Ask Joan: Reporting on what you want to know edition

Today’s Ask Joan features a combination of two of my favorite things: Helping readers with their questions about York County, and telling fun stories in our newspaper and on our websites.

What’s inside
1. Is it Leader or Leaders Heights?
2. Average home prices in York
3. What’s our bus doing in Texas?
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Ask Joan: The “mostly local questions, but also New Jersey” edition

In kind of a bonus Ask Joan aside today, I received a question last week seeking information that’s NOT “Only in York County.” Reader Bob wrote, “Around 1980-81, the Echelon Mall, in Voorhees, NJ had a fitness center (I believe it was on the outside of the mall before you went in). Does anyone remember the name? I’m searching for someone who worked there during this time period.”

So this interests me mostly because of a fun juxtaposition – I was born in Voorhees, a little-known fact about me; while I’ve lived in York County since I was 3 days old, I am not technically a “native” and am, in fact, a Jersey girl.

So if anyone happens to know the name of a store in a mall in Voorhees for Bob, hey, why not comment?

Now, onto the local questions:

What’s inside
1. Seeking Bear’s sticky bun recipe
2. How to submit your news
3. Anna Elizabeth Taylor, mystery woman
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Ask Joan: Summer fun destinations edition

What’s inside
Today’s Ask Joan takes a look at a couple of summer fun destinations about which readers are seeking more memories – first, Springwood Park and Pool; second, the former Meadowbrook Swim Club in the northeastern York County area.
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Readers remember Squire’s Pub and other Mailman’s and Queensgate-area restaurants

In last week’s Ask Joan, reader Chris Johnson asked about a former restaurant in what’s now the Queensgate Shopping Center.

Can I just tell you all – WOW. I don’t remember the last time I heard from so many people about a question?

As it turns out, that location was the Squire’s Pub for many years, then Nicholas’s Pub, and possibly some other things even after that.

Within about a day of that column being published, I had something like 30 emails, 3 visits to my office and a couple of phone calls, all with readers wanting to let me know what they remembered about those establishments. I’m sharing a selection of them today; I received many, many more, and I do want to say thanks to everyone who replied!

Betsy and Terry Allison of York Township wrote to me and said “Chris asked the name of the restaurant in the Queensgate Shopping Center that served excellent veal dishes. I just spoke with the former owner who gave me a short history of the restaurant. It was originally opened by Bud Boyer under the name of Squire’s Pub. Several years later, it was bought by Tom and Sandy Nicholas and renamed Nicholas’s Pub. That is the name I remember, as it was my parents’ favorite place to dine when they visited us. The veal dishes were the best we have ever eaten. The restaurant closed after the Weis expansion and Sandy opened The Corner Stables restaurant in the (Olde) Tollgate Shopping Center in York Township, which is now known for its ribs. I hope this is what Chris was looking for. Thanks so much for an entertaining column.”

A fun note came from Alicia Helfrich, who said it was her first time responding to an Ask Joan column! “There have been many times I have answered or commented about readers write-ins verbally to my husband from my seat in our den,” she wrote! She said, “To answer the question of the restaurant Chris is looking for: it was called The Squire’s Pub. It was owned by a gentleman named Tom. I can’t remember his last name. Also, Elby’s Big Boy was located where Frank Theaters is currently located. Gino’s, which I am well associated with, was located where Wonderful Garden Chinese restaurant is currently located.” Alicia also noted there was a Dress Barn store in the strip mall where Frank Theaters is now, along with a state liquor store.

On a side note, Alicia had a question too; she writes, “Does anyone remember the original Seven Cousins or the original Grapevine (it may have been called) located between the old Hills dept. store, and the current Weis markets store on Market Street? It was tucked away in a small location. You had the Lincoln Woods, Gino’s, Hills, and this Seven Cousins or Grapevine restaurant, with The Office restaurant located where the Red Lobster now sits. (There was a Grapevine on Belmont, this is not the location I am speaking about.)” And she concluded, “I came to answer Chris’s question, but got carried away with memories.”

That’s the best way to spend your day, in my opinion, Alicia!

I also heard from Wayne Lutz, Sharon Groff, Holly Griffin, Dawn M., Mary Brandt, Mary Ellen Hoyt and Patti Page; from Bill Bankoske, who described Squire’s as “a very nice place;” Maria Musti, who wrote, “When I worked nearby we went there for special lunches. They made an excellent crab omelette!”; and Brenda Killion, who said, “They had wonderful veal dishes and an awesome ‘Seafood Platter’ that was huge!!! Great food, spirits and many wonderful memories from there.”

Bob Hohman said it was immediately adjacent to what was then a Pantry Pride supermarket. “The restaurant’s decor was Mediterranean,” Bob wrote. “A squire’s shield outside welcomed customers. Immediately inside the entrance was a bar running parallel to the length of the establishment. Then came the kitchen. In back was a full-service dining room offering a large variety of main dishes.”

Well, that sounds beautiful, though not quite like another reader, Jon from Glen Rock, remembered. He described: “The name you’re looking for is Squire’s Pub! The exterior was done in a Tudor style with yellow pebbled glass and two black lamps hanging on either side of the entrance. Why I remember this I have no idea except as a child my parents would take my brother Bobby and I there, not to the restaurant but to Race O Rama where we would purchase our Matchbox or Hot Wheel cars. Thanks for evoking memories!”

I also heard from Sue Farrell of Mount Wolf, who said the Squire’s Pub was “a nice place to eat and socialize.” She writes, “My high school boyfriend, his brother and sister all worked there as buskids. The waitresses I recall most were named Mary and Sally. I was allowed to visit and hang out at the busboy station on quiet nights. The education I received from those toughened waitresses was indeed valuable! I believe the owner’s name was Jimmy. It was a great place for us to go on homecoming since we knew everyone. … Thanks for joggling the the happy memory bank.”

From Jill Eckenrode Huska, I heard more about owner “Jimmy” or “Jimmie” as we also heard him referred to. Jill wrote, “The restaurant in question at Queensgate shopping center was indeed Squire’s 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 Corner Stables in Spry/Dallastown area with the wonderful baby back ribs. They were wonderful years. He passed away in the late 1980s.”

Ann Kordenbrock also remembered a man she called Jimmie, who specialized in veal dishes. She wrote, “Our son was a busboy and when he was not busy he would watch Jimmie cook and he became quite a gourmet cook himself and made spending money at college catering dinners for friends who wanted a ‘special’ dinner for a date.”

And from readers Steve and Mary Bancroft, I heard about this and other local eateries. They wrote, “The restaurant was Squire’s Pub, one of our favorites, in the same area were several other faves. The Tyler Inn (SW corner of Tyler Run Road and South Queen), Dew Drop Inn ( just down Dew Drop Rd from S. Queen), Bill Skouras’ Trail Lounge (S. George St. at Tyler Run), Bob Yost’s The Office (in the front part of the old York County Shopping Center about where the video store used to be facing E. Market St.) and don’t forget Lennie MacDonald’s The Hill (on top of S. Queen St., now Crimson occupies the spot). All great local watering and eating spots. Those were the good old days!”

After Squire’s

So after all that, the restaurant became a few other things. Reader Carl Huber remembered Nicholas’s Pub, as did Debbie Mohr.

Others remembered the Big Boy restaurant in the same plaza, though I’m not sure if it was the same location or not, based on differing memories; Stephanie Beddia wrote, “I can still envision that big head!” of that restaurant. She added, “I spent a lot of time in that area. When Stanley Mailman opened his store, he asked my grandparents, then in their late 60s to come and work there. They worked there into their 80s.”

Another reader, Tony T., said he recalled a restaurant there called The HUB. I hadn’t yet heard of that one, but he says it had a really good crab imperial!

And more recently, Bob Anderson noted, “My son remembers a restaurant called Authors.” This is also a location I recall, and was in more recent years.

Bob wrote, “It was a very small place, and brought lots of folk singers in to perform. It was right next to the entrance of the Movie Theatre, and you could look into it when going into the theatre. This would have been on the north side of the alley, so north of Weis Market. And it was in the mid ’80s and ’90s, but I hope this helps.”

Finally, reader Carol reminded me of the Facebook group that my brother-in-law Mike and many other friends are active in, called I Grew Up in York, PA, in the 50’s & 60’s. She said, “We had quite a discussion about Squire’s Pub. This group is really into York PA from the past… 2000 members.”

I love to pop into that group when I can, and it was a great reminder to stop by for a visit!

Wow. Thank you all for recalling Squire’s Pub, Nicholas’s and other Mailman’s/Queensgate eateries of the past!

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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
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Ask Joan: Groves and lions and landing crafts, oh my!

I have a fun, very random mixed bag of Ask Joan questions and follow-ups to share today!

What’s inside
1. Wondering: Where was Himmelright’s Grove?
2. Remembering pet lion in York
3. Seeking name of Red Lion factory
Continue reading “Ask Joan: Groves and lions and landing crafts, oh my!” »

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Ask Joan: Lots of follow-ups edition

When I share Ask Joan questions that I don’t yet have an answer to, when I hear information, I often just pass that info directly on to the original question-asker. There are just so many questions that I could write five times a day for a year and not follow up on all of them in columns!

But today, I do have a few miscellaneous follow-ups to share on topics both recent and older. I hope you’ll enjoy them. (And check back next week for more in the “clearing up some lingering topics” vein, too.)

What’s inside
1. Boeckel’s Landing by the river
2. Another recipe for bacon dressing
3. Lemon sponge pie’s possible location
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Mail call: Yet more downtown York memories

About this time last month, I shared another selection of readers’ memories of downtown York, PA.

Guess what? (You’ll never guess.)

I have more memories to share today!

Oh, wait, you guessed that? Oops.

One letter I received came from Betty J. Neff of Springettsbury Township. She writes, “I, too, would like to give some thoughts, memories of downtown shopping since I worked in the downtown area from 1946 to 1990. Walker’s Men’s Store was at the corner of East King and South George Street prior to Sunny’s Surplus. Next to Leed’s on East Market Street was Herbert’s and next to them was Stillman’s store – both two floors of apparel, etc. I don’t think anyone mentioned Stanwyck’s Shoe Store on South George Street.” She concluded with a list of the jewelry stores she remembered: “Shaffner’s on East Market Street right before National Bank and Fluhrer’s on West Market Street, close to Bell’s Ladies Shop.”

I also had a really cool letter from Lea Akin of Dover Township, who wrote, “My late husband, Jerry Akin, had a terrific memory and wrote these memories in a journal. This appeared in his 2006 journal. It is his paper route from the early to mid ’60s. It lists businesses from the route that I thought might bring back some memories for your readers.”

She listed the following from Jerry’s journal:

“From the College Avenue bridge west to Penn Street, past Mary’s Sub Bar on Penn Street, Charlie Myers’ grocery on Penn and College, across from Sam’s Bar. To the north on the left side of Penn Street, Hoffman’s Meat Market. Up further to the right Princess Street School at Penn and Princess Street. Miss Cassimatis, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Kelly, first grade teacher, second grade teacher, principal, in that order. Go back to College Avenue, right turn to the west. One block on left, two doors from Green Street, Jerry’s house. Across from Lancaster’s Restaurant and across from Hymie Malask’s Store. Before Jerry’s house, Stotler’s Venetian Blind Hospital and Beauty Shop. Further west on left, “Tooth Factory,” from Green Street to West Street, with Grantley Street in between. Corner of College AVenue and West Street, Rosie Krylywicz’s Store. End of route handed down from brothers Eddie to Mike to Ronnie to Jerry Akin.”

Lea signed her note, “Hope you might find this interesting for your readers,” and I definitely do – those were some places I’d not yet heard about and would certainly love to hear more regarding!

Finally, another reader who didn’t give her name sent me a note saying she was born and raised in York, and loved and still loves the downtown. She said she is now 88 and recalled a drive-in theater near the Road House on East Market Street, the Ramona, the Hiway Theater on West Market Street, the Golden Glow, the Rainbow Grill in the Valencia Ballroom’s basement and a brewery between King and Queen streets. I don’t recall the name of that brewery but we have definitely talked about several of those places in previous posts and it’s always nice to hear from others who share the same memories!

Previous posts
· Dec. 20, 2010: More memories of stores in downtown York
· March 5, 2011: An amazing treasure trove: A walking tour of historic downtown York
· March 15, 2011: Downtown memories from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s
· March 29, 2011: Memories of shopping on West Market Street, and a wonderful gas price of 17 cents a gallon!
· April 29, 2011: Letters about even more downtown stores and restaurants
· April 30, 2011: Remember our downtown walking tour?
· June 18, 2011: Mail call: A downtown map and thoughts on Green Stamps from the Staub family
· Oct. 21, 2011: Some possible additions to our detailed map of downtown stores
· Dec. 13, 2012: Mail call: Downtown York photos from Charles V. Goodwin
· Feb. 21, 2013: Business advertisements from the York High Weekly in the early 1940s
· Apr. 5, 2013: Yet more memories of downtown York from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s
· Feb. 13, 2014: More memories of downtown York cafeterias
· May 22, 2014: Some more memories of downtown York, PA

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Ask Joan: Third-grade teacher edition

Today’s Ask Joan features a bad-news update; the cat I mentioned last week had to be put to sleep, which was devastating for our family; but in good news, my week was made by receiving a letter from my third-grade teacher in response to a previous Ask Joan, which I’m glad to share today!

What’s inside
1. American Toy, Novelty Works sled
2. Seeking photo of Frederick St. Acme
3. Italian Oven recipe book sought
4. Info on Brook Leaf Love Nest
5. Memories of Weigelstown’s North Pole
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Ask Joan: Sick cat edition

This week has been rough – we’re having a problem with our air conditioner at home, but more worrisome, our oldest cat, Salem, is pretty sick. He’s been at the vet since Sunday, and he’ll be there til at least Friday. I’ll be honest; when he comes home, I’m not sure how much time he’ll have left.

I try to keep things pretty happy here as it relates to telling you what’s up with my life in York County, and I do have a slightly fun story to tell – I’ve gone to visit Salem a few times, and in the next cage to him is a lovely cat called Skittles, belonging to one my middle-school teachers and his wife! Very York County. So send good thoughts for Salem and Skittles, OK? And if you want to help me answer some questions, I’ve got a few I could use a hand with!

What’s inside
1. Liberty Bell replica follow-up
2. Looking for copies of yearbooks
3. Information sought on Washington House
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