Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Married for seven years edition

Yesterday marked Chris’s and my seventh wedding anniversary. We celebrated by getting a new hot-water heater yesterday and having an exterminator come deal with the bees and wasps on our deck today!

No, really, we’ll celebrate in earnest starting tomorrow. We leave in the morning for three days out of town, road-tripping around the Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia areas. Wish us luck – and not too much rain!

What’s inside

1. Where to get good Reubens
2. Following up on Berry’s Restaurant
3. More on Grantley Road businesses

1. It’s a simple question: Where can I find a good Reuben sandwich in York County? Every time I see a Reuben on a menu I try it. Most of them are pretty mundane.
– Michael K. Wells

I told Michael that I had to defer to my aforementioned husband on this one, as he eats a lot of Reubens (and I don’t!)… Chris says the ones at Isaac’s are actually among the better ones he’s had! So that was my first suggestion for Michael.

Have other ideas? Or have you had the ones at Isaac’s?

2. In this column a couple weeks ago, my friend and coworker Darlene Swords asked for information on behalf of a friend about Berry’s Restaurant – its location and so on.

I was amazed at the responses I got – and almost immediately! Mack L. Smith said, “Concerning the Berry’s Restaurant, it was located at 383 Pattison Street in York and was owned by Earl and Clara Berry. Found this in a 1959 copy of the York City Directory.” (I keep saying I need to find a copy of one of those former directories, but I never do – thankfully, so many other people are willing to share the knowledge from theirs!)

Ginny Wonders noted also that it was on Pattison, “at the railroad tracks, right behind the old Betsy Ross School.” She said that Earl Berry was a roofing salesman also, and worked at Standard Roofing Co., where Ginny was the secretary and bookkeeper. “His wife ran the restaurant when he was out selling roofing,” Ginny added. Thanks, Ginny!

Randi Reisinger, York County’s Recorder of Deeds, added that the Earl and Claire Berry were her husband’s great-aunt and uncle – how cool is that!

And Mike Myers shared his own memory: “When I was in high school in the late sixties I worked for the city school district in the summers. We ate lunch at a Berry’s restaurant on Patterson street between Betsy Ross school and I believe a pretzel baking factory. The restaurant is now torn down. Other diners we ate at were Albert’s on Belvidere Ave., Richland Restaurant at Richland and Princess St., there was also a small diner on West Market St. east of where the Famous is now. That reminds me there were the Famous and Ideal restaurants on S. George St. There were many non-chain restaurants in those days.”

Mike, thanks for all those memories! And Darlene, tell your friend thanks for prompting them!

3. A week earlier than Darlene’s question about Berry’s, we talked a little in an Ask Joan column about some former businesses on Grantley Road.

Stephen Smith was kind enough to provide a photo and some great details on York Narrow Fabrics! He writes, “I was walking the Rail Trail this past weekend and had my camera with me so I snapped a picture of the sign that is still on the front of the building. I’m also pretty sure that York Narrow Fabrics was in business until at least 2005; at least I heard machinery running inside the building until 2005.”

Earlier, he’d provided the following: “Even though the sign York Narrow Fabrics still remains under the distinct green tile roof, the building is now the site of Kinsley Engineering Center on the York College campus. When I worked for York International (by far, the largest business along Grantley Road), I took many lunchtime walks. I remember walking by York Narrow Fabrics and hearing the distinct sound of the looms from within the building. The sign still includes a faded ‘York Tape 1927.’ Many years ago I happened upon a description of the company in a 1957 publication by the York Chamber of Commerce. I was amazed to learn that in addition to an assortment of woven cotton tapes and bindings … ‘York Narrow Fabrics produces all of the Government’s “Red Tape” – a narrow linen finished tape dyed red used by various Governmental agencies. In 1955, over 500 miles worth of Government red tape was employed to bind legal documents by our Federal Government.'”

So, no way – really “red tape!” Thanks, Stephen!

Scott Buchart, meanwhile, writes about that as well as some of the other Grantley Road businesses. “York Narrow Fabrics is now the Kinsley Engineering Center. Carlton Stauffer owned York Narrow. Coastal Tank lines was owned by a man named Moul. (Hal was his first name I think.) I believe it was sometime in the late 1970’s or early 80’s that he sold it to Matlack, another tanker company which was absorbed by someone else – I’m guessing it was Bulkmatic, but that is only a guess. Ziebart Rustproofing was in the same area. It was a booming business until auto manufacturers began rustproofing their own vehicles.”

And Mark Stetler added some more detail to Scott’s note, saying, “Coastal Tank Lines closed its York Location and remained in Baltimore for years, it merged with Penn Tank Lines in the Late 90’s.”

Thank you all for shedding some light on those businesses! I’ve added them to our Stores and Restaurants of the Past directory, which was sorely due for an update!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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