Advertisements from the Daily Intelligencer Journal and The Sunday News offer a taste of how Lancaster County was dining in the 1940s and 1950s.
Food Fair’s full-page ad in the Daily Intelligencer Journal on March 31, 1950, showcased the store’s pre-Easter specials, including a pound of jelly beans for 19 cents and lobster tails for 89 cents per pound. In total, you could purchase every item in the ad for about $15.
In November 1952, local restaurants advertised their Sunday dinner specials in the pages of The Sunday News. While some simply boasted “Pennsylvania Dutch Home Cooking,” others touted the day’s specials, like steak and fried oysters, or a turkey platter for $1. For a change of pace, The Village Restaurant on East Chestnut Street, across from the old Brunswick Hotel, offered a “hunter’s dinner” of fried rabbit – “all the pleasure of a real game dinner for those who couldn’t take to the fields.”
A popular spot for a rendezvous
The Rendezvous luncheonette opened in the basement of the Watt & Shand department store on Penn Square in March 1947 and remained a popular downtown dining spot for nearly a half century, even after The Bon-Ton acquired Watt & Shand in 1992. The restaurant served its last meal in March 1995, when the store closed for good. On its final day of operation, the Rendezvous offered one last special as a thank-you to longtime customers: a cup of soup, a barbecue sandwich, a drink and ice cream for 99 cents.