Phoenix to pour $150,000 into partial rehabilitation of historic motel


City of Phoenix Rendering

From KTAR News: PHOENIX — Phoenix will put $150,000 into rehabilitating part of a historic motel in conjunction with a larger hospitality project.

The City Council earlier this week approved the grant for the main building of the City Center Motel, located at Sixth Avenue and Van Buren Street.

The building is one of the few remaining “Googie-style” roadside architecture examples that were popular in the 1950s, the city said in a press release.

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White Castle, the Birthplace of Hamburger Fast-Food, Kicks Off National Hamburger Month


White Castle helped make the hamburger an American classic when it created The Original Slider in 1921.

White Castle helped make the hamburger an American classic when it created The Original Slider in 1921

From PRNewswire: COLUMBUS, OhioWhite Castle, the first fast-food hamburger chain in the U.S., helped make the hamburger an American classic when it created The Original Slider in 1921. The popular restaurant, and first consumer packaged goods (CPG) enterprise in the fast-food category, will pay tribute to its iconic slider throughout May — National Hamburger Month — by offering irresistible deals, promotions and activities befitting the little square burger that launched an industry.

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Long after heyday, soda fountain pharmacies still got fizz


Customers dine at Griffith & Feil Drug on Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Kenova, W. Va. The pharmacy opened in 1892 with a soda fountain counter that was taken out in 1957 but reopened in 2004. John Raby – staff, AP

From The Buffalo News: KENOVA, W.Va. (AP) — The jukebox plays Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” as Malli Jarrett and Nathaniel Fornash take turns at the Griffith & Feil Drug food counter preparing old-fashioned, soda-fountain phosphate drinks.

Soda fountains like this were hugely popular a century ago. Often located in pharmacies, they were a gathering spot during Prohibition when bars shut down. But over the past half century, their numbers fizzled, relegating soda fountains to the scrapbooks of U.S. history.

In West Virginia, Ric Griffith is keeping the tradition going. His 131-year-old business is a Norman Rockwell scene and time-travel tourism all wrapped into one.

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Another Roadside Attraction: Springtime Guide to America’s Quirkiest Hotspots


The Titanic replica at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

From There is no shortage of quirky roadside attractions in the US. And the history of roadside attractions runs parallel to the history of car culture. Starting in the 1920s, automobiles launched an entirely new infrastructure, one that was as reliant on interstate planning and technology as it was on the charismatic spontaneity of vagabonds hitting the road, intoxicated by wanderlust and the smell of gasoline. Driving became as much a pastime as a necessity, and quirky attractions and novelty architecture popped up like daisies along the road. Some attractions existed to fulfill a need; others were born out of an unapologetic desire to create something epochal and irresistible, something that was Polaroid-perfect and memory-friendly.

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Bendix Diner owner is subject of documentary to be shown this week

The Bendix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights. Courtesy Of Anthony Scalia

From John Diakakis navigates the narrow space behind the counter of the Bendix Diner with the familiarity of someone who’s been working there for decades.

Diakakis, the owner of the longtime diner in Hasbrouck Heights, brings customers their coffee and eggs as he cracks disarming jokes, and rings them up on the old-fashioned register.

His family has owned the classic eatery decked with chrome and neon since 1985, when his father bought the place. He has been legally blind since birth.

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