Tony Sapp’s Club Black Magic – Las Vegas, Nevada

Club Black Magic originally opened on the corner of Bond, now known as Tropicana Ave & Paradise Rds. (4817 Paradise Road to be exact) on August 18, 1954 and would remain until 1968, when Camille Castro, “a stylish and flamboyant European Lesbian,” would purchase the club and rename it Le Bistro. For most of theContinue reading “Tony Sapp’s Club Black Magic – Las Vegas, Nevada”

Horn & Hardart Automats in Philadelphia

Horn & Hardart opened their first automat on June 9, 1902. The history of these restaurants and its impact on Philadelphia is beautifully captured in an article by Dr. Stephen Nepa in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. The following section is from that 2013 article: Beloved by generations of diners and immortalized in art, song, cinema,Continue reading “Horn & Hardart Automats in Philadelphia”

The Smorgasphere™

The rotary Smorgasphere™ was intended to revolutionize the concept of smorgasbords. The Smorgasphere™ was intended to keep food fresh and hot with a rotating buffet. The Smorgasphere™ was intended to bring the future to the late 1960s. The Smorgasphere™ was the future. In 1966, Donald Wulff, owner of Don’s Colonial House restaurant in Manteno, Illinois came up withContinue reading “The Smorgasphere™”

The Newhall House Fire – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WHAT: Hotel fire WHEN: January 10, 1883 WHERE: Milwaukee, Wisconsin FATALITIES: At least 74, maybe as many as 90 The Newhall House was built by a group led buy Daniel Newhall. It was opened to the public on August 26th, 1857. The building was made of Milwaukee Brick and occupied the corner Broadway and Michigan Streets in downtown Milwaukee.Continue reading “The Newhall House Fire – Milwaukee, Wisconsin”

Mechanafe – Boise, Idaho

WHERE THE WORLD MEETS TO EAT 100% Waiterless Restaurant It’s Electrical It’s Fascinating It’s Sanitary It’s Beautiful It’s Mechanical It’s Novelty It’s Progress It’s The Show Place of Idaho These words appeared on the back of a 1941 postcard advertising Boise, Idaho’s only mechanical cafe cleverly dubbed the Mechanafe. For more than a decade, theContinue reading “Mechanafe – Boise, Idaho”

Merry-Go-Round Cafes

In 1930 a chain of “revolutionary”cafes opened in the West. Gustav and Gertrude Kramm’s idea of an cafe that served food on a rotating conveyor belt would be a smash hit and fade away in a short time. The very first Merry-Go-Round Cafe location opened on January 1, 1930 at 245 East First Street in Long Beach, California RevolvingContinue reading “Merry-Go-Round Cafes”

Sundays With Satie: Week 1

Welcome to a new feature called Sundays with Satie. Back in 2015 I found a small 1896 Excelsior Diary written by a 13-year old girl named Satie Little. Satie lived near Bath, New York in Steuben County. She kept a diary of her life in 1900 using a 4 year old journal. The diary startsContinue reading “Sundays With Satie: Week 1”

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