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More food memories: Pappy’s and Rutter’s restaurants

This is a 1975 menu from Pappy's, a pizza shop in the Leader Heights area of York Township. The location later became Mr. Bill's Quarterdeck.
This is a 1975 menu from Pappy’s, a pizza shop in the Leader Heights area of York Township. The location later became Mr. Bill’s Quarterdeck.

I’m continuing a theme from last week in today’s column – touching on more memories of former York County restaurants. Today’s targets are Pappy’s, and Rutter’s when it was a sit-down restaurant. I hope you’ll dig in with me!

Pappy’s Pizza

We’ve talked before about Pappy’s Pizza, which was right at I-83 and Leader Heights Road in York Township. It was later home to Mr. Bill’s Quarterdeck, then Duets Chophouse and Speakeasy, then Leader Heights Diner, and finally the building was torn down.

Reader Eric pointed out another iteration that I had not known. He wrote, “Pappy’s Pizza was later Parrots & Pirates in about 1983 for maybe less than 1 year, after Pappy’s, and before Quarterdeck.” So now we have Pappy’s – Parrots – Quarterdeck – Duets – Diner! Thanks, Eric!

Reader Ann Izzo recalled, “I live in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and I remember going to Pappy’s up until my mid-teens. I even had a birthday party there one year. I wish there were still some around. I am a mother of three and I wish I could have taken my kids there instead of Chuck E. Cheese.”

So this brought up something I hadn’t realized – that Pappy’s was, in fact, a chain of restaurants, not just this one location! Reader Cain recalled a Pappy’s in Dover, Delaware, and from a commenter named “Slick” I received the following note: “I had a very foggy memory of playing an Asteroids arcade in a Pappy’s Pizza in Lancaster near Park City, either where the Fulton Bank is/was off of Manheim Pike in the driveway there, or on the opposite side of the street. Woulda been around ’81-82. But I’d lost the details about the kid-friendly atmosphere, foam hats, player piano, the arcade game tables (known as ‘cocktail tables’ in the arcade industry), and the window where you could see pizza being made.” He said reading a previous column “all but restored those memories.”

Another thing that had come up in earlier memories was that there was a Pappy’s of some sort in the area known as East York, probably Springettsbury Township. The always-helpful Ann Funk from the Martin Library Information Desk had checked the York Suburban Directory and come up with a 1978 entry for Pappy’s Hamburgers, Gladys Kenney, manager, 2802 E. Market St. The 1972 York City directory didn’t have any listings for a Pappy’s, nor did the 1970 York Suburban one. The 1979 Suburban directory noted the Leader Heights location as “Pappy’s Family Pub,” with Ross Pagel as manager, at the address of “2600 Key Way Ave.,” which today is 2600 Keyway Drive.

Now I’m wondering if these two were concurrent locations, or whether the Pappy’s moved from East Market Street to Leader Heights!

Rutter’s as a restaurant

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite childhood memories was going out for dinner with my parents after church on Sundays. Generally, we went either to Alexander’s in West York or the Rutter’s sit-down restaurant on Lightner Road, where a mega-Rutter’s of the convenient store variety sits today.

Reader Peggy Lambert wrote that she used to work at the Rutter’s restaurant in Red Lion during the summer around 1980. “It was a busy place, with a great manager and fun employees. The ice cream was wonderful. It was the place to go after church on a Sunday – always packed at that time. Actually, I don’t remember it ever being quiet there.”

She continued, “When I went off to college, I asked the manager if I could have a couple of the red plastic milk crates to use in my dorm room. The manager hinted that it would be OK, but that he would know nothing about the matter! I think I had those crates up until about five years ago. I moved to Germany and then Australia with them as part of my precious cargo.”

And, she concluded, “When I got married, I had my wedding reception in the events room of the Rutter’s near the Galleria. That was the last time I saw Rutter’s because I moved overseas a week later.”

Peggy, I’m so glad you shared those memories with us! It’s nice to know I’m remembering that after-church crowd correctly!

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.