The Peat Bar – Lima, Montana

The Peat Bar
1 Broadway St, Lima, MT 59739
https://www.facebook.com/ThePeatBar

It appears new owners have taken over the Peat as of 5-15-15 and will be reopening on July 1. Best of luck to them!

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Ford’s Drive In – Great Falls, Montana

Ford’s Drive In opened in 1954.  The radial design, with its central pylon and cable supported overhang of this one reminds me of late ’30s designs like Wayne McAllister’s Herbert’s or Simon’s, but the straight car awning and parking pattern negates that design.  Maybe it was added later.  Cheeseburger. Fries. Milkshake.  I appreciated that the milkshake at this one was a proper consistency. I like a thick milkshake as much as the next guy, but I’ve been on a streak where I’ve been getting what seems like straight soft serve with a straw. photo DSCF5553.jpg
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The Top Notch Lunch, Great Falls, Montana

With a fabulous 3D neon sign and a bank of stools, how could I stay away from this charming lunch counter?
Just around the corner from the Sip and Dip / O’Hare’s Motor Inn, I met Beth Lennon of Retro Roadmap and Cliff Hillis here for a chicken fried steak, to recover from the previous night’s fishbowl (more on that later) and to stoke up for what would prove to be a long day of thrifting.

Brian’s Top Notch Cafe
718 Central Ave, Great Falls, MT 59401
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The Pony Bar, Pony, Montana

It’s a bit of a drive out to Pony from Bozeman. B roads out through Norris and Harrison until you come upon the town, nestled in the foothills. My friends and I went a bit further, out to the Potosi campground and hot spring, a truly beautiful and secluded spot. After a night of camping, campfire cooking, and soaking in the natural hot springs, we ventured into Pony for the famed Pony Bar.

Pony was first settled in the 1860s as a gold mining town. It prospered through the early 1920s, boasting electrification before New York City, and at its peak, 5000 residents. After mining ceased being profitable, the town shrank, and in 1920, a fire swept through downtown, burning many of its buildings. By the 1950s, Pony had become a ghost town. The Pony Bar is the last operating storefront. Signs of Pony’s historic wealth are still apparent by the surviving brick structures, namely the Morris Bank.

The Pony Bar
108 Broadway St, Pony, MT 59747
ponybarmontana.com

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Bottles
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Cowboy hats and Copper mugs
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Slots and Taxidermy
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A taste of the town of Pony, Montana
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English Diner No. 1 – Salisbury, MD

 

Thompson’s Diner opened in 1929 at 209 East Main Street, Salisbury, Maryland. The barrel roofed diner was bought by Jack English in either 1934 or 1936, depending on the source, and was the first of what was to be a diner empire on the Eastern Shore.

According to a 1967 article in the Salisbury Daily Times, “Mr. English, a Riverton farm boy who attended business college here by hose and buggy. . . worked in canneries, for Victor Talking Machine in Camden, NJ, and starting as an order boy for the American Stores Co. he became manager of the Philadelphia store, later becoming general manager of the New Jersey Area.

In the 1930s, the old 36 barrel roof was traded in on a large L-shaped double monitor roof graft, then again for an L shaped c.1947 O’Mahony “arrow” style diner. With its dining room addition, this diner sat 200. The diner survived long enough to make it into the guide in the back of Richard Gutman’s “American Diner Then and Now”, but has since been replaced with a mansard roofed brick office.  It appears that part of the dining room or kitchen still stands. photo EastMain.jpgA big thanks to Ed Engel for bringing the 1960s article to my attention. I’ve been searching for info to fill the gaps on the English Diner chain for years!