Memories of the Tally House and Captain Mac’s

Back in February, I shared a question from reader Chris. She wanted to know about a seafood restaurant that had been attached to McCrory’s; she thought maybe the name was Captain Mac’s.


My first response came from Blake Stough, who writes, “My wife and I were talking about this, and she thought the name had ‘Danner’ in it. I can remember the place in question, but do not remember eating there. I searched for restaurants with ‘Danner’ in the name, and came across a Danner Foods. There were other names connected to this, such as Mr. D’s which was started by Danner Foods. It later changed it’s name to Captain D’s, and was later merged with Shoney’s. So, no idea if this is relevant, but wanted to share.”

I’m not sure that’s related to our Captain Mac’s, for which McCrory’s most recently owned the copyright.

Then came commenter Terrence D., who added, “Chris was right in thought – it was Captain Mac’s restaurant, which had replaced McCrory’s cafeteria in the latter 1970s. At that time, McCrory’s, Montgomery Ward, and the William (Wm.) Tally House all had cafeterias. I am not certain of J.C.Penney having any food service, or the Hoschild-Kohn store (where Burlington is today) having food. But there was a Baskin-Robbins and a a pretzel place, as well as a pizza shop.”

My friend Linda H. worked in that area; she says, “When I didn’t pack lunch/dinner I used to eat at Captain Mac’s, the Tally House and the pizza shop in York Mall back in the late 70′s through mid 80′s. I worked at the Bon Ton back then. I don’t recall Penney’s ever having food. The pizza shop had the best calzone I ever had! They were on the Penney’s end of the mall. I can still picture it in my mind. I think Baskin-Robbins stand was in that section as well.”

We’ll talk more about the York Mall in general soon; I have some other memories to share, but for today, we’ll stick to its FOOD!
Kathy D. was another former Bon-Ton employee. She writes, “I worked in the Alteration Department and later Accounts Payable at the Bon Ton in York Mall in the early mid 70′s. I ate at Captain Mac’s and the Tally House. I especially enjoyed that my father who worked at Caterpillar could come have lunch with me at the Tally House as he enjoyed it also.” Kathy also listed some other restaurants in the area she remembered: Western Sizzlin’, Beefsteak Charlie’s, Avalong’s, Dog House, North Pole Drive-in, the old Embers.

And one special comment came from reader Jane Lindhorn. She writes, “I worked at the William Tally House in the York Mall during my senior year in high school and the following summer. My brother and at least 2 classmates worked there. We helped set the restaurant up before it opened. This would have been in 1969 or late 68. The hallway was designed to look like a small town street, with fake doorways. I worked as a cashier in the front, taking payment after people had eaten. Sometimes I’d work at the other register – that’s where I had to know all the prices! My two friends worked as buspersons. My brother worked in the kitchen – probably washing dishes. I got to wear regular clothing, but when I occasionally worked as a busperson I had to wear an ugly brown and ‘harvest gold’ polyester dress. Mr. Bressler was the manager. He often sliced the roast beef. He would always ask the customer if they wanted ‘natural gravy’ with that. A lot of the food was homemade. It was decent and not too expensive. I learned to like blueberries while I worked there. They had the best, sweet, fat berries! There was a portrait of a man hanging in the front. People would always ask me if that was William Tally. It wasn’t. I remember memorizing the songs on the Muzak and knowing which one was next!”

Jane, that’s awesome! I appreciate those memories so much. So, probably, will Caroline Pettigrew, who wrote: “I remember getting Jell-O, Salisbury Steak, and rolls at the Tally House. I also ate spinach because my grandpa told me it would put hair on my chest. I was probably 3 or 4 when it went out of business. It’s sort of funny – I think about the Tally House a lot.”

Caroline, I hope these comments will bring back even more memories!

Meanwhile, while digging through my blog archives looking for something else, I rediscovered this yummy recipe for cracker candy that I wanted to draw your attention to. It was posted well before I had so many loyal readers – and I can attest it is VERY tasty, so I wanted to make sure you saw it.

About Joan

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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One Response to Memories of the Tally House and Captain Mac’s

  1. Dawn says:

    I used to eat there as a kid. I thought it was a Long John Silver’s. Tally House was a cafeteria style restaurant across the mall.

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