Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Eating Out "Back in the Day", by Mary Lou Mitchell

In the 1940’s there were several restaurants in our area, but only two within walking distance. Coleman’s Grill at 1025 S. Walnut specialized in 50 cent T-bone steaks. The Friendly Café at108 W. Grimes was more of a sandwich shop. The other restaurants were out on South Rogers and South Walnut. Many of them located close to the RCA plant, at the southwest corner of Grimes and Patterson, to get the lunch trade.

All of these were fairly small, mainly because most people didn’t “eat out” much then.

The South Rogers Street restaurants were Bob’s Grill (at 1313), Bruner’s Restaurant, later the Candle-Lite Inn (1205), Friendly Corner (901), Grandma’s Grill, also Bob’s (1313), Carl E. Jewell (1217), Midway Inn (2014), Purity Café (1217). White’s Lunch (618) and the Wigwam (610).

On Walnut there were Gib & Denzil’s Café (at 920), Leonard’s Café (918), Parkway Grill (525), the Penguin, now known as the Chocolate Moose (404), Raney’s Cafeteria(346), and South Side Café (1500). Pictured in the photograph are the Dairy Bar (519) and High School Sweet Shop (521) on South Walnut back in the day when Bloomington High School was located in what is now Seminary Park.

The Parkway, Dairy Bar, Penguin and the High School Sweet Shop (later called Kutche’s) were close to Bloomington High School. Kutche’s was the boys’ hangout and the Parkway was the girls’ hangout. A girl stepped in the door once at Kutche’s, and she was run out. The Dean of Students used to stand in the window to see if the boys were going over to Kutche’s, which had pinball machines. When he saw them, he would use the intercom call them back.

We’re all hoping that when the Hillside commercial buildings are finished there will be a small restaurant or diner or deli where we can walk to for a lunch or early dinner. These are usually very casual and a good place to meet friends and neighbors.

From January 2008 BPNA NEighborhood News

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