13 Jun SCA Weekly News Review: June 14, 2020
Tom’s Structure Will Stay, but Diner Is History
From Westworld: At this time last year, the hottest restaurant topic in town was the fate of Tom’s Diner, whose owner had applied for a certificate of non-historic status for the property at 601 East Colfax Avenue with Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission on May 3, 2019. Fans of classic Googie architecture, not to mention the history of Colfax Avenue itself, were quick to complain, and some filed a counter-application to have the circa 1967 coffee shop declared historic.
The standoff ended in a last-second win-win: A history-friendly developer, GBX Group, stepped in, and owner Tom Messina, who’d run the diner for two decades, got to sell the property and retire. The Tom’s Diner building is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and the structure will be worked into any new development on the property.
But the 24/7 diner itself is history.
‘Dino’ poised for Nomination to National Register of Historic Places
From the Hernando Sun: The building located at 5299 Commercial Way in Spring Hill takes the shape of a dinosaur character known as Dino, an “Apatosaurus” that stands 47 feet tall and is 110 feet long. And Dino is poised to become a nationally known celebrity; one proposed for nomination for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; an official list of the Nation’s historical sites deemed worthy of preservation.
“Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources,” reports the National Register of Historic Places website, https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalregister/faqs.htm.
‘Thank you, San Francisco’: Iconic diner It’s Tops Coffee Shop closes after 68 years [Updated]
From Hoodline: On Wednesday, the iconic neon signage at longstanding Market Street diner It’s Tops Coffee Shop was removed, sparking rumors of a possible closure.
Hoodline has made multiple attempts to reach owners Bruce and Sheila Chapman for comment about the potential closure. The diner’s phone has been disconnected, and the Chapmans did not respond to emails. Yelp marks the business as permanently closed.
Known for its “awesome hot cakes,” bacon-stuffed waffles, milkshakes and patty melts, It’s Tops is recognizable to most San Franciscans by its prominent neon signage at the corner of Market and Octavia streets, near the entrance to the 101 freeway.
Thousands of protesters convince historic Santa Barbara breakfast spot to change its name for good
From SFGate: The only remaining location of a historic breakfast chain in Santa Barbara is changing its name after thousands of people petitioned against its use of a racial epithet.
The owners of Sambo’s on W. Cabrillo Blvd. haven’t decided on a new name yet, but agreed that it was time for the 63-year-old restaurant to take action amid nationwide protests against police brutality and widespread racism. On Thursday, staff began to temporarily cover the bubble-lettered sign with symbols demonstrating peace and love.
Traveling While Black, or the green book that black America carries within
From Al Dia: For thirty years Victor Hugo Green published the guide entitled “The Negro Motorist Green Book”, also known simply as “The Green Book”. The same guide that two years ago gave its name to the film starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen and would receive the Oscar for Best Picture.
This book collected restaurants, gas stations, hotels and private homes that welcomed African Americans seeking accommodation in transit from one place to another. In short, it was a survival guide.
Among this list of safe places was Ben’s Chili Bowl: a Washington restaurant founded in 1958 that became a key institution in the city and remains so today. The restaurant was also part of the film with Mahershala Ali.
Traveling While Black is a documentary entirely narrated within the walls of the Ben’s Chile Bowl. It takes a historical look at the difficulties and dangers African Americans faced and still face when doing something as simple as going from one place to another.