Posts Tagged ‘York’

Retro diner to be less retro

May 21, 2008

I’ve just returned from a trip along the Lincoln Highway in mid-Pennsylvania, bringing back hundreds of photos and some updates. Here’s one from just outside York.

The Starlite Diner is only 8 years old yet is already being redone inside. What was a cutting-edge retro diner in 2000 looks a bit old as the revival has faded. New owners are changing everything from the name to menu. Work is underway on what will become the Nautilus Diner, according to Steve C. Efstathiou, who just purchased the eatery. He already owns three diners in New York and Maryland.

Indications are that the new owner is trying for a “step above a diner” with new booths, tables, floor, and wall coverings; Efstathiou said, “The diner is only 8 years old…. The diner doesn’t have to be changed. I just want people to know that its under new ownership.”

The 215-seat diner is in West Manchester Twp. at Kenneth Road along US 30, a Lincoln Highway bypass. It was previously known for its crab cakes and made-to-order sautés; it will remain open 24/7. Check the 4/13 York Daily Record for a report on the sale and a slight delay in the work.

York PA Chip Factory Story Revealed

November 6, 2007

I just received a letter from Shirley Gillespie complimenting my Lincoln Highway: Pennsylvania Traveler’s Guide book but noting that I missed the story of a potato chip factory along the route operated by her family. My text mentions a Frito-Lay plant west of York, PA, off Gillespie Drive, but little did I know that the road name was a key to the plant’s heritage. The El-Ge Potato Chip Company was founded in 1937 by Leonard Gillespie, named for his initials. A story in the January 1982 Snack Food trade journal reported that the 105,000-sq-ft factory, built in 1965, could produce 4 tons of chips per hour. By then, Shirley’s husband Bob, a nephew of the founder, was president. Here’s a picture from the Snack Food profile showing Bob and Shirley at the El-Ge plant:
ElGe Chips

Shirley says the family sold to Southland Corporation in 1984, which kept the name, then a succession of owners led to Frito-Lay’s purchase. I’m glad Shirley wrote and preserved an important part of her life and Lincoln Highway history.