Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Most recent questions edition

Bierman’s is a well-known former York County restaurant. This is a receipt from the wedding reception of Erma (Henry) Raver and Clinton Raver catered by the former Bierman’s.

Just in the first day or so after I published my last column, I received enough replies to it – as well as some new questions – to fill a whole ‘nother one. So this week, you’re getting the newest of the new!

What’s inside

1. Follow-ups to last week’s restaurant questions
2. Seeking info on former Penn Dairy
3. Seeking owners of Maytag shop

1. Follow-ups to last week’s restaurant questions

Last week, we talked about some downtown restaurants of the past. There were a couple of questions raised about restaurants on East King and East Market streets and Cottage Place. I received so many follow-up replies on those eateries… it was wonderful!

From Alan Vandersloot, I heard, “Perhaps the reader is thinking about the Tremont Restaurant. It was one block off South George turning right on Cottage Place. (Formerly Bierman’s I believe. My mom was a waitress at the Tremont for a few years.)”

Bill Ilyes wrote, “Maybe I can help Sally Beck on the name of her restaurant. It could be the Tremont or another name it was called was Bierman’s. The other question by Steve Hanna on the eatery on the first block of East King Street… I have been there many times with my dad when I was very young. That place was called Joe Bury’s, and to my knowledge it was the last of their restaurants. You could not beat their hamburgers.”

And reader Bruce Collier, the brother of longtime reader Keith Collier, wrote to me about what may have come after Joe Bury’s on East King Street. He said, “Sure sounds like The Pit. Little! Seating for maybe 18 people, with the line to order snaking through the tables, but great breakfast and lunch. Went there in the late ’90s when I worked on the square in WGTY’s York sales office. Thanks for the memories!” Sounds like that would have followed Bury’s, so now we can track that restaurant even farther.

My longtime reader and commenter Tom Keasey also wrote about restaurants based on last week’s column, but he was able to provide more history not on the questions I shared but on my personal experience that sparked the food topic – my trip to the new location of Marco’s Pizza on Carlisle Road, in the former location of Alexander’s.

Tom wrote, “Here’s a little more information on what is now Marco’s Pizza. Before the restaurant became Alexander’s, the building was built in the mid-’60s by a family whose name was Fisher. Fisher’s Restaurant moved from the corner of South Penn and Princess streets in the city. Unfortunately, in the summer of 1969 this area of the city would become one of several sites where civil unrest occurred. Fisher’s Restaurant was known for their steaks and seafood. Coming from a middle-class family, regardless of the location, dining at Fisher’s Restaurant was always special for us.”

Tom, I had no idea that Fisher’s had been there first!

Related but not directly tied to last week’s question, I also had a note from Kari Hash, who said, “There was a little restaurant I believe in downtown York that we used to go to… it was called Christopher’s. It must have been open very late or all night because my mom would pick my brother up from work and we would go there. I had pretty bad asthma so she would take me with her. Just curious about exactly where it was located and maybe a picture.”

If anyone has information on Christopher’s for Kari, I’d love to be able to share that, so please let me know!

2. Seeking info on former Penn Dairy

One of the coolest things we do as a family is participate in York County 4-H. Among the awesome 4-H Extension educators we have the privilege to work with is Linda Spahr, a lifelong Yorker who is one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet.

Well, Linda got a call the other day from a woman who said she has a milk can that had “Penn Dairy York PA” on its lid, and she wanted some history on it. (I can only assume that Linda got this question because she is a large-animal educator, and thus knows about dairy cattle, and thus might know about a dairy, though I’m just guessing about that part!) Anyway, Linda and another great educator, Tom Smith, put their heads together on it. Tom noted that Central Family Restaurant has photos of a “Pennsy” dairy, which used to be called Purity Dairy before that. Linda wrote, “I don’t know if this is the dairy her can came from or not, but I’m stymied… so if you have any more information you can share I’d be delighted to pass it on.”

This was one fun because (a) I like Linda and was glad to be able to help her out for once, given all she does for our family and (b) I actually had a few minor facts at hand about the issue in question, which is certainly not always the case. Penn Dairy would change its name to one most Yorkers are more familiar with around 1946 – becoming Pensupreme. Jim McClure wrote a column about it back in 2012, and the Pensupreme building has been in the news lately for another reasons.

As I told Linda, they would have been a neighbor of Central Family Restaurant, as they were on North George Street, where they just tore down the Pensupreme building and its big “Pensupreme” smokestack last year to make room for the York Academy Charter School’s upper school, which will serve grades 8 to 12.

Searching for Pensupreme on will turn up both Jim’s column as well as many stories about the demolition and construction process on that site.

3. Seeking owners of Maytag shop

Reader Kim Slagle wrote, “Did you know who used to own Allaman Maytag in York? I’m trying to find out info about my father. I was told by a relative (that I just discovered I had) that either my father or his son at one time owned it. Their last name would have been Warner. If you know anything, I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much!”

If anyone has any information for Kim, please do let me know; I’d be glad to share!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.