Sunday, March 10, 2013

Walt’s Steaks update




The luncheonette I used to walk to has been closed for renovations. The food was pretty good.

The mostly original interior of the little place has been dismantled to give the building a complete overhaul (maybe it was unsafe). The big change is they laid a foundation and expanded Walt’s in back, where the tiny kitchen was.

The $64,000 question: will it still be real when it reopens? The ideal: ‘We’re not retro; we’re OLD.’ Not just the Fifties (Elvis, Marilyn and all that); the ’50s. (A real distinction and long-running argument; I’m not too snobbish about the Fifties but it doesn’t tell the whole story.) Not cutesy, not fake, but a reconstruction only with extra space. Would a bigger Walt’s still be real?

There’s a successful local burger chain, Nifty Fifty’s, that sort of pretends to be what Walt’s was, but bigger. Nifty’s looks like American Graffiti-ish ’62. Of course I like them. Including the food. (They make milkshakes out of nearly anything.) But I’ve been told they have no real regard for the history, as if Garry Marshall ran a restaurant. A friend told me one day he saw Union Jacks in one of them and was told they were celebrating the British Invasion. Almost as inconceivable as having a Woodstock Day. He never went back. Point taken.

As that friend said, if they put up a poster of Henry Winkler, I’m out of there.

2 comments:

  1. From what i had seen driving past, it was a complete rebuild. Nothing of the original will be there. Sadly. Looks like the good word in Philadelphia Magazine got them some extra business and it went to their heads.

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  2. Appropriately, they use danger quotes around "Since 1945" because, from what I'm guessing, it sure won't look like it anymore.

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