Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On Broadway


When I was a little kid, Broadway Street was the corridor to the Waynedale area.

Yep - that's right - that street - which used to be one of the most famous (not to mention historical and notorious) streets of Fort Wayne - was the path that we Waynedale peeps took into the downtown area.

As a car passenger, Broadway was like a familiar, yet undiscovered country for me. Turning left (from Bluffton Road) was like getting a history lesson in less than 15 minutes. Businesses (small and mom and pop types) were scattered in between the close-knit, early 1900's and post-world war I neighborhoods.

There was always General Electric - massive - larger than live - a presence that was in essence - its own little city within a city.

And restaurants were plentiful. Zoli's (2426), Old Mill (3514), Bob's Place (1031), Fort Wayne Lunch (1308), Julie's Restaurant (1418), Leto's Pizza (1019), Manochio's (927), Senate Grill (1009), Ogg's Ralph Bar and Grill (1916), and Broadway Grill (1416).

Other businesses included (but definitely not a comprehensive list) Broadway Sewing Center (928), Maloley's (1101), Brass Rail Bar (1121), Koegel's Jewelers (1309), Norm's Glass Bar (1420), Custom Bilt (1908), Falls Tap (2012), Kirby Sales (2018), Swifty's (2024), Kip's Tavern (2034), Hire's (2042), Fort Wayne Lumber (2047), Broadway Car Wash (2202), Jocquel Supply Company (2206), Allen County Tires (2210), R&R Health Spa (2211), Hans Decorating Center (2215), Stookey's (2216), The Polka Dot (2219),Durnell's (2502), Speed-E-Clean Laundromat (2508), Marathan Station (2515), Broadway Home Bakery (2609), Martin's Heating (2626), Permafloors (2725), Magic Fingers (2726), Texaco (2740), Fort Wayne Mirror Works (2829), Allied Pool Equipment (2915), Montgomery's (3138), Broadway 66 Service Station (3325), Edward's Photography (3433), Tri-State Service (3434), Cosgrove's (3437), Compact Vacuum (3503), Randall's (3518).

But I'm not done yet - more on these businesses later...

15 comments:

Colleen said...

I wanna know about the two buildings next to zesto. Right now, the best thing they could do is fall down! But I wonder what they were.

Anonymous said...

You forgot Nick's Barber Shop. They were located a few doors north of Leto's. Phil Rizzo is still cutting hair. I spent my first 16 years in the West Central neighborhood. Stivers/Alters Drug Stores, The Posey Shop(before Broadway Sewing Center???), Wiley's/ Hoover's 5+Dime's, Trump's Bakery, Wilkin's Butcher Shop, Cress's Grocery, The Chinese Laundry, Denton's Drug Store, Pierre's Dept. Store, Miller's Hardware, Burford's Sudden Service(hamburgers-10 for a dollar). I can still remember driving by Kip's on Saturday nights and smelling the ribs. Mmmmmmmm. I did get to talk to Mr. Randall a year ago last June. He sold the business but still owns the building. He was able to sign Blue.

Anonymous said...

Next to Zesto...They've been different things over the years, but when I was in my early teens one of them was an Army/Navy store and the other was a photography studio that was rumored to do "nude photography" which put it up there with the Cinema Blue (now a four star restaraunt, ewwww...) and The Scorpion for places a teenage boy was always trying to sneak in to.

Anonymous said...

Regarding above...I forgot to mention that as far as I know they are both empty now. I took the kids to Zesto this summer and the whole area right around there looked pretty run down. It's sad to see. Zesto is still the same as ever. Friendly help and the best soft serve I've ever had.

Anonymous said...

Our family lived on West Wildwood in the 1960s. As kids we crossed Broadway to South Wayne School.

I remember the tragedy of a Gas Main explosion in February 1966.
This occured near what was a Shell station near the Bluffton Road turnoff near Foster Park.
We were at school that day & were stranded because Broadway was closed up to Taylor Ave.

jacktrades said...

I've been trying to find pictures of the Scorpion for years! If anyone can point me to one, I'd appreciate it. I hung out there from the time I was 15, to just before I turned 21. I was carded 1 month before my 21st birthday.

jacktrades said...

Oh, I forgot. If you have one, please email me at jacktrades [at] aol.com.

Thanks!

Josh Maloley said...

I'd like to hear more about Maloley's, esp anything special about the menu.

I knew that my Grandparents had a restarunt when they lived in Ft Wayne, but that's all I know about it.

I wonder if it was standard American fair, or if they served the ethnic dishes that I enjoyed at the family gatherings of my childhood. - JM.

Lonesome Pine said...

I lived on Scott Ave in the sixties and my mom used to send me to Polka Dot to buy cigarettes for her. I would also get myself a slow poke and a comic book. Zestos was a special treat in the summer. My father used to love the "garbage" pizza from Zoli's. Such wonderful memories of a time gone by.

mtheads said...

Polka Dot's was the in the downstairs of the one buildings. She had an old fashion diner in there. You could get burgers and fries and soda or malted. Which was good when Zesto's was closed. As lonesome pine said I too lived on Scott and that area has housed our family since the late 1800 to present day. The streets were brick and GE was booming. Life was good. The warm hot Summer days spent day dreaming under the maple tree in the back yard. I also remember collecting soda bottles. We would walk the alleys and pick up soda bottles and take them home clean them and then take them to Dot's who would give us 2 cents for some and 5 cents for other ones. Then we would go to Zesto's and buy an ice cream cone. The small ones were 10, 15 with chocolate and the large were 25, 30 with the chocolate. We would go over and sit on the top step at Emmaus and eat our cones and talk and watch traffic. I remember one day sitting all day waiting for the Beatles to come down Broadway on their way through town. Yep the one and only Beatles,Never did get to see them for mother called us home and we had to go eat. Bummer... I believe Kennedy too came through... Bobby that is. Wow that neighborhood was big in its day.

Always_a_Leto said...

I came across your post while doing a search for Leto's Pizza online. I was hoping to find a photo I may not have seen. My grandpa owned the place and recently passed away. It's nice to see it listed here. I wish I could have seen it when it existed.

Karen Mehl said...

Hi, My uncle just told me 2 weeks ago the name of my Grandfather's restaurant in Fort Wayne. Burford's Sudden Service, which I see mentioned here. If anyone has pictures I would absolutely love to see them! I can't believe hamburgers were ever 10 for a dollar (:>)

Anonymous said...

Well here is some info for you. My Grandfather (on my mom's side)was Bob of Bob's place. My father worked at Leto's Pizza. That is how my parents met. So I am a Child of Broadway sort of speaking. My dad went on to open his own pizza place in Washington Square under the name Pizza Treat and latter as Safari Inn.

Deborah Chadd said...

My husband, daughter and I lived on Scott I believe... We got a baby sitter for the night. A girl that lived across the alley from us and we walked to Zoli's. We were new in town and unfamiliar with the fare at Zoli's. We came from Iowa /Illinois and we're use to skimpy portions at restaurants there. . We ordered a small Zoli's Special and two veal cutlet sandwiches. . Everybody around us was staring at us whispering amongst themselves and pointing �� at us. . When our sandwiches came out, we knew why..... Huge! Then the pizza came out! We ate for two or three days on pizza. But it was delicious! I sure miss that restaurant!

Marvin Thayer said...

I lived on Stophlet St 3 blocks from the GE plant, from the mid 1960's to the mid 70's. you could tell the seasons were changing when Zesto's opened and closed. Right there by the old Allen County Tire was a car wash. Across the street just JSO Creighton was a barbershop, where I got my first hair cut. The barber quit to become a State Trooper. I just discovered this site, and wish the pictures would come up. Thank you for the blog.