Posts Tagged ‘Cafe’

Would you believe that we weren’t even planning on going to the Sun Studio tour while we were in Memphis? Wacky, huh? But when we saw this gigantic Gibson glowing in the morning sun, we had to investigate. So glad we did, as the tour ended up being a highlight of our entire visit to town.

Sun Studio Tour Memphis TN



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As I mentioned during our visit to the Silver Skillet in Atlanta GA, the presence of authentic “boomerang” formica usually means a good meal awaits – as was the case with our breakfast at the Arcade Restaurant in Memphis, TN.

Arcade Restaurant Boomerang Formica(a silly smiling girl in the background doesn’t hurt either!)


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It was a happy coincidence that the Mayflower cafe – oldest restaurant in the capital of Missisippi (Since 1935) was just 2 blocks from our hotel, so we hoofed it over there on a bright sunny morning and had an early lunch of some tasty seafood in this vintage restaurant.
Mayflower Cafe Sign and Exterior


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As I sit here in Retro Roadmap headquarters hovering over my cup of tea for warmth, I’m remembering the hot beverages and cozy atmosphere of Caffe Reggio in New York City. We visited Greenwich Village’s oldest coffee house a few weeks ago thanks to the recommendation of our NYC go-to-guy for all that’s cool in the city, RetromanNYC , and I’m glad we did!

Caffe Reggio Neon Sign

Caffe Reggio is famous for introducing cappuccino to the United States, and proudly displays their original cappuccino machine in their dimly lit yet wonderfully inviting interior. Retro Roadhusband was more than happy to partake in one of their famous cappuccinos (gave it the thumbs up) and I ordered a hot tea for me. I was delighted when my tea arrived, not in a bag, but in a pot, with strainer and all, to catch the loose tea leaves.

Caffe Reggio Tea Service

When RetromanNYC suggested Caffe Reggio to us he let us know that it was his mother’s favorite hang between classes (or sometimes instead of classes!) when she attended NYU. I can see the allure of the place for folks from any era, with the eclectic artwork, surprisingly friendly service and a history of notable customers, beatniks and all. While the cafe is currently non-smoking, I can just imagine a college age gal drinking cappuccino, smoking Gitanes and feeling very continental.

Caffe Reggio Coffee Alcove Waiting at our marble bistro table for our beverages to arrive it was fun to absorb all of the details of the small space, and watch the steady stream of customers coming in from the cold. I was enchanted by the antique lighting and stained glass, tin roof and antiques, all giving off the vibe that they had been there forever. You can’t buy patina like this.

Caffe Reggio Tin Ceiling

If you don’t mind being seen, there are seats at the window, and for warmer weather there is cafe seating outside.

Caffe Reggio Cafe Society
Caffe Reggio also serves soups, sandwiches, pastries, desserts and more- had we not had plans for dinner that evening we would’ve grabbed a bite for sure. Just writing about it makes me want to go back there right now, and join in the cafe society!

Caffe Reggio
119 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012-1202
(212) 475-9557

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This chilly transition into autumn has got me thinking of Vermont for 2 reasons – one is the combo of maple syrup and leaf peeping that the state is known for, but the other, more Retro Roadmap worthy reason is Bove’s Restaurant! In business in Burlington VT since 1941 and still retaining it’s authentic Art Deco vitrolite facade, neon sign and old-school charm, I am happy to thank Elise Brown of DrummerPR for this photo and report on Bove’s -our first vintage Vermont listing!


I visited Bove’s some time in the early 90’s, so when I read that Elise and her husband had vacationed in the area this past summer I asked if the art deco restaurant that I remembered so fondly was still there. And hooray it’s still there, family owned and operated and stronger than ever. Not only have they made an appearance on the Food Network and Today show for their delicious lasagna but their family recipe sauce and award winning pasta is for sale in their online store.

Elise reports:

It even still has the same wallpaper I remember from 1980! College kids attending UVM, Champlain College or St. Michael’s know it well – and (like me) return to it when they visit their alma mater. The servings are huge and the prices are extremely reasonable My personal faves are the daily specials: Lasagna on Wednesdays and Stuffed Peppers on Thursday are AWESOME and only $7.80.

Here’s a video that the Bove Brothers / aka Sauce Boys made for their audition to get onto the Food Network and you can see some great shots of their vintage interior (and tasty food) right here:

So if you’re in the Burlington VT area today – it’s Lasagna day!

Bove’s Cafe
68 Pearl St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-6651

Closed Sunday & Monday

Bove's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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I would be remiss in my sharing of vintage places to visit if I did not hep my Retro Roadmap readers to Fanelli Cafe in New York City. Thanks to RetromanNYC‘s handy tip we were able to dodge into this corner cafe and imbibe a casual drink while enjoying the ambiance that dates back to 1847, long before the neighborhood became known as SoHo.

Fanelli's Cafe NYC

We weren’t sure how the bar vs table situation worked when we first entered the corner door, but were immediately waved to “site anywhere you like” by the friendly waitresses located towards the back, where the dark wood, mirrors and big clock made us felt like we had stepped back in time.

Fanelli's Cafe NYC

While seated at our table for two we were able to admire the great old back bar and the penny hex tile floors while drinking our lagers. Funny true story- while I was in the very small ladies “water closet” – literally closet sized – I could’ve sworn that my cell phone rang, so I scrambled for my phone in my purse- only to find it silent. Puzzled I grilled Retro Roadhusband thinking he may have called and hung up, which he rightly denied. A few moments later I heard “my phone” again, only to realize that it was the PAY PHONE located just outside the bathroom, that had that original phone ring that my modern cell only imitates!

Fanelli's Cafe Floor NYCThe ambiance and vibe of Fanelli’s was low key- which was a relief from some of the hoity-toity places in the immediate vicinity. Our waitress had no problem with us taking up the tablespace for a while as we waited for pals to arrive and it was nice to sit back and watch folks come in and wander towards the back dining room. Quick word about the food- hmmm. how about, stick with the drinks! Not horrible, but I’d want to try out someplace else to eat next time.

We didn’t realize how much time had passed when we were in Fanelli’s, but I loved how their etched glass door sparkled with the outdoor light as we left that evening.

Fanelli's Cafe NYC

My lil point and shoot shot came out too blurry for me to post, but click here to see a really beautiful shot of the outside of Fanelli’s from New York Daily Photo – they’ve got a bit of the history too! So nice to have a vintage ball in the corner pocket especially in this neck of the city.

Fanelli Cafe
94 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 226-9412

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