Red Apple Restaurant – Walla Walla, Washington

Cardboard America

For more than five decades, the Red Apple Restaurant served patrons at all hours in downtown Walla Walla, Washington. After years of semi-neglect and mismanagement, the Red Apple closed in late 1999.

In 1948 the a new restaurant was opened at #57 (E. Main St. in downtown Walla Walla). The cafe and fountain, dubbed the Red Apple w under the direct management of popular restaurant Aber Mathison; Baker and Partner Gabe Gross and Fountain Manager and Partner Sam Raguso. The Red Apple was advertised as “Walla Walla’s Ultra Modern Cafe, Catering to People Who Care. Open 7 A.M. to 1 A.M.”

Red Apple opens, 1948

1948 – Photo courtesy of Bygone Walla Walla

 

The restaurant thrived throughout the 1950s, but times were changing and renovations were needed. The fountain was no longer in vogue and something contemporary was needed. The idea was to add wood paneling and a fake apple tree to provide a modern, outdoor atmosphere on Main Street. This postcard, published in 1968, highlights the tree and a modern girl with a late 1960s haircut and fashion to match.

Red Apple

Come and Join Me At
THE RED APPLE
Under the same careful management for twenty years, this fine restaurant, featuring 24-hour service and a conference room, is located at 57 E. Main in downtown Walla Walla where the first business establishment in the city once stood. A real apple tree grew approximately where this lovely artificial tree now stands.

The Red Apple changed ownership numerous times and would struggle to remain open throughout the 90s. According to WW2020, “On January 17, 1991 the Tuckers sold the property to Greg and Gwen Baden for $165,000. On January 28th the Badens were granted a gambling license. In 1996 and 1999 there was city action for failure to pay gambling taxes. During these years the property on the corner was occupied by computer networking, telephone paging,mortgage and advertising businesses. On October 1, 1999 the property was sold by the Badens to Thomas and Amy Glase and Mark T. and Paulette R. Perry for $400,000.”

I ate at the Red Apple numerous times right before they closed. It will also have a soft spot in my heart.

Red Apple restaurant razed, 1999

The Red Apple right after its closure, ca. late 1999/early 2000. Courtesy of Bygone Walla Walla.

BONUS:

A little more info on the building and the history of the Red Apple from WW2020:

Beauty Art was at #59 and the Electric Supply remained at #61 until 1953. The S.E. Washington Fair Association and the Walla Walla Feed Directors Association shared space with the restaurant. In 1954 Herb Himes Hub electrical appliances (and Henry Gies vacuum cleaners) occupied #61. In 1956 DeBunce Studio (photography) occupied #59. These occupants all continued until 1962 when #59 became vacant. On March 21, 1961 Harry Winget sold this property (135.83 feet x 86.78 feet) to Herb Himes for $107,250. In 1968 Himes transferred his interest in the area behind the store to the City of Walla Walla in exchange for the city covering Mill Creek to create a parking lot.

On November 30, 1975 Herb Himes sold his property to Whitman College for $95,888.33. The Hub continued to operated under the ownership of Phil and Sharon Van Houte and Bev and Charles Balmer. Whitman College assigned their contract to Samuel Lewis Raguso for $117,770. Sam Raguso’s estate transferred title on August 26. 1980 to Alan, Rodney and Sam Raguso who sold the property to Ronnie and Terry Tucker on November 16, 1982 for $150,000. China and Things started operations as a gift shop on the balcony at The Hub in 1981. Robert Hanson was the manager of the Red Apple Restaurant and Lounge in 1983. On January 17, 1991 the Tuckers sold the property to Greg and Gwen Baden for $165,000. On January 28th the Badens were granted a gambling license. In 1996 and 1999 there was city action for failure to pay gambling taxes.

 

Pat & Bruce’s Wedding

Color Transparency

Today marks the 49th wedding anniversary of my mother’s sister  Pat (nee Hoover) and Bruce Papapietro.

Their wedding took place inside Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, Idaho. Pat and Bruce still reside in Caldwell, Idaho. My grandmother, who turns 95 this year, and all of my mother siblings live in Southern Idaho, except Paul who lives in Southern California.

These are photos from before, during and after the wedding.

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My Grandmother Delight, My Aunt Pat, my Aunt Sue

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Three sisters (from L to R): Jan, Pat and my mother Julie (age 10)

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My grandmother made her dress, the brides maids dresses and the dresses my mother and Jan wore.

 

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Pat and my Great-Grandfather Jay Hoover

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The Ceremony

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Walking Down The Aisle

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Wedded Bliss

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Removing the Garter

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Bruce and His Best Men

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The Couple with my Aunt Sue (far left) and my Grandmother Delight

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Delight, The Couple, and Bruce’s Mother Carla

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The Happy Couple and The Grandparents

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Pat Kisses My Uncle Paul, who is about 4 years old.

The reception took place later that night at a local eatery called Grapevine Pizza.

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Quite possibly the best reception cake ever

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Drink up

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Removing the Garter

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Eat It.

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Happy Days

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Catching Up

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A Toast

 

Downtowner and Rowntowner Motor Inn Directory – Fall, 1968

Cardboard Motels

12016-10-03-0001Founded 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee, the Downtowner Corporation built and operated all of its own motels. Every Dowtowner Motor Inn was located downtown and offered a no-fills, cheap place to stay for the night. The Downtowner locations were strategically placed near a large hotel or convention center in hopes that business would spill over in their direction. It worked.

The Rowntowner Motor Inn brand was introduced in 1967 to designate locations more in the suburbs than downtown.

American downtown life declined heavily in the late 1960/early 1970s. Businesses, hotels, everything was moving away from the downtown area. The hotels were struggling to stay afloat and so was the Downtowner chain.

This 1968 brochure was printed right at the beginning of the chain’s slow, downward turn.

The company was sold to Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance in 1971 and sold again the next year to Perkins Pancake House. The company’s headquarters moved west. In 1973 the company was sold again for a third time and two years later a fourth time.

Twenty plus locations remained open through the eighties when the company was sold yet again for a fifth and final time. By 1993 there were only two locations left. Now there are none.

The locations below are what was listed in the 1968 book. A red link means the building is gone and a blue link indicates that the motel still stands under a different name.

The postcards and clippings below will directly underneath the location posted.

ALABAMA

ANNISTON
4th and Quintard [torn down Fall 2013]

BIRMINGHAM
5th Ave. North & 23rd Street [torn down between 2003-2005]

DECATUR
440 Johnston St. SE

FLORENCE
400 S. Court St.

1965-downtowner-motor-inn-florence-alabama

Times Daily – September 23, 1965

ARKANSAS

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
135 Central Ave.

LITTLE ROCK
6th & Center St. [torn down in early 2000s]

FLORIDA

ORLANDO
S. Orange Ave. & Jackson St.27556558984_7f56bcfc85_b
Combined advantages of Motel and Hotel facilities in a Downtown location. 112 Spacious rooms – Color TV – Swimming Pool – Free Parking – Free Phone-A-Towner reservations to other Downtowner, Rowntowner Motor Inn and Royal Coach Inns.

GEORGIA

ALBANY
732 Oglethorpe [torn down in 2011]

ATHENS
Milledge and Lumpkin

ATLANTA
231 Ivy St. NE at Harris

1968 advertisement for the Velvet Swing – Courtesy of Atlanta Time Machine

COLUMBUS
Fourth & 14th Street

DALTON
609 Thornton Ave.

SAVANNAH
201 West Oglethorpe

ILLINOIS

SPRINGFIELD
400 North 9th St.
4087985294_7e1df48c90_bRestaurant – Free Parking – TV – HiFi – Free Reservation Service – Heated Swimming Pool – Private Meeting Rooms – Ultra Modern accommodations – In the Heart of Downtown
We are located between Lincoln’s Home and Lincoln’s Tomb.

Tony’s Restaurant in the Springfield Downtowner postcard courtesy of Neat Stuff Blog

KENTUCKY

LEXINGTON
347 E. Main St.
5744599781_519b5fde16_b155 air-conditioned rooms with TV, Musak, pool, direct dial phones. In the center of town, 5 blocks from UK. Bar and restaurant.

LOUISIANA

LAFAYETTE – ROWNTOWNER
108 Frontage Rd.

NEW ORLEANS
Bourbon and Toulouse

NEW ORLEANS – ROWNTOWNER
3900 Tulane Avenue

SHREVEPORT
Market and Travis

The Times – August 13, 1968

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE – ROWNTOWNER
Franklin & Paca Sts.

MICHIGAN

MUSKEGON
381 West Muskegon Ave.
5179414137_7013f184e4_bDowntown Muskegon, Michigan, northbound business route US-31, I-96 and M-46. 104 Rooms, dining, Cocktails, Swimming pool, Meeting and conference facilities, Color TV.

MISSISSIPPI

CLARKSDALE
305 East Second St.

COLUMBUS
321 Main St.

GREENVILLE
Washington and Poplar

The Delta Democrat-Times – April 17, 1968

GREENWOOD
Eleventh Street, Highway 49 and 82 By-Pass4994045801_72d25b558c_b76 Units – 1 1/2 Miles SW on US 49-82 By-Pass – Two-Story Motel – TV, A/C, Phones-Combination Baths – Pool – Dining Room and Cocktail Lounge.

JACKSON
225 East Capitol

Clarion-Ledger – July 27, 1968

MERIDIAN
1914 Eleventh Street

VICKSBURG
1315 Walnut Street

MISSOURI

COLUMBIA
111 East Broadway

KANSAS CITY
13th & Central8192519956_3860ea6ac0_b
Luxurious travel – living in the center of things – Walking distance to business – shopping – entertainment facilities. Spacious rooms – Free TV – Swimming Pool – Free Park – Free Reservations Service to All Downtowners Nationwide.

ST. LOUIS
12th and Washington

NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE
717 Central, NW26197794854_bdc1351d2b_bOn U.S. 66, 717 Central Avenue, NW
In the heart of downtown., PAT free reservation service, ultra modern accommodations, free parking, free tv – HiFi. Heated swimming pool, private meeting rooms, reasonable rates

Albuquerque Journal – December 24, 1968

SANTA FE
Don Gaspar at Alameda

NEW YORK

ROCHESTER
155 Broad Street East16947123432_048830f692_bThe beautiful swimming pool at the Downtowner Motor Inn, in the heart of downtown Rochester, New York.

Democrat and Chronicle – November 29, 1968

NORTH TONAWANDA
84 Sweeney Street

NORTH CAROLINA

ASHEVILLE
120 Patton Avenue

Asheville Citizen-Times – August 20, 1968

CHARLOTTE
West Trade & Mint

DURHAM
309 W. Chapel Hill Street

FAYETTEVILLE
134 Rowan Street

GOLDSBORO
210 South Center

RALEIGH
Hillsboro and Dawson

WINSTOM-SALEM
128 North Cherry

OHIO

CANTON
621 Market Street, NW

CLEVELAND
1800 Euclid

OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA CITY – ROWNTOWNER
U.S. 66 Across From Penn Square Shopping Center

TULSA
Fourth and Cheyenne6547257363_ec8b836f57_b93 Guest Rooms – Swimming Pool – Restaurant and Meeting Rooms.
Located in the Heart of the Oil Capitol
Phone LU 3-6251
All Color TV – Free Parking

SOUTH CAROLINA

CHARLESTON
157 Calhounmai

COLUMBIA
Main and Lady

FLORENCE
Irby at Palmetto St.
4910430671_cb3825048c_b

GREENVILLE
Main and Oak.

MANNING – ROWNTOWNER
I-95 and U.S. 301

4264745958_998e146e90_b

Jct. I-95 & U.S. 301, Manning, S.C.
100 rooms, connecting units, individually controlled heat and air conditioning. Color TV in every room. Direct dial phones, 2 heated pools, restaurant and lounge. Credit cards welcome. Near Lake Marion.

ROCK HILL
333 Oakland Ave.

SUMTER
Main at Loring

1968-downtowner-motor-inn-august-30-1968

The Sumter Daily Item – August 30, 1968

TENNESSEE

CHATTANOOGA
9th and Carter St.

JACKSON
Baltimore and Highland

KINGSPORT
Shelby and Center

Kingsport Times – March 8, 1968

MEMPHIS
160 Union Avenue19793248121_75d9fe59a1_b
126 Ultra Modern Rooms, Free Parking
Two Restaurants, Swimming Pool
All in the Heart of Downtown Memphis

NASHVILLE
7th and Union Avenue

 


The Tennessean – December 12, 1968

TEXAS

ABILENE
Pine and North Fifth

AMARILLO
4th and Polk St.

The Amarillo Globe-Times – December 20, 1968

AUSTIN
Eleventh and San Jacinto

CORPUS CHRISTI
Shoreline and Schatzel

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times – May 17, 1968

EL PASO
Main and Kansas St.

El Paso Herald-Post – July 1, 1968

FORT WORTH
10th and Houston Streets

HOUSTON
Texas and Fannin Streets

LONGVIEW
215 East Methvin

The Longview Daily News – November 9, 1968

MIDLAND
401 West Missouri

WACO
Eleventh and Austin

UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY – ROWNTOWNER
1500 West Temple

VIRGINIA

CHARLOTTESVILLE
NW Highways 250 and 29

MANASSAS
105 North Main Street

RICHMOND
Seventh and Marshall

ROANOKE
Bullitt and Jefferson

WEST VIRGINIA

WHEELING
10th and Main Street

WYOMING

CHEYENNE
1719 Central Ave.21244019252_9173893dcd_bCheyenne’s newest and most modern motor hotel – 88 air conditioned units – Famous Pancake House Restaurant – Dining room – Bar and lounge – Heated Garage – Parking free – Enclosed year around swimming pool – Banquet & meeting rooms & free television and Hi Fi. In the heart of Downtown Cheyenne, 1719 Central Ave.

MEXICO

ACAPULCO
Downtowner Sao Paulo
Costera-Miguel – Aleman No. 44

MEXICO CITY
Aristos Downtowner
Reforma 276

DOWNTOWNER/ROWNTOWNER MOTOR INNS UNDER CONSTRUCTION (With Opening Date)

Biloxi, Mississippi – (September, 1969)
Denver, Colorado – (Spring, 1969)
Gatlinburg, Tennessee – (addition) (June, 1969)
McKeesport, Pennsylvania – (May, 1969)
Memphis, Tennessee – (addition) (Spring 1969)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – (Spring, 1969)
Newark, New Jersey – (January, 1970)

PLANNED:
Gallup, New Mexico
Greensboro, North Carolina
Gulfport, Mississippi
Knoxville, Tennessee
Louisville, Kentucky
Madison, Wisconsin [West Washington and N. Broom St.]
28381421673_2ab8429272_b
Mobile, Alabama
Monroe, Louisiana
Tallahassee, Florida
Wichita, Kansas

OTHER LOCATIONS THAT EXISTED AFTER THIS BOOKLET WAS PUBLISHED:
Rochester, New York – ROWNTOWNER
800 Jefferson Road

Cincinnati, Ohio – ROWNTOWNER
I-75 at Buttermilk in Northern Kentucky