Vintage Palace restaurant menu found during historic society’s spring cleaning | New
SALAMANCA – While members of the Historical Society of the Salamanca region were doing their spring cleaning, they stumbled upon an original menu from the Palace Restaurant which was once a booming business on the west side of the Main Street.
Board member Fran Lord said the Palace Restaurant was a popular dining spot for railroad workers who came to town, as well as locals and visitors alike, and that it was doing business on Main Street for many years.
âThe prices on the menu just blew us away,â she said. âWe wanted to show people what the prices were – probably in the 1940s, maybe even in the 1950s. You could get a T-bone steak with all the trimmings for $ 2.25. The palace had great coffee and wonderful desserts. Of course, they served breakfast with things like bacon and eggs.
The menu was used when the restaurant charged a dime for a cup of coffee and most other drinks. Diners could purchase a hot roast beef or pork sandwich with homemade fries, gravy and a cup of coffee for 60 cents. A burger was 25 cents, a bowl of homemade soup 15 cents, and a piece of pie was also 15 cents.
Lord believes the Palace Restaurant was located in the building down the street from the Historical Society and Museum where the Edley Restaurant once stood. She believes that Hairmaxx is currently doing business in the same location, or it could have been next door.
According to âThe Genealogical and Family History of Central New York,â in 1882, the building housing the Palace Restaurant was previously the location of the AG Vreeland & Company pharmacy located next to the Salamanca Trust Company.
Lord said a man named Tony Fidel first owned the Palace Restaurant and then sold it to Buddy Hart who ran it for a while. She said it was a family style restaurant where the waitresses, cooks and other employees stayed forever.
âI don’t know why the Palace closed because the railways were still operating at the time,â she said. âThe Torge and Dudley House were other restaurants and they also had rooms for the railway workers, so the main street was pretty well covered.â
Lord told a short and funny story about his nephew who, as a young boy of eight or nine, used to shine shoes on Main Street. She said he would go to the Palace Restaurant with a small packet of Kool-Aid and order a glass of water. Then he mixed the powder into the water.
“Obviously they let him get away with it for a while,” she said. “He was an entrepreneur who made his money on Main Street.”
Lord said the Phoenix restaurant was located next to the palace and further down the main street towards the bridge was the Puritan restaurant, where she worked as a teenager. She said the sign for the Puritan is in the collection of the historical museum, but that they only have the palace menu.
âIt’s really interesting to take a look at some of the institutions in Salamanca and remind us of the good old days of the city,â she said.
The Historical Society and Museum of the Salamanca Region has several new exhibitions coming up, including old round windows from the recently demolished Torge block which was located at the corner of River and Main streets.
Members are currently planning their annual Victorian tea to be held in May, so people should watch for more details at a later date. The Lord said men are welcome and everyone always has a good time.
(Contact reporter Deb Everts at [email protected])