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18 February 2009

Lunch at the Drugstore An excellent set of photos of mostly 1950s-60s lunch-counter culture. [More:] I like the similarities in the people and settings, no matter what country they're from.
Great! I have a fondness for lunch counters, but around me they have become few and far between.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 18 February | 08:22
I remember back in the 60's ....fountain vanilla cokes, 25 cent hot dogs with steamed buns, grilled cheese sammiches with mayo...and the milkshakes...all consumed while perched on a lunchcounter stool surrounded by chrome. It was the Massey Hill drugstore, back when it was across from the Massey Hill High School back before the neighborhood sank into poverty and despair.

The drugstore still exists (not in the original building, and a block from the old location) and I had a hotdog there during the campaign season.

It wasn't the same.
posted by bunnyfire 18 February | 09:43
In the UK, the drugstore is known as the chemist, and you can't buy lunch there (except in the bigger branches of Boots, where they sell pre-packed sandwiches and drinks to take away).

I'd love to go to an old-fashioned small-town American drugstore, before the last one disappears, and have an ice cream soda.
posted by essexjan 18 February | 10:03
The news stand in the town I grew up had a 10 seat lunch counter, but they had stopped serving food years earlier. So the counter was stacked with boxes and magazines to be shelved. It always bummed me out to see it being wasted like that.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 18 February | 10:04
When we lived in New Orleans, we had a drugstore on our corner (the Royal Pharmacy) - three houses away, that was nearly petrified from the '50s or '60s, except that they didn't utilize the gorgeous mahogany (or whatever - some super nice wood) soda fountain/bar. They just left the cash register on it, and used all the areas for storage and display, which was so crazy. A block or two away the Clover Grill was doing killer business as a retro '50s diner (and I knew it before the new owners made that brilliant move... back when it had stained and crazed melamine serving ware and blue plate specials, un-ironically, and the coffee tasted like mud, and the cockroaches tasted like cockroaches).

Anyway, we had a friendly relationship with this pharmacy, but not so friendly that we could point out what a fabulous opportunity they were missing. It was a very, very serious Miss Havisham vibe there, both the place, and the brother-sister (?) team who ran it. I never took photos, sadly, but that was back before digital photography, and back before I was smart enough to make the effort. I'm still not that smart, by the way.
posted by taz 18 February | 10:04
I remember the Kresge's and Woolworth's lunch counters in our town. They always had the tower of pie on the counter so that you could not help but look at it all the time you ate. You knew it would not be a good as it looked but you had to have a piece.
posted by arse_hat 18 February | 14:37
We still had a Woolworth's lunch counter in the 1970s. I'm sure it wasn't as glorious as it was in the heyday of the 50s-60s, but boy, the turkey club sandwiches, the fountain coke in the signature glass and the slowly rotating tower of pie are some of my fondest childhood memories.
posted by Luminous Phenomena 18 February | 15:23
the tower of pie on the counter so that you could not help but look at it all the time you ate. You knew it would not be a good as it looked but you had to have a piece.

In my family, this is known as the pie mausoleum.
posted by Elsa 18 February | 16:31
We did too, Luminous, in SoCal. I remember going into Woolworth's with my mum and hoping that someday we'd have lunch at the counter. We never did and now it's too late.
posted by deborah 18 February | 16:57
So I never know what the diff is between tooting one's own horn and bragging. || AskMecha: Any suggestions on a good way to merge multiple MP3s into one single MP3?