Friday, July 10, 2009

She was the chief cook, I was the dish washer.

About 1958, probably influenced somewhat by her brother, William Hale Brubaker, and her uncle, Maurice James Wise, who both owned restaurants, my grandmother became manager of Miller's Ice Cream Store located at Five Points on Goshen Road in Fort Wayne. A few years later she moved to North Webster and opened "The Dairy Bar" which provided jobs for several family members, myself included.

My grandmother in the kitchen of the Dairy Bar.

Caption written by grandma for the picture below.

A small horseshoe shaped bar surrounded by 10 stools was positioned just outside the door to the kitchen, far right. It was the most popular spot in the Dairy Bar. Shown above were customers Helen Ravely and her daughter Jane, then Grandma and my mother, I'm not sure who the girl next to mom is, could be Wanda Wysong, but the one on the right is Beverly Penrod.

Grandma opened the restaurant every morning at 5 a.m. in the summer and 6 o'clock in the winter. While breakfast was being served she made the pies (some of the best!) and preparations were underway for the daily lunch special. Swiss steak, fried chicken, liver and onions, beef heart, ham and beans - just a few of her specialties. Sunday was the really busy day with the after-church crowd starting about 11 a.m. and continuing through until about 2 o'clock.

Closing time during the winter was 9 p.m. while in the summer the restaurant stayed open until 11 o'clock. It usually took another hour to get the place cleaned before we could go home. I did not enjoy working the late shift, or the morning shift for that matter! For the first few years (before I legally became old enough to work) I cleared tables and washed dishes, eventually moving up to waitress and finally grill cook. I peeled a lot of potatoes and did prep work, but grandma and mom were the ones that cooked up the daily specials. It was by no means an easy job.

Notice the prices for breakfast items:
Ham or Bacon & Eggs, toast, coffee 75¢
2 Eggs, toast, coffee 40¢
a glass of fruit juice was 15¢
Contributed to the "they worked hard for the family" edition of Smile for the Camera.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I imagine it was was both fun and also a pain to work with family members.

kinfolknews said...

Wonderful story and photos! Thanks for sharing them with us.

Anonymous said...

The mystery girl in the picture is Serita Bell. I sure had lots of fun working with your family...B