Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Postcard 5: Alpine Alpa cheese shop, Ohio

January 21, 2008

Here’s a nice chrome card of “Alpine Alpa Restaurant – Cheese Chalet” on US 30 between Massillon and Wooster. It was built by Elmer and Ethel Detweiler in 1961 and opened the next year. Note that the sign differs from the above name, calling it Alpine Alpa Cheese and Coffee Shop. A matching card shows the couple inside.

OH_Alpine Alpa

The additions to the bottom of the sign are funny now – one of them must have said, “We need to point out that we’re a Gourmet Shop.” The other replied, “And tell people we’re air conditioned too.”

A later card shows the building greatly expanded with a landscaped fountain. They announced that all 15 cheese varieties came from their own factories, with Hans and Alice Grossniklaus the cheese specialists. It had become “Ohio’s Show Place of Cheesemaking.”

The business is apparently long gone, but the nearby Alpine Homestead restaurant and Swiss market on US 62 between Wilmot and Winesburg was the inspiration for this one. According to its web site, that restaurant was built in 1935 by the Grossniklaus couple as the Alpine Alpa, 25 years before the above one. (New owners renamed it in 2002.) It’s best known for having the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock – 23 feet tall. UPDATE: The name was just modified again to Grandma’s Alpine Homestead & Swiss Village: short history here and check the owner’s bios.

Suzie Burger rehabs rare Sacramento gas station

January 17, 2008

Just a block from the official route of the Lincoln Highway in Sacramento, Suzie Burger is a new restaurant in an old gas station (see red circle on map below). The double-canopy station at 29th and P streets was previously an Orbit station, but looks like it was probably built as a Phillips 66 in the 1960s (see the Spring 2005 Society for Commercial Archeology Journal for more on their history).

The above photo from Tom Spaulding, as seen on Flickr, shows the station’s two canopies, somewhat rare. Tom has more than 7,000 images on Flickr, and check out Tom’s blog for tons more great photos and info from that region.)

The station was later converted to Tune-up Masters, then closed and declined into a local eyesore. Locals are thrilled with the rehab, though early reviews on the food are mixed (though in fairness, three months is a normal period of adjustment). The building is not listed in any historical register so the new owners are to be commended for saving, reusing, and reviving architectural details. They have other high-end restaurants in the area. The original Suzie’s drive-in at 24th Street decades ago; Benny Ogata, son of the founders of the original, is an investor and was helping cook opening day.

CA_LHA Sac Map

The Sacramento Bee reports that a basic Suzie Burger is $1.95, cheeseburger $2.95, each one served with dill pickle and carrot sticks. Grilled onions, pickled jalapenos, sauerkraut, pastrami, chili, and a fried egg range from 45 cents to $1.95 each. The menu also includes hot dogs, chili, and cheesesteaks Milkshakes and soft-serve cones also are served. The cafe red-and-white color scheme includes “Suzie” caricatures by Sacramento artist Matt Rallens. The Suzie’s website has nothing yet but the address. The map is from the LHA Driving Maps CD, available through the LH Trading Post.

Cindy's Diner, Fort Wayne, in Travel Feature

November 26, 2007

IN Cindy’s signA lengthy article on Cindy’s Diner (830 S Harrison St, Fort Wayne) was published Sunday in the Toledo Blade. Anyone traveling the Lincoln Highway in eastern Indiana will want to visit the diner for excellent food and a fun, friendly experience—and a Lincoln Highway logo near the door. Owner John Scheele (below) can always be found cooking for 15 patrons and handing the take-out orders.

IN John Scheele

After recounting the diner’s history (a 1952 Valentine), the article discusses its clientele:

A large number of the diner’s patrons are regulars – “Probably 85 percent of them we know by their first names,” Cindy said – and they include students, businessmen, cops, lawyers, construction workers, and researchers using the nearby library’s world-class genealogical collection.

Plenty of out-of-towners find their way to Cindy’s, too. A dog-eared guest book has been signed by patrons from every state, as well as foreign countries from China to Iran to South Africa to Russia.

Roadhouse-turned-restaurant closes in W PA

November 20, 2007

Chesterfields Restaurant, a popular dining choice in North Huntingdon Twp., Pennsylvania, closed recently to make way for a Walgreens drug store and a Starbucks. The Lincoln Highway landmark just west of Irwin (now across from Norwin Shopping Center) opened as the El Dorado in 1934, then for years was the Ben Gross Supper Club, famed for its dinner theater. It had been Chesterfields since 1986, and was one of the last of the region’s legendary dinner spots. According to The Daily News [McKeesport, Oct. 23], with the current owner’s husband passed on and their two sons not interested in a labor-intensive business, they sold to Walnut Capital brokerage firm for $1.5 million. The restaurant was host to many local banquets, celebrations, and Rotary meetings, and until recently had 87 employees. Also likely to be demolished is the adjacent Kirk Haight Auto Sales, best known in years past for having a car atop a pole. See a short video of Chesterfields final day at WPXI.

PA_El Dorado
1934: Signs advertised spaghetti, steak, chicken, beer, and dancing to an orchestra.

2007: You can still see the roadhouse and to its left, a one-story building with gable windows.

According to a Tribune-Review article, the 3.6 acre plan needed a variance or it would not have been allowed under the shopping center code, so 58 parking spaces will serve where 87 would otherwise be required for that size development. Also, the township asked for an electronic community bulletin board along the Lincoln Highway across from the intersection with Lincoln Way (a road deceptively named in the 1920s to divert LH traffic through the Mon Valley). An Eckerd Pharmacy already sits across the road at that intersection.

According to Walnut Capital’s site, the developer also bought and is demolishing the 1964 Colonial Revival headquarters of the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County on the Lincoln Highway to the east in Hempfield (west of Greensburg) for a Walgreens and other retail. (That 16.1 acre site went for $6 million.) In a nod to the road, it will be known as Lincoln Place. Click here for images of that development.