Archive for the ‘Muffler Man’ Category

A quick dip off the highway for a kitschy photo op with an oversize roadside giant- a must do on any Retro Road Trip. We had the luck of being just moments away from the Muffler Man (also known as a “Happy Half-Wit“) at Ken Muffler & Break Services in Beaumont, TX.Muffler Man "Happy Half-Wit"


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Finally coming to grips with the end of my great retro weekend on Long Island and discovering their wonderful collection of luncheonettes, I could not resist trying to fit one more vintage LI location into my visit – the Star Confectionery in Riverhead, NY just at the fork of Long Island.

Star Confectionery Sign

Originally built in 1911 as a candy store and owned by the same family since the 1920s, we had a late breakfast here just before they closed up for the day. Take note of things like this if you want to get a good photo of vintage neon while it’s still burning! I did not realize they’d shut the signs off, but being my fave word I had to snap a photo of the window anyhow.

Luncheonette Unlit

We slipped into a wooden booth and served by prompt and friendly folks. Having had my fill of standard breakfast fare, I opted for an unusual combo that somehow seemed just right. Iced tea and a split n grilled corn muffin. Grilled muffins are the best!

Iced Tea - Long Island!(it took me 2 months to realize this was a real Long Island Iced Tea! ;-))

You can see from the photo below the wonderfully kept original stained glass windows, authentic counter stools and classic marble countertop. Not to mention the great tiled floor. And unfortunately you can also see the reflection of the “Closed” sign, which reminded us it was time to head back to the mainland.

Star Confectionery Counter

Bidding adieu to the Star we could not leave town without a quick walk around what once was a bustling commercial district. It was extra quiet because of Sunday but a bit sad to see all the wonderful yet vacant storefronts. Not to say there aren’t things going on, and in fact my sidekick Suzanne told me that the Vail Levitt Music hall around the corner is a historic theatre where Thomas Edison experimented with sound movies almost 100 years ago. I was not able to snap a photo of this notable place, but you can read the detailed history of the theatre on the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall website.

One great sign I was able to snap a photo of was of the Suffolk Theatre, built in 1933.

Suffolk Theatre
Thanks to the information on that great resource Cinema Treasures, I’m happy to report that “The long delayed restoration of the theatre began in August 2010” good news!

I know that there were other cool vintage places that we missed, diners we didn’t find, but we did pack a lot of fun into a long weekend!

So there we go, the true very end of a wonderful retro roadmap vintage Long Island weekend that I’ve somehow managed to stretch out and make last for the entire summer, like a wonderful piece of salt water taffy. Our last retro roadside find seemed the most appropriate, the Riverhead Raceway Indian, who looks like he’s saying, “Thank you for visiting our fair lands, please come again”!

Riverhead Raceway Indian

Star Confectionery
4 E Main St
Riverhead, NY 11901-2423
(631) 727-9873

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Just 2 short miles off 95 in Havre de Grace MD, the Bridge Diner is open 24 hours and is a worthwhile detour for the hungry traveler.

Don’t be put off by the remodeled roof /interior (and clock!)- a number of cool old details have escaped updating- check out the underwater mural and boomerang Formica. Service was pleasant and our tasty breakfast had more food than we could could finish and a bargain at under $12.

Just a few feet down 40 from the Bridge is a muffler man, always a score onĀ  any roadside adventure. He’s been painted over to wear army fatigues and guards the entrance to a deco building that is also pretty cool.


Bridge Diner
900 Ontario St
Havre De Grace, MD 21078
(410) 939-3339

Bridge Diner on Urbanspoon

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