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 Stouffer's Restaurant

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EatingTheRoad

  • Total Posts: 1205
  • Joined: 8/30/2009
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Stouffer's Restaurant Mon, 11/9/09 7:59 PM (permalink)
I was just looking around online and came across these photos:







The above photos are of the Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia location...apparently before getting in the frozen food business they had several restaurants.

From the June 1959 issue of Chain Store Age, page E46
Stouffer to open fourth restaurantThe first phase of a nearly $3-million expansion program of the Stouffer Corp. was recently completed with the opening of its fourth restaurant in Philadelphia. The two level unit has 625 seats with an area of 26,000 square feet.

The lower level of the restaurant is built out from beneath a plaza walk and faces on a garden court section of the concourse. The second step of the program is scheduled for completion this month with the poening of a $1 1/2 million dollar unit in Jenkintown, Pa. Vernon Stouffer, president of the chain, noted that the two new restaurants would bring the total in the Philadelphia area to five, more than in any other city in which the chain operates. "The management food service and frozen food service divisions of the chain are also due for expansion," Mr. Stouffer added.


It looks like they started with a restaurant in Cleaveland in the late 40s and then expanded to dozens of other restaurants in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Washington DC amongst others. They also had ventured in hotels and at one point had 44 throughout the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. And get this...Vernon Stouffer also went on to own the Cleaveland Indians from 66'-72'.

Here's a picture from the 60's of the Detroit restaurant in the Eastland Center Mall:


What an interesting family and an interesting story. It almost makes me want to go buy a TV dinner

Does anyone remember the restaurants? It looks like they pretty much went out of business in the late 70's.

 
#1
    enginecapt

    • Total Posts: 3486
    • Joined: 6/4/2004
    • Location: Fontana, CA
    Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Tue, 11/10/09 4:00 AM (permalink)
    I remember eating at one in L.A. County when I was a little kid. Don't ask me where it was, but I recall liking the fare.
     
    #2
      EatingTheRoad

      • Total Posts: 1205
      • Joined: 8/30/2009
      • Location: Santa Fe, NM
      Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Tue, 11/10/09 9:20 AM (permalink)
      I found the back of that postcard above:

       
      #3
        EatingTheRoad

        • Total Posts: 1205
        • Joined: 8/30/2009
        • Location: Santa Fe, NM
        Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Tue, 11/10/09 9:24 AM (permalink)
        Here's one of their New York locations:

        <message edited by EatingTheRoad on Tue, 11/10/09 9:27 AM>
         
        #4
          Ahi Mpls.

          • Total Posts: 922
          • Joined: 6/9/2008
          • Location: Minneapolis, MN
          Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Tue, 11/10/09 9:27 AM (permalink)
             I seem to remember a place called Millers Dining Room reviewed in one of my older RF books... somewhere in Ohio I think, Anyhoo, J&M said it had SOMETHING to do with Stouffers... I'm gonna go dig thru some boxes and see if I can find out more...intriguing. 
           
          #5
            EatingTheRoad

            • Total Posts: 1205
            • Joined: 8/30/2009
            • Location: Santa Fe, NM
            Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Tue, 11/10/09 9:30 AM (permalink)
            Awesome! Thanks AHI MPLS, for some reason I'm really intrigued by these. They had a pirate themed one at some point...I think it was in Ohio or Illinois. Does anyone remember that?     
             
            #6
              joclyn

              • Total Posts: 360
              • Joined: 1/24/2009
              • Location: montco, pa
              Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Tue, 11/10/09 8:32 PM (permalink)
               my aunt was a waitress at one their restaurants in philly for many, many years.

              fabulous food - i loved going there!
               
               
              #7
                sudie

                • Total Posts: 228
                • Joined: 9/17/2003
                • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Wed, 11/11/09 9:12 AM (permalink)
                My husband worked in the Pittsburgh location (Smithfield St.?) as a high school and college kid.  His dad sold dishwashing chemicals for Calgon in Pittsburgh and sold to them.  He bought my MIL 8 of the Stouffer's luncheon plates.  They're about 8" across, Shenango, with a scalloped edge and an ivy pattern.  I inherited them and we use them daily.  I also can't imagine serving today's consumer a lunch on a 8" plate, but Stouffer's reigned in the 60s and early 70s when that was considered a decent portion.  Also, I think they were a favorite of "Ladies who Lunch". 
                 
                #8
                  smokestack lightning

                  • Total Posts: 301
                  • Joined: 2/16/2009
                  • Location: San Francisco, CA
                  Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Wed, 11/11/09 9:44 PM (permalink)
                  Hey this brought back memories. Sometime around the early 60s my parents went on a roadtrip with us to Detroit from Chicago to see a play that was destined for Broadway and premiering in Detroit. We stayed at a stouffers hotel which was ( or seemed) new and glitzy. I remember only three things- the pool which was quite nice, my first expereince with Bob;s Big Boy hamburgers which my dad went and got for us kids before they went out for the evening, and that in the lobby they ahs Stoffers profucts in a vending machine.
                   
                  #9
                    agnesrob

                    • Total Posts: 1790
                    • Joined: 6/4/2006
                    • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
                    Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Thu, 11/12/09 6:58 AM (permalink)
                    In the 80's my husband and I stayed a couple of times at a Stouffer's Hotel and ate in their restaurant. One in Westchester, NY and one in King of Prussia,PA. They were pretty fancy and the food pretty good too.
                     
                    #10
                      vincehink

                      • Total Posts: 3
                      • Joined: 12/12/2010
                      • Location: Newtown Square, PA
                      Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Sun, 12/12/10 1:50 PM (permalink)
                      I worked at several of the restaurants in the 60's & 70's - Jenkintown PA, University Inn in Columbus Ohio, Valley Forge, Wynnewood ! The food was great, the people were super and the $$$ put me through school. Would love to hear from anyone who worked at any of the restaurants during that era - also appreciate seeing the pictures and hope someone might have one of  Jenkintown.
                       
                      #11
                        vincehink

                        • Total Posts: 3
                        • Joined: 12/12/2010
                        • Location: Newtown Square, PA
                        Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Sun, 12/12/10 1:57 PM (permalink)
                        Do you know which one(s)  she worked at and what years?
                         
                        #12
                          ChrisOC

                          • Total Posts: 900
                          • Joined: 7/9/2008
                          • Location: Ocean City, NJ
                          Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Sun, 12/12/10 2:42 PM (permalink)
                          I remember going to a wedding reception at the Jenkintown location sometime in the middle 60's. 
                           
                          #13
                            Sundancer7

                            Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Sun, 12/12/10 4:05 PM (permalink)
                            agnesrob


                            In the 80's my husband and I stayed a couple of times at a Stouffer's Hotel and ate in their restaurant. One in Westchester, NY and one in King of Prussia,PA. They were pretty fancy and the food pretty good too.

                             
                            I stayed at the Stouffers in Columbus, OH for several months back during the late 70's.  I enjoyed my stay and the restaurant at that time was very good.  In addition, our company located in Knoxville had several company wide meetings there.
                             
                            As I recall, it was across the street from some park and very close to the Ohio State campus.
                             
                            Paul E. Smith
                            Knoxville, TN

                             
                            #14
                              vincehink

                              • Total Posts: 3
                              • Joined: 12/12/2010
                              • Location: Newtown Square, PA
                              Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Mon, 12/13/10 9:47 AM (permalink)
                              I was probably your bartender at the wedding.  Jenkintown did a fantastic banquet business. There would be four or five parties going on a Saturday - in addition to 3 dinning rooms for lunch and dinner. Those were the days - people dinning with the family at a table cloth restaurant, menus changed each day, baking done on premises and all at reasonable prices. What's happened to the restaurant business?
                               
                              #15
                                jjjrfoodie

                                • Total Posts: 422
                                • Joined: 4/5/2006
                                • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                                Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Mon, 12/13/10 11:18 AM (permalink)
                                Went several times as a child with my parents to the Columbus restaurant.
                                 
                                Last time I remember going we were seated next to a big table of Cincinnati Bengals football players who just happened to be in town.They all signed a big Stoffer logo'd coaster for me including then player and future head coach Bruce Coslett.
                                 
                                I use the coaster now as a bookmark for whatever I happen to be reading these days.LOL.
                                 
                                Jerry
                                jjjrfoodie
                                <message edited by jjjrfoodie on Mon, 12/13/10 11:22 AM>
                                 
                                #16
                                  fishtaco

                                  • Total Posts: 740
                                  • Joined: 5/11/2010
                                  • Location: Roachdale, IN
                                  Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Thu, 12/16/10 3:38 PM (permalink)
                                  Old Stouffers Hotel was just in the indystar today. Seems it's going to be used as a trade school.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    kathy_in_wlsv

                                    • Total Posts: 103
                                    • Joined: 10/22/2004
                                    • Location: wlsv, NY
                                    Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Fri, 12/17/10 4:23 PM (permalink)
                                    When I was a girl in the Cleveland suburbs, my older brother would take me to Stauffers in downtown as a special treat. We both dressed up, had a nice lunch then went to a movie at the Loewes.  saw The Sound of Music once and The great Race once. (RIP Blake Edwards.)
                                     
                                    #18
                                      rumaki

                                      • Total Posts: 967
                                      • Joined: 3/1/2008
                                      • Location: Minneapolis, MN
                                      Re:Stouffer's Restaurant Sat, 12/18/10 3:29 PM (permalink)
                                      I remember the Indianapolis Stouffer's.  When I was an adolescent, my family used to go there for dinner as a special occasion, dress-up treat.  My recollection is that the restaurant was on the "rooftop" of the hotel and overlooked North Meridian Street, more-or-less across the street from the old Marrott (NOT Marriott) hotel (which is now apartments).
                                       
                                      There was a giftshop in the hotel, and I remember buying a copy of Richard Bissell's wonderful memoir/travel book, "How Many Miles to Galena?"  There's a chapter where he talks about dining on the road, and it is a worthy precursor to Roadfood.
                                       
                                      I really don't remember the entrees at Stouffer's dining room too vividly.  I'm sure the food was OK, but nothing stands out.  I also recall that my mom kept insisting that all the side dishes and some of the entrees were exactly the same as those you'd buy frozen at the grocery store.  Don't know whether that was true or not. What I do remember looking forward to was a "snowball" for dessert -- vanilla ice cream topped with dark chocolate syrup and coconut. 
                                       
                                      #19
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