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Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

When Retro Roadhusband were driving down Route 30 / The Lincoln Highway in Paradise, PA Sunday we were saddened to see that Jacob Zoon Hex Signs store was closed and the property being offered for sale.

jacob zook hex sign store closed realtor information

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Just got the sad news from Brian Butko’s Lincoln Highway News blog that the Hi Way Drive In Theatre in Latrobe PA is going to be demolished and replaced by a CVS. So sad!

Hi-Way Drive In Big Sky Country

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I’ve got a dog-free Saturday coming up which means…ROADTRIP!! Granted we will most likely keep within the confines of Pennsylvania, but what direction should we head in?!

As you can see, we’ve been to a lot of vintage and cool old places in PA, and they’re all listed on the Pennsylvania RetroRoadMAP:

But where to go? What to discover? Sometimes the options can be overwhelming!

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When looking for live entertainment we’re kinda lucky in the Philadelphia area to have a few vintage venues to choose from, and The Keswick Theatre in Glenside PA is at the top of the list! It’s a great place to see live music and shows of all kinds.

Keswick Theatre Neon Sign

RetroRoadhusband and I were lucky enough to see Herb Alpert and Lani Hall there a few weeks ago – a class act in a class environment for sure. (more…)

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We were in Ardmore, PA the other night so RetroRoadhusband and I  decided to see what the Chung Sing restauarant AKA “diner that is actually a Chinese restaurant” was all about. Since we needed to grab a bite to eat it seemed like a perfect excuse for a little RetroRoadmap investigation. Let’s check it out shall we?

Exterior - Diner Chinese Restaurant Ardmore PAIt was raining so I just snapped this quick view before we headed into the vestibule. As you can see there’s no mistaking that this restaurant definitely a diner by design. It’s actually a vintage Fodero diner, once called Dean’s Diner and built in 1952 (thanks Larry at Diner Hotline for the info.)

And here’s what the inside looks like today.

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It doesn’t matter that there isn’t an actual subway in Harrisburg, PA  since they’ve got the Subway Cafe restaurant and its glowing neon sign!

Subway Cafe Neon Signs Glass BlockSupposedly named for the railroad tracks under the bridge across the street, The Subway Cafe is in an industrial part of town. But with the glow of that neon beacon as a guide, and RetroRoadhusband by my side, we headed there for a bite at the beginning of a Saturday night out on the town.

Given the neighborhood we weren’t sure what to expect, but as soon as we walked in to this small restaurant to find all the tables crowded with regulars (but some seats at the bar available for us) we knew all was well.
We're Glad You're Here!While my eyes were thrilled to see the 32 oz. fishbowl beers being served, I knew my liver would be less than excited, so we opted for pints. I had read that their pizza was something to try so I ordered a plain pie to share with RetroRoadhusband, while he got a salad with house dressing and a meatball sandwich.

While we waited for our food I all but swiveled around on my seat to take in the authentic vintage decor of the place. From the mural of the hills of Italy – painted by one of the original bartenders back in the 1940’s, to the fantastically fabulous atomic age lighting fixtures, this place is the real deal.
Interior of Subway Cafe Harrisburg with MuralThe mirrored bar harkens back to when the place was not much more than a bar in the 1930’s, and even the sign above the kitchen window looks like it’s been around for forever.

We chatted with the gents next to us for a couple of minutes until our food arrived, and from them knew to expect the thin, crackery crust and the sauce on top of the cheese. While this style of pizza may not be something you’re used to,  I am a big fan of this thin crust pizza, and this was definitely a nice change from the bloaty inflated pizza crusts from chain pizza places for sure. The sauce was tangy and cheese just right.
Subway Cafe Pizza with Sauce On Top
RetroRoadhusband enjoyed his salad  – though he would have enjoyed it more had he shaken up the house dressing (as instructed by our bar-mates) but it was good to get some vegetables in, to at least pretend we were eating healthy.

Our waitress/bartender was awfully nice, even suggesting a way I could take home one of their homemade eclairs. I was tempted, but with a long night of fun ahead of us I wasn’t sure it would sit well in the car.

As we left I could not help but be in awe of the flood line markers on the wall as we made our way to the door. The 1936 flood is bad enough, but to see that the 1972 flood came within a foot of the ceiling just boggles the mind. Thank GOD the flood didn’t mess with those crazy 1950’s ceiling lights!
Subway Cafe Flood LevelsAs we made our way to the RetroRoadmobile in the parking lot I stopped to quickly snap this photo of a vintage neon Yuengling beer sign in one of their windows. You rarely if ever see this iteration of their logo, and even though I’m not a Pennsylvanian by birth, I still like to see this old design.

Vintage Yuengling Neon SignSo if you’re in Harrisburg and want some authentic Italian food, just follow the glow of the Subway Cafe’s great neon sign!

Subway Cafe
1000 Herr Street
Harrisburg, PA 17103
(717) 255-9470

Subway Cafe on Urbanspoon

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We were only able to drive past the West Shore Theatre in New Cumberland PA this past weekend, but I think I’ve developed a crush on this little movie house located just outside of Harrisburg.

West Shore Theatre(Who doesn’t love the sight of a family rushing towards an independent cinema on a Saturday night?)


In the 70+ years that this theater has been located on the west shore of the Susquehanna river it has had only had 2 owners in that entire time (the current owner bought it in the mid-1980’s).

A photo of the theatre from the 1940’s show that the exterior has been kept true to its original design, and the neon marquee as you can see is in fine form.

Prices are said to be reasonable, and nary a bad word about this cheery little can be found on any of the major review sights (though boo, their website has lapsed).

Click here to see a great photo of the West Shore taken in the daytime and notice the details, from the horizontal stripes, to the great font used on the marquee, the box office to the left, the circular windows in the doors. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.

I’d love to make a trip back there to check out the interior, but from what I read and see, this place is a keeper already – RetroRoadmap stamp of approval!

The West Shore Theatre
317 Bridge Street
New Cumberland, PA 17070-2160
(717) 774-7160

PS- while turning around the RetroRoadmobile to photograph the theatre, we saw more neon across the street and got some cool vintage clothing at  Checkered Past!

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