Ask Joan: It could be much worse edition

I was mopey all weekend because we found out we have a significant amount to pay in taxes due this year.

Then I found out a good friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, another potentially with multiple sclerosis, and another is facing foreclosure.

It could be much worse, and I am grateful that our “only” problem is money – that’s not so bad, all things considered. Thanks for reading and keeping me gainfully employed to help with that! ;-)

What’s inside
1. What and where was cafeteria?
2. Following up on Dork candy
3. Details on Northern Central Hotel

1. I worked downtown York at the Bon-Ton with my grandmother in high school. She took me to eat at a cafeteria I thought was in the alley behind Bears… can you help me remember where we went?
- Kathy Reisinger

Kathy and I were able to work back and forth to identify this as Les’s Cafeteria, which memories I’ve received had located on Cherry Lane behind Central Market. That would make sense as Bear’s was on West Market on that side of the street approaching the square.

I told Kathy that I feel like we’d be talking about somewhere near where the Culinary Institute bakery is now if you exit Central Market on the Cherry Lane side… does that sound right to anyone else?

2. Quite a while ago, I shared an Ask Joan question in which Robert Finke sought information on the Dork candy bar made in the 1990s by Classic Candy Co.

I heard from many people with information on that! Sue Riley writes, “Rather than be surprised by my family on my 50th birthday in Nov. of 1998, I decided to plan my own party. I needed a theme. That’s when I spied the Dork candy bar in the store. It not only became my theme, but I also gave them to my party guests as favors. The party was held at the York County Fiddlers Association building, and the guests were invited to dress as Dorks. Oh, how we laughed! Prizes were awarded and pictures taken. My sister made a picture album of the party, and also included a wrapper from the Dork bar.”

This “dorky” image came from Megan, who writes, “I was given the Dork bar years ago when a coworker was given a Kudos… I got the Dork instead!!!!”

And finally, after reaching out to the company, I heard from Rich Warrell, Director of Sales & Marketing, Manufactured Brands & Private Label, for The Warrell Corporation. He writes, “Thanks for your inquiry about the Dork bar history. Unfortunately, I have limited history and information to offer you. The brand is currently inactive. There are not any plans to re-launch the brand. It was developed in the 1990’s by the former owner of Classic Caramel, Robert Lukas. The product was a multi-flavored taffy bar. Today, some of both the cooking and wrapping equipment that was used for Dork bars is in use to manufacture the current nostalgic candy brands that are in production at The Warrell Corporation’s York plant: Bonomo Turkish Taffy, Slo Poke, and Black Cow bars. The revamped production line produces over 43,000 bars per day.”

I thought that was incredibly neat – and am thrilled that Rich shared that with us!

3. In another follow-up from a while ago, I have some information to share on this question from Beverly (Ayres) Landis about the name of a former hotel at North George Street and North Avenue.

My historian friend Blake Stough of Preserving York said, “In regard to the question about a York hotel, my 1903 City of York Atlas shows one on the southeast corner of North George Street and North Street. The name is listed as ‘Northern Central Hotel,’ possibly having a connection to the rail lines that were nearby. The owner of the hotel is shown as Fred Rendel or Fred Randel. The printing makes it difficult to tell exactly what the last name is. While this is 30 years earlier than the reader asked about, and I’m not 100% sure this is the hotel in question, it may be of some help.”

Using that, my husband, Chris Otto of Papergreat, said, “Volume 23 of “‘he Railroad Trainman,’ published in 1906 by, of course, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, has a listing for Northern Central Hotel, J.E. Crimins, proprietor, at the corner of George and North streets.”

And Jo Ott followed up, saying, “Great detective work! Now, the next question- is the building still standing? Or has it been replaced? Or an empty lot?”

Blake said he believes the building was torn down and the property is part of the Codo 241 project, though he cautions that we’re not even entirely sure this is the property in question! However, I think there’s a strong possibility it is, and I’d love to hear more if you have alternate info!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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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3 Responses to Ask Joan: It could be much worse edition

  1. Jim Fahringer says:

    The question about the cafeteria in back of Bear’s was interesting. Actually, I am thinking that Kathy Reisinger may be thinking of the Bear’s Cafeteria. Bear’s had their own cafeteria. I ate there in the very late 1960’s and very early 1970’s. The entrance was to the rear of Bear’s Department Store. I ate there with my great aunt who owned and operated Thompson’s Book and Stationary Store. She took me there a number of times. The food was actually very good — at least to a 17 yeato 19 year old growing teen! Les’s Cafeteria was in the back of Central Market – approximately where Cherry Lane meets the alley that runs between the first block of West Market Street and West Philadelphia Streets. If I remember correctly, the building that housed Les’s Cafeteria was actually connected to the Central Market. This cafeteria was only a few steps from the back entrance of Thompson’s Book and Stationary Store which was located at 35 West Market Street. I ate there a number of times also but I personally enjoyed the food at Bear’s Cafeteria more.

  2. Jim Fahringer says:

    Speaking of Cafeterias, does anyone remember the old YMCA Cafeteria? I ate there a number of times with my grandmother and great aunt but I was rather young. The food was quite good. I ate there in the 1960’s. If my memory serves me correctly, the cafeteria stood on the north side of East Market Street between Duke Street and Queen Street — at least that is what I remember. It could have been between Queen Street and Pine Street but I don’t think so.

  3. Sarann Boring says:

    When I worked at Graybill Electric on Broad Street we ate at Les’s Cafeteria every pay day after cashing our checks at the York Bank & Trust on Market St. across from the Court House. Les’s was at Clarke & Cherry Lane & looked like it was built againstthe Central Market. It was a long narrow restaurant & I think the entrance was at Cherry Lane.

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