COBWEB CORNERS: Hunger-inducing memories

By Mel McFarland

       As a youngster there were many interesting places to eat. One of my family's favorites was Merle Crocker's Merri-Lane on Colorado Avenue, but there was a place that served chicken that was better than my mother's. Over near Manitou was Imboden's. Later it was up in Florissant, and that was long before Garth's became Kentucky Fried. The building Imboden's used over in Manitou was also a popular hamburger place, Michaelis'. Long before Red Top, they had the big burgers and advertised Burger in a Basket. At one time there were four, located north, south, east and west. The west spot was first here in Manitou, later down near 15th street. The one on North Nevada is the only one that resembles the former glory, as a present day used car lot.
       The old Manitou location is now Uncle Sam's, a fine spot for breakfast. It is one of my top three spots for a morning meal. Bon Ton's and Sheldon's are the other two. Each has its own unique specialties; however, when I am in Uncle Sam's I try to remember how it was 50 years ago. Up in front there is even a picture of how it looked back then. In the same area, I think where the 7-11 is, there was once a trampoline center. The old miniature golf course, and the Miracle House are gone now too. These were popular in the 1950s. When I eat at Bon Ton's, I try to remember it as a gas station!
       Recently another popular eating spot, the Mason Jar, did some remodeling and an old sign came to light, but it was not the old Shakey's Pizza sign. We are fortunate to have many fine places to eat here in town, but I miss some of the older ones. I also miss the house that used to sit at 26th and the Midland Expressway (US 24) where Martin Novlan lived. That has been a variety of eateries, including a street car theme diner. You can still find bits of that decor in it.
       One last place, now under 1-25 just north of Colorado, was a Maid Rite burger joint in the '50s. Years later a fellow from Iowa opened one up on Fillmore, but the old one used a unique hard shell made from toasted bread rather than a bun. Now I'm hungry again.