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Even more memories of the North Pole and Florida Room

This photo from commenter Steve Kohler shows half of the topic of today’s follow-up post: the North Pole and the Florida Room, which we’d previously described as “temperature opposites” on the corner of what is now Route 30 and Sherman Street!

Bill Landes wrote, “I’ve commented before on Ernie McCall’s North Pole- it had no pool – that would have been the Florida Room. What it did have was York’s BEST subs (the roll was to die for) – all you told them was how hot with peppers you wanted it. My Dutch Grandma who lived over the hill in Pleasureville always asked for hers ‘Sharp’ (i.e. lots of hot pepper relish). I’d give anything for a North Pole here in Kentucky.”

And Shirley Cover wrote, “On N. George St. (like a drive in) in the back you could jump on trampolines think it was called the ‘Torchlight’ not sure on the name of the place – where Rutter’s and new motel is located now.” Shirley also asked, “Does anyone know name of the drive-in that sat on the corner of Rt. 30 and Sherman St. across from Al’s 66 gas station?” She recalled it might have been a “Polar Palace,” but I’m pretty sure it was the North Pole, as was commenter Chuck Ryan who said the same thing.

Betsy Baird writes, “The Florida Room and North Pole I remember, but can’t recall a swimming pool there. Maybe it will come to me sometime. I started thinking of when they widened the road for Rt. 30. Florida Room and North Pole ‘went to the ground’ by bulldozers. So did the large white house of friends of ours. It was a short distance to the east of the above. Now, I’d be driving right over their house. Forget if their swimming pool also went. What did remain was their white barn. They had Garrett’s Coffee Company in there. What a wonderful fragrance you would get when you went into the place!”

I also heard from Jim Fahringer, who wrote, “Oh yes, the North Pole Drive-In served the very best submarine sandwiches. My mother and grandma loved their soft ice cream then known as Frozen Custard. Ernie McCall later built the Florida Room just east of the North Pole Drive-In complete with a swimming pool and palm trees. This cocktail restaurant was dark inside and they had black lights which made everyone look like they had a dark tan. The unnatural glow of the teeth was a bit weird. … It was the first place I ever remember buying subs. They were delicious. Ernie McCall’s daughter is still living. She helped make the subs. I wonderful if she has the recipe or remembers how they were made. They made the subs of today almost tasteless in comparison.” I would LOVE a recipe for such a thing – as a fan of good Philadelphia hoagies, which are not subs!

And Stephen H. Smith of Yorkspast writes, “The North Pole Drive-In had THE BEST chocolate milkshakes around! You are correct, it was located on the southeast corner of what is now Route 30 and Sherman Street.”

Jack Sparler said, “I remember the North Pole and, yes, it was at the corner of NOP Road (I believe that was the correct name… and now Rte. 30) and Sherman St. Our family lived in East York and we would visit the North Pole to buy subs (see the Submarines sign on building) in the late 1950s and I may be wrong but it could have been the only/first restaurant in York that carried subs. In any case they were unique for our family and we loved bringing them home to eat. They also carried Frozen Custard (again, see sign) only in Chocolate and Vanilla (I am pretty sure) and we loved it. Also, I could be wrong about this, but I believe there was also a go-cart track behind the North Pole as part of the attraction (my memory could be fooling me, not sure).”

Finally, I heard from Sue Sanger, who thanked us for sharing the photo you see at the top of today’s post in our print edition. She writes, “Interesting enough my husband’s graduation class was having breakfast together and the North Pole came up. But we could not remember the name. It was one of the popular hang outs when we were teens. It was located on the southeast corner of what is now route 30 and Sherman street (Sherman and Loucks Rd back then). It was a good place to take a date for a bite to eat. Thanks for the name jog.”

You’re very welcome – and thanks to all for continuing to share these memories!

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