June 20, 2013

'What's On the Menu?' A Look at Vintage Menus

Earlier this month, we stopped by an estate sale and discovered a small collection of vintage menus and mementos. The prices were a little steep and bargaining didn't help as much as we had hoped, but we snapped up as many as we could. I did a little research to see if some of the places are still around and tried to find a photo of what the restaurant looked like inside. A tall order (no pun intended), but I had to try!
Welch's of Long Beach
Who can resist a vintage kid's menu?! I was surprised to see this among the other menus. This certainly brought back memories of ordering from the "fun" kids menu. But there was never prime rib or sole fillets on my menu!
Vintage Welch's of Long Beach Kid's Menu via Brentwood Lane

Maynard L. Parker, Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.
 I tried to find out more about this restaurant, but kept getting photos. Click this link to see more pics of the inside!
The Hotel Statler
The Hotel Statler company was one of the earliest hotel chains in the U.S.. Catered to travelling businessmen and tourists, it was founded by Ellsworth Milton Statler in Buffalo, New York in around 1907. Looking at the design, graphics, I'm assuming this menu is from the 1950s. Some of their locations have since been demolished, but others still exist and are being used as offices, apartments, or as another hotel. Apparently, the Los Angeles location where this menu is from was demolished in 2011 and is the site where the Wilshire Grand Tower will be built.  Click here to see which ones are still operating hotels!

I can just imagine myself sipping a "Sunnybrook" highball next to this lovely pool under a bright yellow umbrella-after all, it's only 75cents!
Hotel Pere Marquette
 The 14-story Pere Marquette was built in 1926 in downtown Peoria, Illinois. It is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel was recently closed for an entire year in 2012 for extensive renovation and expansion into a full-service, upscale Mariott hotel.  The year I found for this menu is 1942. I love this blue-on-blue color for a menu!

I didn't realize how terrible this pic was--sorry!

Here's a close-up of the "Plate Luncheons" section

I really like looking at them for authentic design/color ideas. I was suprised that the owner managed to keep them in a safe place. Paper usually somehow gets damaged.

There are a few more coming, so keep an eye out!


1 comment:

  1. These menus are really, really cool! I just love vintage ephemera; the fact that a wee piece of paper (or similar item) manages survive for decades is always a noteworthy feat.

    ♥ Jessica