Waving Hands Make Magic: The Music, Restaurants and Unique Career of Bud Averill

Cardboard America, Close Cover
1931-12-24 -  The San Bernardino County Sun, 24 Dec 1931, Thu, Page 11.jpg

 San Bernadino County Sun – December 24, 1931

Sometimes I come across a piece of ephemera from my collection that sends me down countless wormholes and side stories that I seem to lose all track of time and place. Such is the case with Bud Averill’s Airport.

The restaurant was the second Bud Averill restaurant at the same location. The first establishment, known as “Bud” Averill’s Paradise Cafe. Featuring dining, dancing and in-house entertainment from Averill himself playing a THEREMIN. This is where I lost track of the world.

Cyrus Edward “Bud” Averill, Jr. was born in Elberton, Washington on February 14, 1896. It is said that Averill was the first WWI volunteer from the state of Idaho, but I cannot find any corroborating evidence. After he was discharged from his duties in naval aviation, Averill homesteaded north of Casper, Wyoming, where he joined the Powder River Orchestra.

During the early 1920s, Casper, Wyoming was a booming oil town desperately lacking entertainment. Averill and a group called Arminto’s Jolly 7 were brought to town on a multi-month engagement at Oil Center Hall starting March, 1921. A baritone tenor vocalist by trade, Averill would sing the top hits of the day and became something of a hit in the region.

1921-03-11 -  Casper Star-Tribune, 11 Mar 1921, Fri, Page 3.jpg

Casper Star-Tribune – March 11, 1921

Averill would sing as pre-show entertainment for stage productions such “The Idol of the North” starring Dorothy Dalton as “the beautiful dance hall girl on the frontier of civilization.”

1921-05-11 - Casper Star-Tribune, 11 May 1921, Wed, Page 4

Casper Star-Tribune – March 11, 1921

For the next few years Averill would hone his skills in the Casper area, slowly adding comedy to his performances and eventually become a vaudeville-style performer. Bud Averill, serious vocalist was all but forgotten for a while and Bud Averill “the world’s funniest human” was captivating audiences in Wyoming, Montana and Utah. He and his wife, Virginia Nelson, moved to Salt Lake for a brief period before settling in California.

1927-07-09 - The Anaconda Standard, 09 Jul 1927, Sat, Page 2

Anaconda Standard – July 9, 1927

A brief tour of Los Angeles, as part of a show called “Revue of Revues” opened a new  world of possibilities for Averill. In 1929 alone, he appeared (in chronological order) as a serious vocalist for the KEJK dance orchestra; a lead performer in the show called “Rose Garden Revue” at the Million Dollar Stage in downtown Los Angeles; a vaudeville performer on radio station KPLA; and a cast member in the all-talking melodrama called “The Isle of Lost Ships” at the RKO Theatre (8th & Hill Sts). He was also a coach for the Los Angeles Orpheum ensemble and appears as if he did some uncredited vocal work on multiple motion pictures.

1929-10-31 -  The Los Angeles Times, 31 Oct 1929, Thu, Page 34.jpg

The Los Angeles Times – October 31, 1929

A tour of the United States followed in 1930. Bud Averill and His 18 Sensational Songsters (Some Steins! A Table! Songs Ringing Clear!) joined several other acts as a traveling vaudeville show. There were dates from Montana, Utah, Oklahoma, St. Louis, New York and several others.

Other shows and radio gigs followed in 1931 and 1932. It may be somewhere in this time that Averill discovered the ethereal sounds of the theremin. The theremin is an instrument played without any physical contact, making it extremely difficult to play. The instrument was only a few years old in the 1930s after it had made its way over from the Soviet Union. There were only a few thereminsts in the United States and around 1930 & 1931, it reached oddity status on the stage and radio. There are no known stories of when and how Averill learned to play, but soon he would be showcasing his skills.

By the summer and fall of 1933, Averill’s talents were mostly being showcased on radio station KRKD at 3:15 in the afternoon. He was also doing shows around Los Angeles. After a stint with his orchestra at the Boos Brothers Beer Garden, Averill opened a new restaurant called Bud Averill’s Paradise Gardens in October 1933. The new place located at 674 South Vermont Avenue and featured “legal” beverages and delicious sandwiches.

1933-10-06 -  The Los Angeles Times, 06 Oct 1933, Fri, Main Edition, Page 23.jpg

The Los Angeles Times – October 6, 1933

The music for the new place was provided by, you guessed it, Bud Averill. Originally he and his orchestra were the main focus but plans changed and the focus would be on him and his theremin playing. Now we are back to where we started. A matchcover from the Paradise Cafe (Gardens) features an illustration of Averill playing his magical music machine. One can only guess how diners reacted to the sounds of the theremin as they ate their sandwiches and drank their not-illegal drinks.

The restaurant would stay open for sometime and eventually go through a name and theme switch to become the Bud Averill’s Airport restaurant this piece was supposed to be about. Information is sparse about when the switch occurred and when Bud Averill’s Airport (named for his aviation days) closed. I found evidence that it was named the Airport in 1943 and was open during World War II but I would guess it probably didn’t last much into the 1950s.

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There was another Bud Averill owned and operated restaurant called Carmel Gardens by the Sea at the corner of 2nd & Broadway in Santa Monica, California. Information about this place is even more sparse. Only experts mix their drinks.

The matchcover says they had dining, dancing and entertainment. The time frame for this place looks about the same as the other(s), with a similar design to that of the Airport.

Seeing as there just isn’t much information to be gleaned from the internet about these restaurants, lets get back to what sidetracked this whole piece to begin with – the musical stylings of Bud Averill.

Throughout the remainder of the 1930s, Averill would continue to perform, tour and host a radio show – this time on KMTR at 11:30pm with the cleverly titled “Bud Averill’s Dance Band.” In 1938, Averill moved to KMPC and hosted a “Toast to the States” with songs about every state in the nation (all 48 of them) in alphabetical order. A year later, he was on KFWB with a 10pm show.

In 1941, Averill released a set of three 78RPM records of his theremin recordings of Stephen Foster songs with the following titles: “Beautiful Dreamer”; “Old Folks at Home”, “Massa’s in De Cold, Cold Ground”; “Old Black Joe”; “My Old Kentucky Home”; “Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair”. The songs were recorded in Hollywood and featured Bob Thompson at the organ.

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Courtesy of Discogs

Averill remained active during World War II. Too old to serve, he volunteered his time elsewhere. He teamed with Hayden Simpson to write and record “U.S.S. Los Angeles.” All proceeds from the recording were donated to the athletic and silver service funds. By this point, Bud had been an active Hollywood songwriter composing tunes for movies and radio.

The summer of 1947 saw Averill in the middle of a controversy and lawsuit. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) banned Averill’s latest jingle “Union Pacific Steamliner,” ruling that the song wasn’t really a song as much as it was an unpaid advertisement for the railroad. Similar songs by other composers entitled “In My Merry Oldsmobile,” “El Rancho Vegas,” “Rum and Coca-Cola,” and “Love in a Greyhound Bus” were accused of doing the exact same thing but were allowed to remain on the air.

1947-06-23 - The Pittsburgh Press, 23 Jun 1947, Mon, Page 10

The Pittsburgh Press – June 23, 1947

Averill thought this unfair and brought forth a lawsuit against NBC.The suit sought a large sum of $1,000,000 in damages. Averill asserted the song was copyrighted April 15 and published in sheet music, so it must be a real song. He alleged that advertisers have called NBC and its affiliates for the song, but the network refused such requests. Reports of the outcome of the lawsuit are nowhere to be found, so I am guessing it ultimately led nowhere.

Off and on tours continued for Averill throughout the remainder of the 1940s and into the early 1950s. He and his theremin would return to his old familiar Salt Lake and Wyoming homes for special appearances.

1950-08-19 - Salt Lake Telegram, 19 Aug 1950, Sat, Page 5

Salt Lake Telegram – August 19, 1950

A foray into the fairly new world of television followed in 1951, with the short-lived “Pardon My French.” He would continue to appear sporadically on local Los Angeles television shows. But Averill’s star faded as the 1950s progressed and he passed away on July 20, 1956 at the age of 60. The cause of death is unknown.

Averill is completely forgotten now, but he was truly a unique entertainer with a set of skills few could ever duplicate.

Lost Restaurants of California – Tugboat Annie’s – Claremont, California

Close Cover, Uncategorized

CA - Tugboat Annie's

Tugboat Annie’s was located on Route 66 (930 E. Foothill Blvd.) in Claremont, California. A grand opening celebration was held for the ship-shaped seafood restaurant on August 24, 1969. The opening featured a sample of their fish & chips, pins for the kids and barber shop quartets!

CA - Tugboat Annie's Progress Bulletin, 24 Aug 1969, Sun, Page 54

Progress-Bulletin – August 24, 1969

The restaurant was quite popular throughout the 1970s but but did last long in to the 1980s. In 1982 the restaurant was sold and The Original Shrimp House opened in the ship. The building still stands to this day and is still a seafood restaurant.

CA - Tugboat Annie's The Los Angeles Times, 02 Sep 1982, Thu, Page 355

The Los Angeles Times – September 2, 1982

The follow blurb is courtesy of Claremont Heritage website:

One of the more eclectic buildings a driver on Foothill Boulevard could expect to see was Tugboat Annie’s. Built in the shape of an actual tugboat, this restaurant offered travelers a unique dining experience. Tugboat Annie’s was eventually changed to the Shrimp House, but continued to operate out the tugboat building. One can only assume that the tugboat design generated plenty of customers, as the building is still standing on Foothill Boulevard today.

 

Moock’s Tavern – St. Petersburg, Florida

Cardboard America

Moock’s Tavern, opened in 1946 by Erven and Gertrude Moock, was once THE place for locals and major league baseball players in town for Spring Training, to eat and be seen.

Located at 709 16th St. N in St. Petersburg, Florida, Moock’s offered cocktails, seafood and chicken platters and Swift’s Tender Age steaks cut to order.

Tampa Bay Times, 25 Nov 1956, Sun, Main Edition, Page 58

Tampa Bay Times – November 25, 1956

The tavern started as a small restaurant serving about 75 people at a time, but eventually grew to have four dining rooms and a capacity of 235. The larger capacity allowed Moock’s to become a very popular place to hold wedding receptions, civic meetings and club outings.

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Postcard from the Cardboard America Collection

The Moock’s would operate the business with their son and daughter managing and eventually taking over the business. But, as 1970 dawned, Erven and Gertrude wanted to retire. In April 1970 they sold the restaurant and land they owned around the restaurant to Merlin Downs and his 31 year-old Joseph Alban. Even after the sale Erven Moock, Jr. would stay on and manage the restaurant. The sale would become official in June.

Tampa Bay Times, 30 Jun 1970, Tue, Main Edition, Page 27

Tampa Bay Times – June 30, 1970

Things were still looking good for Moock’s for a little while but the end was on the horizon. A fire broke out in September of 1973, causing some serious damage. The fire, caused by an electrical short, destroyed two of the four dining rooms and the first floor suffered water and smoke damage.

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Tampa Bay Times – September 15, 1973

In 1975 Moock’s suffered another fire, this time in the kitchen injuring two and causing more damage. The loss of revenue, personal problems and the $52,000 cost of the rebuild would ultimately cripple ownership. In September 1977 Moock’s Tavern was seized and closed permanently by the IRS. Merlin Downs and Joe Alban had failed to pay $24,462.89 in back taxes.

Tampa Bay Times,  15 Sep 1977, Thu,  Other Editions,  Page 5.jpg

Tampa Bay Times – September 15, 1977

The property was put up for auction. Only one person bid on the venerable old restaurant. Louis P. Druehl of purchased the property for $33,000. Druehl would re-open the restaurant as a high-end restaurant called the Executive Club. The restaurant would not last very long and the property sat idle for many years. New owners told local newspapers in 1988 that that had a plan to restore Moock’s to its former glory but nothing ever came to fruition.

In 1990, St. Petersburg City Council ordered the empty building demolished, but the owners at the time convinced the council that they had plans and the building was spared. Those pans never materialized and the building was razed in 2003 to make way for a medical facility.

Ivy House Restaurant – Williamsburg, Virginia

Cardboard America

Known for their out of this world “Astronomical Pancakes,” the Ivy House resided at 1338 Richmond Rd. in Williamsburg, Virginia for nearly five decades.

Daily Press, 08 Oct 1953, Thu, Page 17

Daily Press – October 8, 1953

Opened in the mid 1930s for breakfast and dinner, the Ivy House quickly became a go-to spot for pancakes in the morning and steak at night. In 1960, Greek immigrants Tom and Rose Paparis purchased the Ivy House and continued running the restaurant without many changes.

Daily Press, 25 Apr 1961, Tue, Page 17

Daily Press – April 25, 1961

 

The Paparis’ would sell the restaurant in 1969 to open the Yorkshire Steak and Seafood Restaurant which is still in business. New owner Nick Saras changed the menu and chose a modified name: Ivy House Restaurant & Nick’s Pewter Plate Pancake House. However, even with a new name, the restaurant would struggle.

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In 1974, the restaurant was flagged with more than ten health code and kitchen violations. Changes were made and the the Ivy House passed the next set of inspections. However, an inspection on December 23, 1975 found numerous violations including toxic materials not properly stored, a sewage problem, floors not cleaned, trash, dirty grills and non-food contact surfaces. The restaurant

Daily Press, 12 Dec 1976, Sun, Page 243

Daily Press – December 12, 1976

The news of those violations combined with a changing neighborhood led to struggling sales. The restaurant limped along for a few more years before it ultimately closed and was re-branded as Marino’s Italian Cuisine.

Daily Press, 18 Jun 1982, Fri, Main Edition, Page 19

Daily Press – June 18, 1982

 

Kaplan’s – Monticello, New York

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Kaplan’s Deli was located on Broadway in the Castkills town of Monticello. For almost 50 years Kaplan’s served authentic kosher deli meat by Hebrew National including corned beef & hot dogs.

Kaplan's

The Catskill Mountains bustled through the ’50s and ’60s. The summer months would bring thousands of visitors to Monticello on their way to resorts such as The Concord, Grossingers, Kutshers and the Nevele. As the years rolled attendance at the resorts dwindled and traffic slowed to a crawl. The restaurant and the town struggled. Kaplan’s held out for a while but finally closed in 1992.

The beautiful lighted sign stayed up for more than a decade after the restaurant closed.

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Kaplan’s sign ca. 1996. Found on a Geocities(!) website.

The sign was removed in 2005. The Sullivan County Diplomat covered the removal:

MONTICELLO — September 16, 2005 – After decades of serving as arguably the brightest and most recognizable business on Broadway in Monticello, Kaplan’s closed in 1992 – but its large and famous stainless steel sign beamed far and wide . . . until this past Tuesday, when it finally came down after urging from Village of Monticello Mayor James Barnicle and Manager Richard Sush.

The famous restaurant was known for its delicatessen, which served thousands upon thousands. But the village’s leaders decided that the landmark business would have to be retired – despite its historical legacy.
Barnicle acknowledged the nostalgia factor – but to other people arriving in the area, it was just a dilapidated building, he said.
The mayor said the removal of the sign was a step forward for the village. Other local businesses who are in violation of sign codes will also be asked to remove or replace theirs.
Keller Glass of Jeffersonville was unable to salvage the stainless steel, as the letters did not hold together when removed. They were dumped at Liberty Scrap Metal in Parksville.
Andre Musovic, the owner of the building, and AAA Realty and Management in New York City plan to rent two stores in the former restaurant.

Dr. Pott’s: Archaeology & Disco in the Cincinnati Suburbs

Cardboard America, Cardboard Motels

Come with us on archaeological expedition and DISCOver the story of an archaeology themed disco located within the Holiday Inn Riverfront in the Cincinnati suburb of Covington, Kentucky.

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1963 Holiday Inn Cincinnati Riverfront postcard 

The Holiday Inn Riverfront had opened in the 1960s with a modest Holiday Inn restaurant attached to the side. Over the next 15 years people ate, people chatted, and people moved on through without giving the restaurant much of a thought. The basement featured a conference room and a small bar, but no real entertainment.

By the late 1970s, tastes had changed and a new dance craze had taken over the country and Cincinnati was no different.

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By the end of 1979 the area was home to a number of disco clubs and disco-themed restaurants including:

  • Amanda at 311 Delta. Ave.
  • Bentley’s at 36 W. 5th
  • Lucy’s in the Sky at Eighth at Linn on the Top Floor of the Holiday Inn Downtown
  • Tomorrow’s at Fifth and Race
  • Rookwood Pottery at 1077 Celestial St. in Mt. Adams
  • Max and Erma’s at 123 Boggs Lane
  • Lighthouse Ltd. at Vine and Calhoun
  • Spanky’s in the Holiday Inn North at 2235 Sharon Rd.
  • The Conservatory at 640 W. Third in Covington
  • Past-Times Saloon at 2640 Glendora
  • Badlands at 419 Plum St.
  • Trumps at Princeton Pike and Kemper Rd.

The glut of clubs did not stop entrepreneur Jeff Ruby from opening a new club in the basement of the Holiday Inn Rivermont. A short bio about Jeff Ruby from his website:

Ruby took a job in 1970 with Winegardner and Hammons’ Holiday Inn in downtown Cincinnati. There, he turned a 12th floor bar into the “Den of the Little Foxes” (a lá the Playboy club) at Lucy’s in the Sky disco and made it the place to be for those who wanted to see and be seen. His success at Lucy’s quickly propelled him to the post of Regional Director of all seven Holiday Inns in Cincinnati.

Ruby had a complicated history with nightclubs. Ruby had helped Lucy’s in the Sky in the Holiday Inn Downtown to success. However, it wasn’t all great. Ruby was in attendance at the Beverly Hills Supper Club on the evening on May 28, 1977 when an inferno swept through the sprawling club. 165 people died but somehow Ruby had managed to escape. That event did not deter him from wanting to open a new nightclub.

In a December 1978 interview Ruby said that he believed “there’s still a (dance) market for real people,” and he wanted to have a “clientele less chic and more down-to-earth than some of the discos around town.” Ruby would

Through his Holiday Inn connections he met Robert Fields, who had opened clubs in several Holiday Inns including Peary’s Explorers Lounge in Anchorage, Alaska and Runway 22 at Chicago-O’Hare, the new club would contain a theme very close to Fields’ heart.

Archaeology had been a hobby for Fields since childhood. During his teen years he told his father that he wanted to be an archaeologist but his father had told him that he couldn’t do it because he would never make any money. Fields was determined to prove that he could be successful and still share  his passion.

Fields’ design featured an archaeological themed nightclub/disco replete with 700-100 Peruvian textile fragments in the walls near the bar, replica Aztec pottery and a central room that resembled an Aztec temple. The new club would hold 350 people and featuring local bands and hottest disco tracks available.

The new place would be called Dr. Pott’s. The logo featured a character with a bow tie, pit helmet and coat eerily similar to Howard Carter, the famed archaeologist who discoverd King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s.

ky-covington-dr-potts-the-cincinnati-enquirer-14-dec-1978-thu-page-92

Cincinnati Enquirer – December 14, 1979

Dr. Pott’s opened on December 15, 1979. Featuring celebrity host Jim LaBarbara and the both live and recorded disco sounds of  Mason-Dixon Dance Band, the opening night celebration was a major success.

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Cincinnati Enquirer – December 15, 1978

Throughout 1980, Dr.Pott’s became THE place to party, find “romance” and dance the night away. However, not everybody was allowed to join in the fun. On January 29, 1980 country music stars The Gatlin Brothers were denied entry because they were wearing faded denim jeans.

 

By the middle of 1981 the disco craze had faded and the music itself became a joke. Ruby and Dr. Pott’s continued to book live entertainment but disco was a thing of the past. By 1986 the club, struggling to maintain a crowd, tried once again to capitalize on a fad and became a comedy club. The Dr. Pott’s/comedy marriage would only last a short time and a new comedy club called Cassidy’s would open in the same location.

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Cincinnati Enquirer – October 5, 1986

Dr. Pott’s success was short-lived and all the memories of the archaeology-themed restaurant would be forgotten. However, Jeff Ruby would not fade away. After forging a business partnership with Cincinnati Reds legends Johnny Bench and Pete Rose,  Ruby would go on to numerous bigger and better things. His website gives a brief timeline of the successes to come:

 

After opening The Precinct in 1981 he followed with The Waterfront in 1986, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in 1999, Carlo & Johnny in 2001, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Louisville in 2006, and Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Nashville in 2016. Consistency and quality are hallmarks of a Ruby restaurant – a fact supported by the 3 decades of success at The Precinct, Cincinnati’s longest continually-running fine dining restaurant.

Today, managing the growing Ruby brand is a family affair as each of Ruby’s children is deeply involved in the company. Daughter Britney Ruby Miller serves as Corporate Director of Operations, and sons Brandon and Dillon fill roles as General Manager of The Precinct and Assistant General Manager of the Nashville location respectively. Together, the family owns 5 eateries in 3 states with another 2 steakhouses in development.

*In addition to the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire, Ruby would survive a 1987 accident that left him in critical condition with a fractured skull and a blood clot on the surface of his brain. He slipped in and out of a coma for nearly two weeks. Chances of survival were around 10% and yet Ruby managed to check himself out the hospital 33 days later.

Crystal Pistol – Chicago, Illinois

Cardboard America

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1452 N. Wells – Chicago – WH 4-9231
OLD TOWN’S AUTHENTIC WILD WEST SALOON
Western Style Steak, home-made Chili, Steer Berger, Served by Our Pistol Packin Mamas! Featuring Largest Stein in Old Town – 12 oz.
Entertainment Nightly

The Crystal Pistol opened sometime in the 1960s as a sort of Old West burlesque saloon in the middle of Old Town Chicago. Enticing customers with swinging doors and go-go dancers in the windows, the Crystal Pistol served up stiff drinks and bawdy nightlife.

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Chicago Tribune – April 25, 1973

The atmosphere would change in 1973, as the Crystal Pistol and 13 other establishments in Old town were raided and charge with illegal solicitation of drinks and/or keeping a disorderly house.

 

The Crystal Pistol didn’t last much longer. The best I can figure is that the raid, combined with changing tastes were the causes of death.

Beatty’s Restaurant – Delmont, Pennsylvania

Cardboard America

Located on Route 22, just outside of Delmont, Pennsylvania, Beatty’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop served good food in a modern atmosphere. Owned and operated by C.W. Beatty, the restaurant held a formal opening for business on July 11, 1957.

Decorated in black and yellow a full view window, Beatty’s was known for its steak dinners and banquet facilities.

 

beattys-restaurant

The Pittsburgh Press – July 10, 1957

The restaurant was sold in 1962 to Richard Wright of the Penn Machine
Company. Shortly after the purchase, the restaurant was renamed The Lamplighter.
The Lamplighter was sold again in 1967 to the Ferri family, who still own and operate the restaurant to this day.

 

The Mystery of Burke’s Deacon Jones Restaurant (SOLVED)

Cardboard America, Uncategorized

ad-burkes-deacon-jones-carry-out-menu-2

Every so often I come across a postcard that raises more questions than it answers. This postcard for Burke’s Deacon Jones Restaurant doubles as a carry-out menu/enigma.

Deacon Jones Restaurants were a chain that specialized in chicken and fish. I have found references and addresses for locations in East Detroit and Monroe, Michigan but I know that those aren’t this specific location.

Do you have any answers of clues to steer me in the right direction? Send me a message!

UPDATE (2/1/2017):

Well, lo and behold a commenter named Jeff showed up to provide information. It turns out it located was in East Pointe, Michigan:

I remember Deacon Jones as a kid growing up in East Detroit (now East Pointe). It was located on the corner of Kelly Road and Ash. The building is still there but it has been extensively remodeled. You can still make out the distinct roof line.

I thought I remembered them carrying something call city chicken which wasn’t chicken at all, cubed pork pineapple all breaded and fried. I could be wrong, I was only 5 or 6 at the time. This would have been about 1965 – 66. I have a link to google maps for your reference.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4600271,-82.9318988,3a,75y,322.95h,80.61t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-4y0Tq06J04JHdmCdojDWw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Denny’s Travel Directory 1977-1978

Cardboard America

1977-78 - Denny's Travel Directory

This is a 1977-78 Denny’s Travel Directory featuring  the locations

This post is not the story of the rise of Denny’s. I feel like a chain of this size has been written about quite a few times (and on their site) and I would just be culling from their stories.

In 1977, Denny’s introduced the Grand Slam Breakfast and their business grew even further, with over 1,000 locations by 1981.

I wanted to focus on the status of the specific locations mentioned in this directory. this is a project to see how many of the over 600 Denny’s locations from 1977 are still in existence today.