Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finger Lickin' Good

KFC, Hobby House, Pancake House


Alright. Here's a new postcard for you. On the back it says, "5 Locations, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Specializing in Col. Sander's Kentucky Fried Chicken - Mac's Famous Barbecue and Original Pancakes.

Color photo is by Virgil V. Marquart (my Fort Wayne, pop-culture historian, RIP)

It was mailed to someone on May 31, 1965.

SO - where were these restaurants located at?

You can click on the picture - which will take you to flickr and you can look at the postcard in even more detailed (about 4 times the size you see here).

Is that center picture the KFC that was on Bluffton Road???

And whatever happened to the Hobby House?

15 comments:

Cathy said...

Is the Hobby House the one on N. Anthony where Dave Thomas got his start?

PMX said...

I loved the Hobby House. I used to go there for pecan waffles and bacon or for coffee and sugar cream pie with my co-workers.

The last owners let the place go, and then blamed the smoking ordinance for cutting into their business. The way I saw it was that the place was neglected and the food was not up to par as before. Anyway, Cottage Flowers next door bought the restaurant, tore it down, and expanded their business. It is a very lovely classy place for flowers, gifts, and South Bend Chocolates! Very much worth the visit.

S L Parker said...

The Hobby Ranch House is in the upper right.

To say the original HH downtown was neglected is being kind. I ate there shortly before it closed and the place absolutely dripped grease everywhere. Seats, salt shakers, menus... Not a pretty picture. It was still good food, you just felt like a long hot shower afterwards.

The only other one I would hazard a guess would be the lower right hand corner. Was this on South Anthony? I can't remember the cross-street, although if it's the building I'm thinking of, it's south of the Anthony/Rudisil, possibly even Oxford intersection. I think it's a tobacco store now. Anyone know how close I am?

BTW, Kristina, are you receiving my emails? I've sent you a couple, but not received any response.

John Brown said...

Lower right one was on Lafayette in between Petit and McKinnie.

Anonymous said...

The lower right was at Sherwood and So. Lafayette. The building is still there as a discount smoke shop. Was previously a pizza shop called World Class Pizza that made a mean baked spaghetti. The upper right one looks like No. Anthony near Crescent Ave. It's long gone. The lower left, maybe on Hwy 24 near New Haven, close to the entrance of Meadowbrook. Or maybe not? The other two are going to take a bit more research.

ClayB

Bob G. said...

Hey, dont mess with my "Losw-Bob's"...I go there every week...LOL.

And the last time someone broke into the place, they drove a PICKUP through the rear wall...!

Bet'cha never saw THAT (down here) 43 years ago, eh?

B.G.

Jim said...

Thanks for this wonderful memory. The Hobby House(s) were Fort Wayne institutions. They were also among the first restaurants in the country to serve Kentucky Fried Chicken, long before the company was sold and start building stand-alone outlets. To answer Cathy's question, yes, Dave Thomas started at the Hobby Ranch House on North Anthony.

I only ate at the original Hobby House once, as it was kind of off the beaten path downtown. But it was worth the walk!

I loved the Hobby Ranch House. But the last time I ate there (I was probably in high school -- early '80s), it was showing its age. It hadn't kept up and was mostly populated by senior citizens there for the cheap meals and coffee.

It was sad to see it go. Thanks again for sharing a nice memory.

PMX said...

Could the center one be the Fairfield Avenue location? That was the one my family always went to. We were getting chicken there for my parent's wedding anniversary the day the space shuttle blew up in 1986. Later that year I think it closed.

Anonymous said...

Here's some Hobby House trivia for it... when he was a teenager, Dave Thomas was a busboy there. He later went on to start the Wendy's Hamburger chain.

Anonymous said...

The HH restaurant in the upper left hand corner was on Anthony just north of Cresent Ave. It was also where Dave Thomas had his first restaurant job. While the HH restaurant is long gone, a Wendy's (and a BP station) now sots at this location. Hopefully, the folks who work at the Wendy's appreciate this odd coincidence.

Doug said...

The Pancake House was in New Haven at the entrance to the Meadowbrook neighborhood across the road from the Big Lots store (in the old King's department store building --remember King's?). A Walgreen's now occupies the site of the Pancake House. Before Walgreen's was built, the building was a chinese restaurant. I sometimes had lunch at the chinese place in the the late 80s and early 90s. I even was taken there by my employer during my job interview in 1989. The Pancake House must have been torn down by about 1993 or so.

Bill_css said...

I'm working from memory, but the one in the center sure looks like the Bluffton Road location. We lived on the south side and in the 60's my dad and I would often pick up a bucket for Sunday dinner.

Thank you for sharing!

John said...

I fried (Broasted) many a chicken at the Ranch House after school and on weekends in 1977 and 1978. It was my first "real" job. In those days our busiest day of the year was Mothers Day. We sold a 9 Piece Dinner with 2 sides for $5.99. The Ranch House had meeting rooms where the Toastmasters, Rotory Club, and on Tuesdays the Kiwanna's club held their meetings. Spent most of my wages on records at the Record Store across the street Karma Records and the hobby shop down the street on Anthony. Every other Thursday night I would stay late and help the assistant manager (A cuban refugee named Juan) do a cleaning/oil change on the "Automatic", a 20 chicken pressureI fried (Broasted) many a chicken at the Ranch House in 1977 and 1978. It was my first "real" job. In those days our busiest day of the year was Mothers Day. We sold a 9 Piece Dinner with 2 sides for $5.99. The Ranch House had meeting rooms where the Toastmasters, Rotory Club, and on Tuesdays the Kiwanna's club. Spent most of my wages on records at the Record Store across the street (Not Wooden Nickle but I can't remember the name) and the hobby shop down the street on Anthony. Every other thursday night I would stay late and help the assistant manager (A cuban refugee named Juan) do a cleaning/oil change on the "Automatic", a 20 chicken pressure cooker especially designed for Kentucky Fried Chicken (not KFC). cooker especially designed for Kentucky Fried Chicken (not KFC).

Thanks for the Blog! Good memories here.

Anonymous said...

My father managed the Hobby Ranch House (upper right corner) when it opened, and worked at all of them. The original Hobby house was a burger joint across from murphy's on Wayne Street and was later a uniform shop. Dave Thomas started at the Wayne street location and was my dad's assistant manager at the hobby rabnch house. He lived in our upstairs apartment when he came to Fort Wayne. Did you know Wendy's square hamburger and the "Frosties" are direct rip off of Gardner's restaurant in Fort Wayne?

Anonymous said...

I will agree with you on Frosties being ripped off from Gardner's, however, I don't remember Gardner's hamburgers being square. They were really thin similar to Steak and Shake. The buns were toasted and they would be delivered to your car wrapped in white paper of some sort.