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.


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


When Bottle of Scotch is Depleted

Cardboard America, Cardboard Greetings, Cardboard Motels, Uncategorized


Mailed from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Mr. W. Simpson & Winifred of Hayward, California on June 18, 1962:

Hi, Flew in last Sunday, all packed & moved. Will arrive in Penna. when bottle of scotch is depleted.
Will write soon.
Love, V & G.


Big Dipper Motel – Roanoke, Virginia

Cardboard America, Cardboard Motels

New – Modern – Split Level /Route 220 – 3 Miles South of Roanoke, Virginia
1000 Feet From Entrance New Section /Blue Ridge Parkway
18 Rooms – Central Heat – Air Conditioned – Free TV – Room Telephones – Playground
Restaurant Across Highway – Operated by Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Brooks, Jr.
AAA Approved.

The Big Dipper Motel was built around 1960 or 1961 on Route 220, approximately three miles south of Roanoke. The motel featured a big neon sign that resembled, well, the Big Dipper.


I haven’t found much information on the place. I did find a fin a video featuring the Pennsylvania Jaycees making a stop at the Big Dipper on June 17, 1961.

The best I can tell, the motel is gone.