Ask Joan: Questions and memories edition

What’s inside
1. Remembering Alice Hoffer’s dress shop
2. Was mall gym Fitness America?
3. Seeking name of Queensgate restaurant

1. I was born in York and lived there until 14 when my family moved to Florida in 1961. My mother used to shop for herself and me at a very nice women’s dress store named “Alice Hoffer’s”. Maybe it had another name and Mother referred to it as Alice Hoffer’s because she owned it. I remember Alice as a very stylish petite brunette. This was during the 1950s. I’m thinking maybe it was across the street from the YWCA or somewhere near there. Can’t recall the street name. Do you know about this store?
– Becky Carr

This shop has been listed on our stores and restaurants of the past directory for some time, but I’ve not yet heard any memories specifically about it. If anyone has some to share, please comment for Becky!

2. I recall belonging to a fitness club that had a pool, sauna and stream room. It may have been at the West Manchester mall as one of the original tenants. Any information on such a gym?
– Ken Paup

We’ve talked before about there being a gym as one of the original tenants of the West Manchester Mall – in this 2013 post as well as one in 2011 – in that second one, reader Mike Roseberry suggests the name might have been Fitness America. Does that ring any bells, Ken?

3. Friends and I are trying to remember the name of a restaurant that was located in the Queensgate Shopping Center. 1970s, ’80s era, it was located next to the Weis store and was probably absorbed when the Weis rehabbed the store a few years back. The restaurant in question was famous for their veal dishes.
– Chris Johnson

We’ve talked about odds and ends of former Queensgate businesses before, including the Little Professor bookstore, the Pantry Pride grocery store, of course Gino’s and Mailman’s, but I have not heard a particular name for such a restaurant. Any ideas for Chris? Please let us know!

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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11 Responses to Ask Joan: Questions and memories edition

  1. Sharon Groff says:

    I believe the Squire’s Pub was located on that side of the Queensgate shopping center. I can’t recall their specialties, but could this be the restaurant Chris is thinking of?


    Alice Hoffers was an exclusive dress shop who sold Capizo shoes. Every teen wanted them. I had a red pair.They closed with a button on one style. Store was on the 300 block of East Market street across from the YW.

    • Susan Runkle says:

      I remember those Capizio shoes. I had that style with the buttons on the side. Their soles were so thin. Oh, what memories….

  3. Susan Runkle says:

    I was thinking the Squires Pub, too. I don’t remember their specialiy, but we went there frequently, so whatever it was, it must have been good.

  4. Holly Griffin says:

    Squire’s Pub was the restaurant at Queensgate – my mother-in-law worked there for several years. Their food was amazing!

  5. suzette smith maisch says:

    Alice Hoffer’s store was “The Fabric Shop”
    an upscale clothing boutique
    Alice dressed me from the time I was a little girl.
    The store was located at 315 East Market Street.

    Alice was the sweetest woman who made everyone feel so special . She knew I was looking for my first apartment and she rented me an apartment above the store .

    I still own outfits I bought at The Fabric Shop.

  6. Brenda Killion says:

    Squire’s Pub it was… Delicious seafood and veal dishes …..

  7. Jill Eckenrode Huska says:

    The restaurant in question at Queensgate shopping center was indeed Squires Pub. Owned by my deceased Father-in-Law James L Eckenrode Sr. His specialties were anything veal. Veal Piccata, Veal Marsala, Veal Oscar…you name it, he made it, and he made it well. Many of his veal dishes were named after local dignitaries. His onion loaf was a favorite of mine. I remember a time when I wanted Chickpeas in my salad, he didn’t have them in the kitchen so he sent someone to Weis for them………….just for me :) They were wonderful times. We were all so sad to see it go……but excited when he asked me to come to the walk-in freezer and take anything I wanted home. Restaurant size cheesecakes were definitely in my take home bag. He then helped start Cornerstables in Spry/Dallastown Area with the wonderful babyback ribs. They were wonderful years. He passed away in the late 1980’s.

  8. Carol says:

    Hi Joan
    If interested check out the Facebook group I grew up in York pa in the 50’s and 60’s. We had quite a discussion about Squire’s Pub. This group is really into York pa from the past…..2000 members.

  9. Holly says:

    I have very fond memories of Alice Hoffer’s store. My DM and I shopped there and some of my favorite outfits were from there. I loved the Lanz sleepwear that she carried. She was a very classy lady.

  10. Walt Frey says:

    The gym in the West Manchester Mall was indeed called Fitness America. It was a chain with two gyms in Lancaster. One being in the Golden Triangle. The other was on the east side of town on route 30 just off the limited access portion. There was also another one located in the north west corner of the old Sears shopping center. I believe they also had one or two others. I trained at the two in York for several years. The one in the West Manchester Mall was probably the best gym I’ve ever trained in. The guys running the place were all into lifting themselves and there was a lot of camaraderie among the members, not like the new gyms where even grunting is not allowed.

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