Highlights from the Roadside America auction: Here’s how you can bid on a piece of Pa. history

Roadside America

From PennLive: Roadside America is located near Shartlesville in Berks County, along Interstate 78. The nearly 6,000 square-foot display was crafted by Laurence Gieringer and has remained unchanged since his death in 1963. The tiny town portrays American life from the early pioneer days to the middle of the 20th century with working trains, gushing fountains, lights and buzzing airplanes.

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Reclaiming the Tiki Bar

From The New York Times: It is an unquestionably difficult time for the hospitality industry. Every day, another restaurant shutters, one more bar pulls its steel gate down for good. Since its invention, one kind of watering hole has seen America through its most grueling times: the tiki bar.

Decorated with bamboo and beach-y lights, with bartenders in Aloha shirts serving up mai tais, tiki bars were a booming part of America’s hospitality industry. “Put down your phone and put on this lei,” say the tiki bars. “Here’s something delicious in a silly mug.” They offer an intoxicating escape from the weight of the world.

But the roots of tiki are far from the Pacific Islands. A Maori word for the carved image of a god or ancestor, tiki became synonymous in the United States and elsewhere for gimmicky souvenirs and décor. Now a new generation of beverage-industry professionals are shining a light on the genre’s history of racial inequity and cultural appropriation, which has long been ignored because it clashes with the carefree aesthetic. Let’s peel back the pineapple leaves to examine the choices that created a marketing mainstay.

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How Covid-19 upended the design of fast food restaurants

From CNN Business: Coronavirus has left no parts of life untouched, even fast food. The pandemic has shifted how people consume it, with the drive-thru getting a second breath of life and digital ordering becoming the norm.

As a result, major chains have redesigned their restaurants to reflect the rapid change. They’re reinvesting in the exterior of stores, with drive-thru lanes gaining prominence. Even the parking lot is getting fresh eyes with dedicated parking spots for app orders or delivery drivers.
Sadly, it also means the end of the dining room for now. Chains are de-emphasizing them because many states have placed restrictions on capacity and people’s growing preference to eat far away from strangers.
Here’s how major chains redesigned their restaurants:

A court ruling gives new life to stalled plan to revive the historic Grove Playhouse

The Coconut Grove Playhouse was once the center of the Miami theater scene. The historic landmark opened Jan. 1, 1927 as a movie theater. The 1,130-seat theater closed in 2006 due to financial woes. BY MARTA OLIVER CRAVIOTTO

From the Miami Herald: A state appeals court has breathed new life into Miami-Dade County’s stalled efforts to remake and revive the historic but long-closed Coconut Grove Playhouse.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal revived a 2019 county lawsuit that seeks to overturn Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s veto of its plan, controversial among some preservationists and Grove activists, to redevelop the publicly owned 1927 playhouse. The plan calls for demolishing the theater’s obsolete auditorium and restoring its famed Mediterranean front section, while building a new, smaller stand-alone theater behind it.

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New Non-Gaming Vegas Hotel for Biz Travelers Will Rely on 1960s Design

A postcard for La Concha Motel, built in 1961. Picture: Flickr

From Skift: A third-generation Las Vegas real estate developer is targeting corporate travelers with his latest resort. But unlike other hotels, Lorenzo Doumani is turning back the clock, drawing inspiration from an iconic, casino-free hotel built by his grandfather.

Building on the new 720-room Majestic Las Vegas will begin in July this year, with completion due in 2024. Instead of slot machines, there’ll be a wellness center and medical spa.

Doumani’s grandfather built the La Concha Motel in 1961, which as well cutting out the gambling featured iconic domes, designed by architect Paul Revere Williams. These elements are also being revived, while Doumani hopes to recreate the financial success of the historic hotel too.

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