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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Little Tavern Stools

Today was a big day for my Little Tavern collection. I picked up four new mugs, and eight stools. Three of the mugs are Jackson, one is Shenango. Four of the stools are from Washington No. 9 (1932, 5100 Georgia Ave NW) and four from Washington No. 15 (1936, 1200 Good Hope Rd SE).

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Cindy’s – New Eastern Market- York, PA

We stopped at 201 Memory Lane, York, PA for breakfast yesterday at Cindy’s restaurant. It’s a nice old family restaurant. Two tone brown and green tile floors, green formica counter. I had the special of the day, cream chipped beef on toast. I added a side of homefries (cream chipped beef over everything. Yum.) and a cup of coffee. Dad went the pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast route. Delicious and fast on all fronts.

Overheard some great counter chatter, “Obama- more like Osama- you think them rhyming is just a coincidence?”. That goes up there with the half hour conversation amongst farmers overheard at a Perkins concerning the durability of different jeans brands, the man [potentially] on the run from police over a domestic dispute at Lancaster’s Neptune diner several years ago, and one about drinking formaldehyde at a dive in Virginia.

Fortified with a great breakfast, we headed down the road to Reading, PA.

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I’m not sure as to the date on this one.

Bridgeville Diner- Bridgeville, Delaware

I thought this would tie in nicely with my previous post. The bridgeville is a ’40s O’Mahony, a particularly large model, featuring a striped red and blue enamel and stainless exterior, with blue upper windows. I like the diagonally ribbed tile on the interior, but I’m not sure if it’s original, I’ve never seen it before. This diner is very similar to the recently restored Road Island Diner, though this one has five bands of color, while the road island has four. This exterior is a nice transition from the fully enameled exteriors shown in the previous post to the later fully stainless ones.

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Burger Bar, Bristol, VA

Some more photos, taken on the road on a trip to Chattanooga this past week, by my Dad, Michael G. Stewart.

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That’s my mom in the red
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Frazer Diner- Frazer, PA

I was sent these pictures by my old man, who visited on Friday.

The Frazer diner is a 1935 O’Mahony, originally located in and named the Paoli diner. (Paoli is also the home of the Philadelphia curling club, where I’ve spent a lot of time). It was moved in 1957 to its current location, just down the road, in Frazer. It was renovated/restored in 2002.
A photo of it before the work was done, showing the old awnings, can be found at:
http://www.agilitynut.com/p/frazer.jpg
A photo of the old neon sign can be found at: The American Roadside
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The Charcoal Pit- original location – North Wilmington

The Charcoal Pit Tradition dates back to September 1956 when it first opened its doors. The “Pit” – referred to by loyal customers, became such an instant success that only after three months from the grand opening, it was decided to build more room for its long line of hungry customers. The “Pit” went from a small four table and a counter burger joint to a 115 customer-seating establishment.

http://charcoalpit.net/

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