Any History Foodies Out There?

By on 25 June, 2019 in Food, Historic Midtown, Karren Pell with 0 Comments

It’s summer. While popular lyrics would have us think “the living is easy,” that is not how I would describe my current reality. Carole King and I are working on our latest book, Montgomery’s Classic Restaurants. It’s a project with History Press, and we’re digging deep for material. I’m pretty much writing on it every second I am not taking care of animals (My husband accuses me of turning our home into a kennel).

Today’s post has two parts. First, I’m going to share a few facts we have discovered about Montgomery’s restaurant history Second, I’m going to send out a “history mystery” SOS. Maybe some of our readers will share their knowledge and experience.

First, some notes about the past. It may be hard to imagine now, but hotels and restaurants used to line Dexter Avenue. These establishments included fine dining, cafes, ice cream shops, and even saloons. The family owners of a wonderful little place called the “Tangerine Cafeteria” have been sharing information with me. The Tangerine Cafeteria was right on Court Square above a bakery called the Electric Maid in the 1930s and 1940s.

Folks say that as much legislation was drafted on Tangerine napkins as at the Capitol. We all know and love Chris’ Hot Dogs. It’s still on Dexter Avenue, and it’s got a long history. In the 1950s, cars could park three deep waiting on curb service for those hot dogs with secret sauce. Sunday was the busiest day. Other downtown options included the Kress lunch counter and the Dutch House. If anyone has some memories or even old photos about eating downtown, please consider sharing them for the book.

Madison Avenue (now Atlanta Highway) was another busy spot. I am intrigued with Danny’s Diner. I love the look of it and the idea that it was open 24/7. One article I read said it was dismantled and “floated down the river” to another location. But I wonder if anyone knows what happened to Danny’s Diner? There were at least three drive-ins: the Parkmore, Susie’s, and Allen’s.

The Parkmore sounds like it was so much fun. There was a glass studio out front where disc jockey Bob Conrad played songs for his show, “Parkmore Platter Time.” He also took and read dedications. As the teenagers cruised, they called in and then waited for their song and dedication. Food — hamburgers and shakes — were delivered by girls on roller skates. All that fun is in the past, but if anyone remembers or has information about the Parkmore, Susie’s, or Allen’s, please share it with Carole and me.

It’s so hot I can’t stand to be out, so if I’m not feeding cats or dogs, I’ll be here working on Montgomery’s Classic Restaurants. Let me hear from you.

Karren Pell is a writer, teacher, and performer who lives with her husband, Tim Henderson, and an assortment of cats and dogs in Capitol Heights. She is the author of three books. Her musical compositions range from commercial songs to theatrical works, with five musical adaptations to her credit.


Karren Pell

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