?'"

As friendly as the atmosphere is at the counter, it's just as homey in the kitchen, which looks more like it belongs at your grandmother's house than a restaurant. And the wholesome fare coming off the grill would make granny proud.

Mary Anne Richmann - Owner, Mary Anne's Luncheonette: "There's a lot of TLC that goes into everything that we make. 'And we have a lot of fun doing it too.' That's right."

Everything is made from scratch, like the French Onion soup, smothered in cheese. Other comfort food favorites include Ali's Grilled Cheese, and Mary Ann's Cobb Salad with chicken, blue cheese, and egg. Of course no '50s feast would be complete without a classic cheeseburger.

Mary Anne Richmann - Owner, Mary Anne's Luncheonette: "Sarah's Supreme Cheeseburger has a secret sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato. It's cooked just perfectly, so it's just pink in the center and it absolutely melts in your mouth."

For dessert, you can't beat a slice of homemade Apple Pie, or a thick, creamy Strawberry Milkshake. The prices are a throwback too. Salads are about six bucks, and sandwiches are five and under.

One thing that has changed over the years is the soda. The fountain at the counter is so old; they don't even make parts to fix it anymore. So these days, the cola for the Vanilla Cokes and Root Beer Floats comes out of a can. That's one of the few changes from decades ago, when Bill Kelly used to run the lunch counter. And back then, the food was just a way to get customers shopping.

Bill Kelly - Owner, Lord's Department Store: "Everyday we would put out sandwiches for 29 cents. Once in a while we would sell hot dogs for a nickel, and Coke for a nickel, stuff like that. Anything for promotion. We didn't do it to make money, we did it to bring customers into the store."

Today, Mary Anne's is still bringing in customers. Many of whom are looking to pass this place on to the next generation.

Mary Anne Richmann - Owner, Mary Anne's Luncheonette: "The parents will bring the kids in and say 'I used to come here actually when I was a kid.' And sit at a certain place at the fountain 'and this is where I had my lunch.' So now they're brining their kids in and having the milkshakes and the Raspberry Lime Rickeys with the kids."

It's a time frozen in time, at Mary Anne's Luncheonette, a Phantom Gourmet... Hidden Jewel.


Review Date: 11/20/2004


Bob in Cary
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 13:21:16
Ashworth's Pharmacy, in Cary, still has a lunch counter. They mostly sell sandwiches, but they still squeeze oranges and lemons when you order an aide.
BhamBabe
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 13:35:50
I don't know of any around here still in business but I remember the one at our Woolworth's fondly.

Early 70's and my great grandmother lived in downtown Birmingham. It was a huge treat for this little country girl to go anywhere in the big city and she would delight in taking me places. White gloves, a dime inside for a phone call and a hat. We'd dress up like fine ladies to go eat there. She'd take me into the alley next door and tell me to blow my nose as it was unseemly to be seen with your nose running when you walked from the cold outdoors to the warm indoors lol. After our lunch she'd order a dessert and we'd share. She always made things so fun and I have such fond memories of sitting in a noisy room with the windows fogged up with the Christmas lights on the streetlights throwing patterns on the wet glass. She'd then take me to Pizitz's Enchanted Forest Christmas display. Hasn't felt like that kind of Christmas in a years.
salsailsa
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 14:06:21
I miss these- funny I was thinking about Eaton's in downtown Winnipeg when I was a kid. Mom and I used to go for lunch at the Char-bar lunch counter and I'd always have Egg salad on White. They also had Euphoria which had healthier sanwhiches and salads. The Char-bar was more old school with a couple of horse-shoe style loops. I loved the rotating desserts in the display stand-jello cubes with whipped-cream-like stuff on top.
Lucky Bishop
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 14:22:15
Unless it's closed in the last couple of years, the lunch counter at the Model Pharmacy on Monte Vista in Albuquerque -- reviewed here -- is still ticking right along.
boyardee65
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 15:13:35
I remember that there was a lunch counter in Woolworths in Dodge City KS. Probably the first time I had a Reuben. Had to have been the BEST sandwich I had ever had up untill that point in time. Wallgreens in Colorado Springs also had a lunch counter on the lower level. They have since closed thier doors and remodeled the building into a strip mall. Too bad, Oh so Sad!!
GordonW
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 15:17:15
This is a previous thread on lunch counters.

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8760&SearchTerms=bannana,split,balloon

I enjoyed the discussion of the market strategy behind the pop a balloon and get your price for a bannana split.
Phildelmar
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/13 21:52:59
Lyons Pharmacy in Elkton, Maryland has a great old fashioned lunch counter.Great homemade soups
Fabulous milkshakes, too
enginecapt
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/14 00:10:12
The W.T. Grant in my home town had a great little restaurant in it. Was it the Harvest House? Can't recall. The best onion rings I've ever had. Now, no more Grant stores.
Tony Bad
Fire Safety Admin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/14 00:16:39
quote:
Originally posted by enginecapt

The W.T. Grant in my home town had a great little restaurant in it. Was it the Harvest House? Can't recall. The best onion rings I've ever had. Now, no more Grant stores.


Our town had Woolworth's, Kresge's, and W.T. Grant...on special occasions my Mom would put us on a bus and head over a couple of towns to Abraham & Strauss (A&S) where they had a fancier restaurant. I would always look forward to the scoop of ice cream in a dish made to look like a clown, with a cone for a hat.
buckeye1
Hamburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 00:43:22
David - as a Clevelander, do you remember the Silver Grille that used to be in the downtown Higbee's? While the department store has closed, the Silver Grille was recently restored and now serves as a banquet facility - we had a meeting there for the CWRU Alumni a year or two ago. I also liked the Attic restaurant at our local Higbee's in Elyria's Midway Mall - it was always a treat as a kid because they served your meal in a mini-oven looking box.

There's a book now with memories and recipes of Higbee's Silver Grille:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/093676015X/002-1547678-8700023?v=glance&n=283155
Check out "look inside the book" for some pictures and an index of recipes.
lleechef
Sirloin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 02:24:29
In Rochester, PA we had the Rexall drug store, great food, phosphates, cherry Coke, ice cream, banana splits and lots of other delights. Then we had Kaufmann's Department store.....it was a wonder that the little old ladies that had just gotten their blue hair done in the Parlor didn't show up to eat their soup and watercress sandwiches with white gloves on. But they did make this fantastic "Ice Cream Pie" about 8 inches thick, graham cracker crust, whipped cream and caramel sauce. I used to beg my mother to take me there........she did.
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 04:18:44
Walgreen's Drug Store in downtown Miami.. I had many grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches there while my mom was working down the street at the Travelers Insurance building... (circa 1966-69)
Uh, this was way before I dared not stop at a red light in downtown Miami...I used to walk around by myself as a /elementary and jr high schooler in Miami..Boy, the memories......I think there was another one near Burdines starting with an S....
Damn... I wish I could remember it. I had ham salad sandwich at that one. With a coke in a big coca cola glass....
Thanks....
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 04:19:52
too lasy to log in..
It wasnt a dept store, but drug store luncheon counters..
Sorry..
pcdiva
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 07:57:09
I remember Grant's restaurant from my early childhood. I also remember Macy's and Rich's in Atlanta had tea rooms as late as when I was in college. I'm afraid I missed the lunch counter heyday by about 10 years, though. I did buy lots of malted milk balls & French burnt peanuts at the Sears candy counter though. It always seemed to be under the escalator if the store had more than one level.
enginecapt
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 08:19:02
Escalator? Fancy stuff. Our Sears and Pennys had wooden floors and wooden stairways up to the second floors. This was back in the pre-mall era.
Buckshot
Hamburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 18:50:14
Back in the late 50's - early 60's I enjoyed eating at the dime store and drug store lunch counters. I remember the pimento cheese sandwiches - pimento cheese on toasted white bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato, cut diagonally and served with a couple of dill pickle slices. Fountain cherry cokes and hot french fries, man, that was good!

Buckshot
malibucreek
Junior Burger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/06/15 19:28:55
I highly recommend the Fair Oaks Pharmacy in South Pasadena, Calif.

http://www.fairoakspharmacy.net/index2.html

You might have seen it in TV commercials, as it is a frequent filming location. The food and soda fountain are top-notch. My wife swears by the chocolate Cokes.

The DeSoto Pharmacy in Canoga Park (corner of Roscoe and DeSoto) also has a soda fountain and serves sandwiches. The food's not nearly as nice as the Fair Oaks and it is more a '60s suburban feel, as opposed to the Fair Oaks' early-20th Century decor.
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/12 21:13:26
Jupiters dept. store , downtown New Britain,CT. They had a stand up hot dog counter inside between the two front doors. early-mid 60's.Thats where my mother turned me on to steamed hot dogs & buns with mustard & sauerkraut. love em to this day!!!
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/12 21:30:53
quote:
Originally posted by enginecapt
The W.T. Grant in my home town had a great little restaurant in it. Was it the Harvest House? Can't recall. The best onion rings I've ever had. Now, no more Grant stores.


Captain,
Ours in Athens, Georgia was Bradford House. Their mascot was a chubby little kid named Bucky Bradford, who looked like he could eat anything, just make sure there's lots of it.
Nostalgically, Ort. Carlton in Athens, The Athens Of Georgia.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/12 21:35:08
Dearfolk,
In spite of the fact that I may well have reported on this elsewhere, Athens Discount Drugs on South Lumpkin Street in the Five Points neighborhood still to this day maintains a vintage luncheonette. If I remember right, it opened as a desegregated place circa 1962. The same owners still have the place and it continues to thrive.
If any of you come through Athens, I can recommend the place having never eaten there myself... it's clear across town for me. The only thing missing is that the building is too new to have a squeaky floor.
Even If Redundantly, Ort. Carlton in The Usual City.
MilwFoodlovers
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/12 22:07:48
Ort.Carlton, what would be the hit tunes back in 1962 (my sophomore year in high school)?
We were all pretty much into R & B and I would think that James Brown, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, The Impressions, Ike & Tina Turner among others all had chartable 45's; at least in the "race" charts.
I have to agree with David, Goldman's is a trip and still a place to buy size 52 Union suits!
Now ask a high schooler what those are!
enginecapt
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/12 22:36:17
quote:
Originally posted by Ort. Carlton.

quote:
Originally posted by enginecapt
The W.T. Grant in my home town had a great little restaurant in it. Was it the Harvest House? Can't recall. The best onion rings I've ever had. Now, no more Grant stores.


Captain,
Ours in Athens, Georgia was Bradford House. Their mascot was a chubby little kid named Bucky Bradford, who looked like he could eat anything, just make sure there's lots of it.
Nostalgically, Ort. Carlton in Athens, The Athens Of Georgia.
That's it! Instant memory jogger. Thank you Mr. C.
John A
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/13 09:33:24
quote:
Originally posted by Ort. Carlton.

quote:
Originally posted by enginecapt
The W.T. Grant in my home town had a great little restaurant in it. Was it the Harvest House? Can't recall. The best onion rings I've ever had. Now, no more Grant stores.


Captain,
Ours in Athens, Georgia was Bradford House. Their mascot was a chubby little kid named Bucky Bradford, who looked like he could eat anything, just make sure there's lots of it.
Nostalgically, Ort. Carlton in Athens, The Athens Of Georgia.


I was a Credit Manager for W.T. Grants way back when. Bradford was their trademark name for the restaurants as well as appliances, etc.

John


Rusty246
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/13 10:07:40
We have Wise's Drugstore WITH a lunch counter here in Downtown Gainesville. Alot of attorney's dine there as it's walking distance from the courthouse. One of the best darn cheeseburgers around and they also make a kick butt pot of great northern beans.
mbrookes
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2006/07/13 14:47:29
I may have mentioned this on an earlier thread, but both Brent's Drug Store locations (Fondren and Belhaven) have working lunch counters/soda fountains. I prefer the Belhaven location where they make the famous "slaw burger" That's a hamburger with only their homemade slaw. It is super.

They also make really good milkshakes and all manner of fountain drinks. The Belhaven one also does breakfast... bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, etc.
jinjo76
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/03/09 01:17:37
Harvest House

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/1181/1600/SPRINGFIELD%20OHIO%20UPPER%20VALLEY%20MALL%20SHOPPING%20CENTER.jpg
Ashphalt
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/03/09 11:32:46
quote:
Originally posted by jinjo76

Harvest House

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/1181/1600/SPRINGFIELD%20OHIO%20UPPER%20VALLEY%20MALL%20SHOPPING%20CENTER.jpg


Wow! Thanks! I can smell the too-sweet perfume and cigarette smoke now.
skylar0ne
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/03/09 13:49:11
China Grove Drug Store, in China Grove, NC, still has a lunch counter and two tables. I know they still make banana splits, orangeades, cherry cokes, etc. I believe they still make sandwiches too. I get a lot of my medicine filled there, but it's been years since I ate anything there. They used to make a killer club sandwich.
Big Ugly Mich
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/09 15:23:31
quote:
Originally posted by DavidEMartinOf all the department stores in Milwaukee, only Goldman's Department Store stubbornly, proudly retains their lunch counter. They even exploit the fact that since such a thing is an anachronistic rarity, it can be a tourist attraction.
Have you heard the news? Goldman's is closing this October. Milt Pivar and Jerry Lewis (no, I'm not making that up) are just too old to keep it going anymore.

My wife and I (who live in a town I never would have heard of if I didn't marry her) rented a stupid movie called "Milwaukee, Minnesota" and she roared her head off when she saw the scenes in Goldman's. I told her that, "Goldman's is a real place." and took her there. She bought some plus sized clothes and we did lunch at the counter. It was a sort of Swedish Meatball with rice incorporated and, while not gourmet fare, was pretty good, and inexpensive. My only regret is we didn't score any candy raisins. We HAVE to get back!

Well, we still have George Webb's, but no department stores feature them.
Jimeats
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/10 06:05:37
Jordan Marsh in downtown Boston had a white table cloth restarunt in the store many many years ago. I belive it was geared to The Lady's who Lunch croud.
They also had a little area that they sold probably the finast blue berrie muffins I've ever eaten. If you google it you can come up with quite a few copy cat recipes for them. I've tryed but never came close to duplicating those wonderfull muffins. Chow Jim
mbrookes
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/12 14:38:13
Earlier in this thread I praised Brents of Belhaven (Jackson, MS)Well, I'm sad to tell you it is on the way out. The pharmacy has already closed and the soda fountain will close in August. I will really miss it!!!
HollyDolly
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/18 13:31:48
My grandfather worked at Goldman's back in the 1930s in their meat market.My dad and his family moved back to Milwaukee from Hot Springs,Ark. because my grandmother thought perhasp things would be better there.They both had relatives there,and I seem to recall that great uncle Fred ,grandpa's brother had a butcher shop at one time.Somehow grandpa found out they were hiring and Mr.Goldman told grandpa,"well Mr.Hilpert" pretty soon you'll be speaking polish as well as I do"'.Grandpa soon picked it up within a few months as he had a gift for languages.So he spoke not only the family's language of german,but italian,spanish,polish, and yiddish .He also knew some gaelic and russian too.

Joseke's Department Store at Las Palmas Mall in San Antonio had a lunch counter where my favorite meal was their cheese enchiladas.
The Woolworth's store in Cross Roads Mall,which used to be called Wonderland Mall had a lunch counter.
There is a small varitety store out in Seguin that has or did have a lunch counter,but I have'nt tried it yet.
cecif
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/18 14:03:53
I know this forum's not really supposed to be international, but if anyone misses the real lunch counter thing, come to England!

There are restaurants galore in Harrods and in Selfridges too [both huge old dept stores]. The best eateries are in Fortnum & Mason, which is a food & department store, and has a range of choices from cheapish to fancy (though they are renovating each, one by one, right now).

But then on top of those kind of places we have a lunch counter at almost every big garden center! What's a day out buying garden plants without a spot of tea & a sandwich?!

And probably the biggest money maker of all are the IKEA cafeterias... I don't remember if the American IKEAs have the same thing.

The Brits are not as a whole big eaters (big portions) as Americans, but they do like to make sure they are fed when they're out & about.
NYNM
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/19 08:08:36
The Woolworth's on The Plaza in Santa Fe is the supposed to the the original home of the Frito Pie (sort of chili served right in the bag). Woolworth's sold out in the 90's but an independent 5&Dime took over and still serves it at the lunch counter in the back (I think).


Go 50 miles or so south to Alburqueque to Duran's Pharmacy that also still has a lunch counter with good New Mexican cuisine.

PS. Re: last post I think it's fine - and interesting - and cosmopolitan -to have international comments here, no?
Doatsie82
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/19 11:26:54
The Macy's at Plaza Camino Real in Carlsbad, CA just re-opened their in-store resturant after a renovation. I have not tried it yet so I can't report on how good it is. Doatsie
pinetree
Hamburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/25 16:23:10
The Barnard General Store in Barnard VT opposite Silver Lake has a luncheonette. You can go stay in the State Park on the Lake and get supplies at the store, and eat lunch there too.

drummagick
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/25 17:41:33
When I was a kid in Seattle, I think almost every department store downtown had at least one place to eat, if not two or three. Might have been Frederick & Nelson that had a ladies tea room, a mens grill and a cafe in the basement. We had a Woolworth, which of course had a lunch counter. I don't remember if Kress' did, that was right across the street from Woolworth. Bartells Drugs on 4th had a lunch counter and offered cheese enchiladas, which I always thought was so exotic.

But my favorite, and the only place my mother took me to eat when we ventured downtown on the bus, was a restaurant attached to a sporting goods store called Ben Paris. It was a basement store underneath where Westlake Mall is now on 4th and Pine.
Scarlett
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/25 18:04:08
Grant's had a wonderful lunch 'spot' I don't rememberf what it was called - they had the best clam strips dinner yummm creamy cole slaw, ff's and the strips.
rmcielwain
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/27 18:59:56

If I remember correctly, the Grant's food operations were Bradford's Harvest
Houses (may be wrong, so might have to dig up the hand puppet (Bucky & Becky
Bradford were the "mascots") with the kid's menu on it.

And I might have mentioned this on another post a long time ago, but out of
the pages of the Windsor Star in August, 1966, it was "$1.44 Days" at Woolco,
& that included the "Red Grille", where the $1.44 special was 2 Meatloaf dinners
(reg. 85c each) consisting of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegetable, hot roll,
tomato juice & coffee.
TerrierMom
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/06/27 22:08:36
I am 39, 40 in Septemeber and remember Dime Stores, and lunch counters. And restaurants in Department stores. Also mom and pop stores downtown. Mom and Pop motels. The Holiday Inn Grat Sign. Gold Bond and S&H Green Stamps from the All that kind of stuff was still around in the 70's when I was a child. I think my age group (35-45) is probably the last generation to have grown up with some of this stuff.
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2007/11/16 17:13:52
quote:
Originally posted by TerrierMom

I am 39, 40 in Septemeber and remember Dime Stores, and lunch counters. And restaurants in Department stores. Also mom and pop stores downtown. Mom and Pop motels. The Holiday Inn Grat Sign. Gold Bond and S&H Green Stamps from the All that kind of stuff was still around in the 70's when I was a child. I think my age group (35-45) is probably the last generation to have grown up with some of this stuff.

Terrier mom, I think you are right. How's 40 treating you?
sfpaul900
Junior Burger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2009/01/07 21:07:25
Wow. I'm in my early 50's and I have many wonderful memories of eating at Woolworth's lunch counters when I worked in downtown San Francisco back in the 70's and 80's. I guess I hadn't really thought about the demise of the lunch counter until now. Every downtown department store had several places to eat, including tablecloth restaurants full of rich ladies in hats, and cafeterias for the rest of us.

I remember once, when I was 9 or 10, as a treat, my mother took us to lunch at the sit-down restaurant at the City of Paris department store in San Francisco. It was barely noon, and in swept a very glamorous woman wearing a huge black hat, already laden down with packages. The waiter took her order and returned shortly with a huge martini, which he placed in front of her. I was enthralled. Drinking in broad daylight? Before lunch???  To this day, I don't think I've ever been quite so impressed by a fellow diner.

I now live in New York and Bloomingdale's has relocated the 40 Carrots restaurant to the 7th floor and, yes, they have a counter.

I do miss Lord & Taylor's soup bar on the 10th floor, but they have recently opened 2 branches of Sarabeth's Kitchen.

The last time I was in Macy's, I was looking for their counter restaurant, but I think it's now a shoe department. Yes, I think they have outsourced their restaurants to chains.

I used to visit Milwaukee to see cousins and I still miss Gimbels Tasty Town (BTW: DavidEMartin: the Brookfield store was built as a Boston Store, not Gimbels. I remember my Aunt Ruth taking me to lunch at the balcony restaurant)
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2009/01/07 22:55:45
Thrifty Drugs in West Los Angeles had a great lunch counter.  We used to get flavored cokes... vanilla, chocolate and lemon.

We'd also go there and sit sipping chocolate malts from the tall glasses with all the extra waiting in the metal canister.

I guess we ate hamburgers there.  That, I don't remember.
tfrielin
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2009/01/08 10:13:22
As late as the early to mid '90s there was a drug store in Bainbridge, GA that served the classic lunch counter foods--hamburgers and fries with a cherry coke, chicken salad sandwiches, etc. It is now no more.

Back in the 1960s glory days of lunch counters at the Eastwood Mall in Birmingham, AL there were no fewer than four lunch counters--Kresge's, Newberry's, the Liggett Rexall drucg store, and Kiddieland's lunch counter. In addition you had the Camiella Room upstairs in the Pizitz department store, a lidies who lunch little tea room of a restaurant.

All also long gone.  Sigh...
Long Island Oddities
Junior Burger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/16 22:07:22
Here are two drug store lunch counters that I happened to stumble upon while randomly driving-walking around. One was in downtown Cape May, NJ, while the other was in Orange, CA. The Milwaukee Dept store mentioned in the first post looks really cool.
 
Ooops, I can't add links, bummer. I will instead tell you their names and you can google them.
 
Dellas 5 & 10 Soda Fountain, Cape May, NJ Watson's Drug & Soda Fountain, Orange, CA
post edited by Long Island Oddities - 2012/02/16 22:12:36
Tony Bad
Fire Safety Admin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/16 22:40:04
Long Island Oddities

Here are two drug store lunch counters that I happened to stumble upon while randomly driving-walking around. One was in downtown Cape May, NJ, while the other was in Orange, CA. The Milwaukee Dept store mentioned in the first post looks really cool.

Ooops, I can't add links, bummer. I will instead tell you their names and you can google them.

Dellas 5 & 10 Soda Fountain, Cape May, NJ Watson's Drug & Soda Fountain, Orange, CA

 
Welcome to roadfood LIOddities!  I love your web site http://lioddities.com/
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/17 01:01:34
Yes cool site
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/17 05:08:10
I remember one in the carew tower, in downtown cincy as a kid.
Marble flooring, with brass railings over looking the elevator concourse.
 
I also remember them being at the mall, and thinking we were special for eating there.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/17 10:44:47
Back in the 70's the Rexall in Vero Beach had a lunch counter. I used to travel to Vero once a month and tried to always stop for a grilled cheese and coffee.
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/17 13:29:26
As a small child in the 70's, our local Nichols department store had a lunch counter in the back. I only recall eating there once with my grandfather, then it was purchased by another store chain and they removed it.
On occasion, I'd grab a bite at Cohick's Trading Post in Salladasburg, PA... a small "little bit of everything" store with a lunch counter. You could get a pair of boots, a new shirt, a gallon of milk, a new rifle, and a decent meal all in one spot. It's been a few years since I've been down that way so I don't know if it's still open or not.
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/17 16:28:47
When the CherryVale Mall in Rockford, IL opened back in 1973 both Sears and Marshall Field's had restaurants but I can't remember how long they lasted; I recall the Sears restaurant still being there in the late '70s and Field's sometime after that.  Sears was more of a casual place but Field's was fairly upscale and it was a bit of a treat to eat there.
 
Brad
MetroplexJim
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/19 09:37:24
Back in the 1950's and '60's we used to enjoy the lunch counters at the two Herd's Drug Stores on Main St. in Washington, PA.  They were soda fountains that also had a grill and a fryer.  My favorite lunch was a BLT or burger, fries, a cherry or vanilla fountain Coke, and pie a la mode!  All that ran about $1.25 + a quarter tip.  The G.C. Murphy 5 & 10 also had a nice lunch counter as did the Paradise Bakery.  I think the only two "downtown" places from that era still open are The Union Grill and Shorty's Lunch
 
Presently we eat occasionally in N-M's or Nordstrom, but their restaurants are hardly lunch counters.
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2012/02/19 09:43:37
claracamille
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/19 10:27:54
The Diamond was the largest department store in downtown Charleston, WV.  I believe it closed in the 1970's.  When my mom would take us shopping we always had a hot dog at the Diamond lunch counter.  The lunch counter was on the 1st floor & it was shaped like an "E".  Also, really good WV hot dogs.
MacTAC
Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/19 11:35:49
ces1948

Back in the 70's the Rexall in Vero Beach had a lunch counter. 

Yesterday I wanted to post about a lunch counter we stopped in a few years ago in Bar Harbor, Maine. I googled Whelan's, Walgreens and scouted around google maps to no avail.
 
Rexall's! That was it. I really enjoyed my old go to, Tuna Salad on toast with a chocolate shake.
 
http://www.flickr.com/pho...ie_songbird/321764997/
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wxkeith/5866439678/
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/19 13:35:27
Back in the 70's Maas Brothers department stores in Florida had very nice restaurants. My soon to be MIL would insist on taking my future wife and me there for lunch. At first I was very hesitant thinking it was for just "ladies" but after a couple of good meals there there was no more hesitation.
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/19 21:51:21
MilwFoodlovers

Ort.Carlton, what would be the hit tunes back in 1962 (my sophomore year in high school)?
We were all pretty much into R & B and I would think that James Brown, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, The Impressions, Ike & Tina Turner among others all had chartable 45's; at least in the "race" charts.
I have to agree with David, Goldman's is a trip and still a place to buy size 52 Union suits!
Now ask a high schooler what those are!

Mike - I never would have guessed you were that OLD. You look good for your extended years.
 
I pulled out the Marshall Field's cookbook that we bought as the stores were being changed to Macy's.  They offered a very nice menu if the recipes are a clue.
 
Jim
HollyDolly
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Lunch Counters & restaurants in department stores 2012/02/21 13:03:56
Now that you mentioned it, I think years ago we ate at the Boston Store,but that was in the 1970s when we visited relatives in Milwaukee.
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