Rounding up more restaurant memories: Rax, The Italian Oven, Rutter’s and more

So, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I continue to add to our directory of York County stores and restaurants of the past. The bad news is, I have gotten so many suggestions that I almost don’t know where to start!

Today, I’m focused on the restaurants half. We’ll round up some last comments on places we’ve talked about before and share some new – well, “new old” – places that I’m seeking more memories of for future posts.

Be warned… reading further will make you hungry!

Avalong mural

The popular Avalong Restaurant used to be where the Metro Bank office is at Mount Zion and Whiteford roads; this mural appears inside that bank branch. Read more about Avalong’s here and here.

Regarding Rax, commenter Hafer writes, “There was a nice Rax in Williamsport, PA, with a great atmosphere. I also visited one on Cape Cod.”

Tammy, commenting about The Italian Oven, says, “Yes, the Italian Oven is still around but sadly not in York. There is one at the Capital City Mall and also one located on Simpson Ferry Road in Mechanicsburg. The food continues to be wonderful and they still serve beverages in Mason jars with pasta straws!”

About Rutter’s the restaurant, Julie wrote, “I loved that Rutters restaurant. In the ealy 90’s my mom and I used to go get turkey dinners all the time… the best!”

And Julie mentions another favorite, saying, “I miss The Tally House Cafe that use to be in the York Mall.”

Ben L. also talked about the Tally House. He says, “I don’t have a lot of memories from businesses downtown. I do remember Jack’s. My great aunt worked at the Bon-Ton at the York Mall. We used to eat at the Tally House there for lunch. I remember riding the bus through the city down Market St from West York with my great-grandmother. I used to hit the buzzer on the bus and it would stop and no one would get off, and the driver would get mad. GOOD TIMES!”

Ben must have been a fun kid, because he also writes, “Speaking of steakhouses, when I was a little boy we went to Western Sizzlin’ (where Ruby Tuesdays is on Rt 30 caddy corner of Olive Garden). I blew a straw wrapper off of my straw and it landed in some lady’s hair sitting 3 tables away. I went through my whole meal wondering if she would find it and I would get in trouble. It was so funny when she walked out and through the parking lot and got in her car with a straw wrapper in her hair. I just thought I would share that.”

But, separate from his troublemaking days, when I talked about going to the Wiener World on Industrial Highway, Ben brought up another location that I hadn’t been aware of. He says, “I have been going to Weiner World since I was a little boy living in Fireside. I remember the one on Rt 30 that used to be next to Denny’s. Next time you go, get gravy on the fries. They are awesome.”

Newer commenter Rich brought up one I had not heard of. He says, “How about ‘Beefsteak Charlie’s’ on E. Market just east of Mt. Zion. Great casual dining steakhouse. I always thought of this place as a treat when my dad took me there. It burned down in the late 70’s.” Rich had also mentioned liking The Jolly Fisherman.

John L. also came up with one we haven’t talked about before – Beechers. He writes, “Beechers! Wow what a memory. Best jukebox in the area. Great tunes that the radio never played but the kids loved. The food was good too, at least that’s how I remember it. spent many summer evenings at Beechers in the early 60s.”

And new commenter Skipper listed several from an area of the county we haven’t heard as much about. He writes, “This goes way back in Dallastown. The Old Wheel Lunch at E. Main St/ Duke St. (Adamsville Rd). Chance’s Restaurant near the square in Dallastown which was a hangout for the kids in the 50’s. Where Red’s Body Shop is now located was a small restaurant called Lutz’s Restaurant.”

And finally, Don Strausbaugh asks, “Does anyone remember ERNIES where you could get ice cream sundaes, etc.?”
I’ve added many of these to the aforementioned restaurants of the past directory. I would like to do future posts on some of these, so if you have any memories of the following, please send them my way!

I’m especially looking for:

– The Tally House
– Western Sizzlin’
– Beefsteak Charlie’s
– Beecher’s
– The Old Wheel Lunch
– Chance’s Restaurant
– Lutz’s Restaurant
– Ernie’s

Keep sharing, everyone! I like nothing more than to be busy in such a fun way!

About Joan Concilio

My name is Joan and I’m a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let’s share what makes life in York County great. I’m here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!

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