I’m constantly learning about early businesses and restaurants once found in York, Pennsylvania’s downtown sector. Many of the building are no longer present and were razed to make room for bigger and better things.
Today we’ll explore a former downtown eatery by looking at two advertising cards from the early 1900s. The business that they came from: Spottie’s Restaurant, 14 East Market Street.
Everything must be right – “Spottie”
A simple map on the card shows the restaurant a few doors down from the York County Courthouse. It’s likely the building was razed to make way for the construction of the York County National Bank in 1929. It’s said the White Horse Tavern from the era of the Revolutionary War was once standing where the bank was built.
Spottie’s is advertised in a 1916 York Hospital Benefit Cookbook, so we know it was in operation at that time. Other advertisers from the cookbook can be found in a blog post found on the The Susquehanna Photographic website, and shared with me by my friend Philip Given who co-owns the photography business.
One interesting aspect of the cards is the statement that they are ”Never Closed”, leaving us to believe they were open 24/7. Downtown York must have had significant late-night activity at a very early time.
Last but not least, the back of the cards offer distances from York to various cities in the region: 109 miles to Bedford, 28 miles to Littlestown, 200 miles to New York City. As the use of automobiles were steadily increasing during those times, this was surely useful information to Spottie’s customers.
What restaurants in downtown York have offered 24/7 service? Could an operation like that be a success today?
- The Preserving York Fundraising Picnic is less than three weeks away. If you haven’t given your RSVP, now is the time.