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Posts Tagged ‘Homer Laughlin’

I’m in heaven! Fiestaware is probably one of the most iconic dinnerware patterns around, and it’s still made in the USA! You’ve probably seen it, or one of the other Homer Laughlin china patterns in your favorite vintage diner, restaurant or retro eating establishment.

Fiestaware Seconds Room CloseupThe factory tour was already full when we tried to make reservations, so I consoled myself by buying a deviled egg tray and a few other cheery pieces in the 2nds room. The colors go perfectly with the interior of the Hacienda! They also sell first quality Fiestaware at the outlet.

Click here for more photos of the Homer Laughlin Outlet and Seconds Room

Homer Laughlin China Company
672 Fiesta Dr
Newell, WV 26050
(304) 387-1300

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As we make plans for our retro road trip to Austin TX next month I can’t help but compare the process to what it used to be waaaay back in the 90’s when I took my first road trips out of the North East. Books, maps, guides and payphones have been replaced by the internet, GPS and social networking, and I think it makes the process even more fun!

Planning a Retro Roadtrip - Old SchoolI’ll still be referring to my books, but I also want to take advantage of the internet – where I can shout out “Does anyone know of a good place to eat in Jackson MS?” and perhaps I’ll get a local person who will give a recommendation that I might not have been able to find with the limited resources of days of yore.

That being said, anyone know of a good hotel/ motel /restaurant / vintage business / classic sign / old theater / cocktail lounge / drive in / dive bar / BBQ joint / ice cream stand / bakery / roller skating rink / diner / souvenir stand / tourist trap / roadside attraction that we should not miss on our journey?

How about a bologna factory?! We’re pretty much game for anything along our route!

Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna Palmyra PA 1996

Here is the plan so far:

We’ll be heading from PA to Austin via 81 /77 / 85 with a stop in Atlanta so Retro Roadhusband can play some gigs, and we can eat at The Varsity and Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

From Atlanta we’ll head through Birmingham AL and Jackson MS – neither of which state is represented on the Retro Roadmap! Whaddaya got?

We go south from Jackson, taking the coastal route west, with Baton Rouge LA and Houston TX being the biggest dots on the map before we head to Austin, where we’ll be for a few days for the SXSW music convention. (While we’ll be oh-so-close to New Orleans, I want to save that for its very own trip later this year)

Then when we leave Austin we’ll be hitting such high points as Graceland in Memphis, Hatch Show Prints in Nashville, Wigwam Village #2, The American Sign Museum and the home of Fiestaware, before we reluctantly swing east across PA to head home.

While we’ve got these pins in our map already please let us know if there are any places to eat, visit, photo, people we should meet, regional foods to eat, souvenirs to buy along the way. If we can cram it into this trip we’ll do it. And if we don’t get it all done, that means we need to take another trip!

I look forward to any suggestions that you have, and promise to share the trip with “y’all” while we’re on the road and when we return.

Thank You in advance,

Mod Betty & RetroRoadhusband

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Retro Roadhusband and I were supposed to have a salad for dinner tonight, but with the cold grey rainy day we’re having I’d rather have some warm comfort food, like they serve at The Bowmanstown Diner in Bowmanstown PA. In researching for this post I see that they’re famous for their Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and french fries with gravy (so much more up my alley than a head of cold lettuce!)

Bowmanstown Diner Counter

I visited the diner at the recommendation of a Roadsidefans post and while I was initially bummed to see the stainless diner partially covered over, I ended up being so pleased with the food, service and spotless vintage diner charm, that I realized it didn’t matter that most of the diner was covered with a boater hat of stonework and mansard-roofing. It was a classic diner experience.

Or should I say, dinerS experience:

You see, the Bowmanstown diner is really an amalgam of 2 diners, with the main diner being a well preserved 1952 Fodero:

A Hidden Gem

And to the right, a 1960  Silk City diner turned on its side and added as a dining area. You can see the whole Silk City from across the train tracks.
Across The Train Tracks

I was alone on this jaunt north so I took my customary seat at the counter. As Elaine the hostess saw me clicking a photo of the Fodero tag she made an effort not to get in the picture, which was sweet (but it still came out blurry– blah.). I told her how utterly charming this place was, and how great that it was so well preserved inside. She agreed and said words that warmed my heart:


“They (current owners Rich & Mike) didn’t want to enlarge the one door that goes in and out from the kitchen because they didn’t want to mess with the original stainless steel“.

SWOON!

And check out that cool stainless steel, with authentic diner clock in-tact, and keeping time!

Bowmanstown Diner Stainless Clock

And the food is good too!

I was asked – first time in my life – if I would like onions in my hash browns (no thanks.) When the hot water for my tea was delivered, a tiny paper ramekin cup was nestled inside the neck of the rounded bottle, to keep the water hotter.

And when my breakfast was delivered- on classic Homer Laughlin diner china that matched the pink interior – well I swear I’ve never seen such cheery looking over-easy eggs in my life.

Happy Breakfast

Not only is this great vintage diner clean and classic,  but it is open 24 hours a day and only closed 3 days out of the entire year; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years day.

Had the Glider diner not already have been flagged as the Retro Roadmap / RoadsideFans meeting place (on Sunday 11/14) I was prepared to recommend this diner in a heartbeat.

If you’re in the area, or driving on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, do yourself a favor and stop by the Bowmanstown Diner. And thank them for not messing with the vintage stainless steel!

Bowmanstown Diner
642 White St
Bowmanstown, PA 18030
(610) 852-2752

Open 24 hours

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Update 6/2011: I’ve been told via a comment on the photo below in Flickr that this business has closed. Bummer! Glad we were able to visit it when we did.

During our all too short visit to the Lake George region we discovered LG’s neighbor Glens Falls NY. With a few microbrew pubs, antique stores and legit old businesses, we took a few hours to walk around and explore. While this vintage sign originally beckoned us, the fact that ABC Restaurant Supply was open to the public was too much to resist.

ABC Restaurant Supply(Looks like this might’ve been a neon sign at one point, still well maintained though!)

Opened in 1945, this the place to explore if you’re looking for gigantic ladles, professional gauge baking sheets (got one!), glasses, plates, trays, bar stools and more. We could not resist picking up a trio of colorful Fiestaware ramekins – so handy for sauces a welcome addition to our Homer Laughlin collection back at the Hacienda. I’m sure the kind gentlemen working there were a bit amused by my oohing and aahing over the cheery colors!

Ah, Fiesta!So if you’re poking around Glens Falls and admiring the old fashioned signage, storefronts and businesses, know that ABC is open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. I’m sure there’s something there you need/ want.

ABC Restaurant Equipment (CLOSED!)
28 Elm Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
(518) 793-3456

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