Thursday, February 14, 2019

Guide to Dinner and Dancing – Feb. 1969

Today is Valentine's Day – and many of you may have plans to celebrate by enjoying a fine dinner at a local restaurant. But where to go?

Well, fifty years ago, the Journal made it easy for you to decide where to dine by publishing a regular advertising feature called the Golden Crescent Guide to Dining and Dancing. It usually included a pretty good review of a restaurant, followed by a series of small boxed ads for other establishments.

(I posted one of these Golden Crescent Guides before, which featured this 1973 review for Amber Oaks.)

Anyway, here are two Guides from February 1969. The first one (below) ran on Feb. 7, 1969 and features a review of the late, great Elberta Inn. There's also a nice photo of the well-remembered Vermilion landmark.

This guide includes ads for McGarvey's, Philbo House, Popi's Colony Restaurant & Lounge, Americana Inn, Sherwood Inn, Presti's of Oberlin, Dover Chalet, Mr. Larry's Beef & Tails, and Avon Lake's Saddle Inn.
(I've featured the Elberta Inn on this blog a few times, including this aerial photo, some vintage ads, the time when Duke Ellington performed there, and this post when the place burned down in Feb. 2011.)
The second Golden Crescent Guide ran right on Valentine's Day 1969 – fifty years ago today. This one highlighted the aforementioned Presti's of Oberlin.
Presti's closed its doors in March of 2014.
We ate at Presti's a few times in the 1990s, although the restaurant has the somewhat dubious honor of starring in one of my more infamous restaurant recollections.
Although the food and service at Presti's was usually good, on one of my visits there I encountered an off night. Waaaaaaaaay off.
Although I never did find out what was going on in the kitchen that night – whether someone quit or the place just ran out of everything – I endured the longest wait of my entire life for my dinner to be served in a restaurant.
More than two hours after we arrived, we were still waiting for our entrées, with no explanation from our waitress (who eventually skedaddled and was probably home in bed before our food was served). 
At one point I went looking for a manager – or anyone – so I could ask about our missing dinner, and found nobody. I half expected to see the whole staff hogtied with gags in their mouths, lined up on the floor next to an empty cash register. 
I was determined to wait it out, however, and remember eating dinner well after nine o'clock that night in an almost-empty dining room. 
We skipped dessert.


Anonymous said...

I remember eating at Presti’s as a little kid in the mid 70’s. I liked the sourkraut balls.

Dan Brady said...

Despite my tale of dining woe at Presti's, it was pretty sad when it closed, because of all the happy memories so many people had of eating there over the years.