Nostalgic diner in Harrisburg for sale for $50K


The vacant American Dream Diner at 1933 Herr St. in Harrisburg. July 5, 2023. Dan Gleiter.

From For just $50,000, a landmark diner in Harrisburg can be all yours.

The American Dream Diner at 1933 Herr St. is up for sale so the owners can clear the property to build a convenience store. The 1950s stainless DeRaffele diner, which most recently was Harry’s Bistro, is listed on Facebook Marketplace.

The sale comes with a few caveats and a clear deadline.

The building must be relocated, and is not a business for sale or lease, according to the post.

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A Retro Scavenger Hunt Is Rekindling Road Trips Across America

Enchanted_Castle_Studios _Virginia

People like Joel Baker and Mark Cline restore old muffler men and build new fiberglass giants. COURTESY JOEL BAKER

From Atlas Obscura: For many people, it begins with the first sighting of an enormous man blocking out the sun, sculpted from fiberglass, often holding a muffler or a tool, looming on the side of a road. After road trippers see one, the quest for other such roadside attractions often ignites. The giant who started my own hunt was named Jacques. Towering above the cars driving towards the ferry in Marblehead, Ohio, Jacques is a rescued sculpture that once hawked sandwiches in front of a restaurant. Though he was used to advertise the food service industry, Jacques is a relative of other fiberglass sculptures known as muffler men.

“The muffler man is such an iconic roadside attraction,” says Seth Hardmeyer, an over-the-road truck driver who’s visited hundreds of roadside statues across 37 states since 2006, including 40-50 muffler men. “The allure is that they were once very common, with a population of something like over 2,000 around the country, and now only a handful remain in each state.”

But a smattering of people are dedicated to bringing them back.

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Queens historian joins Brooklyn-based preservationists in salvaging signs from shuttered NYC businesses


The sign salvage crew about to take down the H Goodman Furs sign, with David Barnett, second from the left, and Michael Perlman third from the left (Photo provided by Michael Perlman)

From the Forest Hills Post: Gone, but not forgotten.

A Queens historian and preservationist has teamed up with a Brooklyn-based foundation to salvage storefront signs from shuttered city businesses — including the distinct red and yellow sign of the Alpha Donuts coffee shop in Sunnyside and the Tower Diner sign in Forest Hills that sat under the building’s tower clock.

Forest Hills resident Michael Perlman and the operators of the New York Sign Museum, located at 2465 Atlantic Ave., have been carefully taking down notable local signs and placing them in safekeeping in order to save the pieces of local history from being tossed in the dumpster.

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Portland’s unique jug-shaped strip club has closed


The Sandy Jug, first opened in the late 1920s as an auto service station, and more recently operating as a strip club, has closed. The distinctive jug-shaped building is available.Michael Russell. The Oregonian

From Oregonlive: The Sandy Jug, a former filling station and luncheonette turned one-of-a-kind Portland strip club, has closed, according to a sign placed in the jug-shaped building’s small parking lot.

Built in the late 1920s to resemble a moonshine container, the distinctive building has been featured in art books and roadside attraction guides alike. At various points in its history, the Sandy Jug has also included a towering oil derrick and an 8-ball stopper painted at the top of the jug.

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Preserving a piece of history at this classic Alabama barbecue restaurant


The roadside sign at Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q in Bessemer as it appeared before (left) and after (right) it was restored. (Left photo by Elaine Lyda; right photo by Bob Carlton/

From Van Sykes made his mama a promise.

And the longtime owner of Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q — the legendary Bessemer barbecue restaurant that his late parents, Bob and Maxine Sykes, started 66 years ago — never forgot what his mother told him a few months before she died in 2015.

“My mama told me in her last months — and I don’t know why — but she said, ‘I want you to take care of my sign and my pig on top of that roof,’” Van remembers.

Over time, though, both the vintage roadside sign with the flashing neon arrow and the fiberglass pig perched on the restaurant’s roof had started to show signs of their years of neglect.

“I just felt awful about it,” Van says.

So, earlier this summer, he made good on that promise to his mother and did something about it.

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The Daily Heller: New York Storefronts Were Pillars of the Community


From Print: So-called Mom & Pop shops are fewer and fewer. Once the soul of New York City’s neighborhood retail establishment, rent hikes and gentrification have endangered them. In Store Front NYC: Photographs of the City’s Independent Shops, Past and Present (Prestel), to be published in September, with photos by husband-and-wife team James and Karla L. Murray, there are places I remember—some are gone and some remain. The book is a reminder that signs before the age of chain-store corporate branding were beautiful in their functionality.

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