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The Ember's initially opened for business during February 1959 in the lower level of the York County Shopping Center within Springettsbury Township. (York County History Center)

The Ember’s Restaurant

The Ember’s was a popular Springettsbury Township restaurant for 58-years. It opened for business on the lower level of the York County Shopping Center in 1959 and operated from 1995 to 2017 at 100 Memory Lane, following a move forced by the start of the 1992 redevelopment of the shopping center as York Marketplace.

Last October’s Springettsbury History Night talk reminisced about everything from restaurants to major industries opening in the township during the 1940s and 1950s. Following the talk, a woman commented about Ember’s with the query, “You grouped Ember’s in with all the other stores when talking about the York County Shopping Center opening in 1955. You might want to check, I think Ember’s opened closer to 1960.”

She appears to be correct, the fictitious name filling for “The Embers” took place on December 22, 1958 by Robert S. Freedman and John A. Green, for a public eating and drinking place in the York County Shopping Center at 2511 East Market Street. The earliest waitress wanted ads appear in January 1959. The liquor license for the owners at The Embers was granted first week of February 1959 with the first ad for the restaurant appearing February 21, 1959.

Notice of “The Embers” fictitious name filling of December 22, 1958 by Robert S. Freedman and John A. Green, for a public eating and drinking place in the York County Shopping Center at 2511 East Market Street. (The York Dispatch, Dec. 17, 1958)

In 1960, Jack Bentivegna, one of the original employees of The Ember’s, replaces John Green as a co-owner. In 1962 one could get a 14-oz. N. Y. Strip Sirloin with potatoes and salads for $1.69

1962 ad for The Embers in the York County Shopping Center. Jack Bentivegna and Bob Freedman are the owners from 1960 to 1967. (The York Dispatch, December 29, 1962)

Jack Bentivegna and Bob Freedman were the owners of The Embers from 1960 to 1967. The following is a match book cover, with the back advertising, “Specializing in Steaks and Seafood. Italian and American Cuisine.”

The Embers match book cover when located in the York County Shopping Center and owned by Jack Bentivegna and Bob Freedman from 1960 to 1967. (S.H. Smith Collection)

In 1967, Jack Bentivegna and Bob Freedman sell The Embers to Gary and Lorraine Nease along with co-owners John and Lucille Bubb. The business is incorporated as Downstairs at the Embers, Inc. with Gary Nease the president of the organization. In 1975, John and Lucille Bubb sell their interest in the business to Gary and Lorraine Nease.

1981 ad for The Ember’s in the York County Shopping Center. Gary and Lorraine Nease are the owners from 1967 to 1982; and part of that time John and Lucille Bubb are co-owners from 1967 to 1975. (The York Sunday News, April 26, 1981)

The next ownership change occurs in 1982, when Tom and Kathy Sgagias purchase The Embers. This was after the restaurant underwent extensive remodeling .

1982 ad for The Ember’s in the York County Shopping Center. Tom and Kathy Sgagias & family are the owners from 1982 to 2017. After the section of the York County Shopping Center, where Ember’s existed, was razed for redevelopment, the Sgagias family operated The Ember’s from 1995 to 2017 at 100 Memory Lane. (York Daily Record, April 23, 1982)

In November 1992 the Sgagiases were forced to close The Ember’s because the section of the York County Shopping Center, where Ember’s existed, was being razed for redevelopment as York Marketplace. Tom Sgagias vowed to find a place to relocate Ember’s.

In 1994 Tom and Kathy Sgagias purchased the former OK Corral Restaurant at 100 Memory Lane. It was extensively remodeled as the next Ember’s location and opened on August 14, 1995. Sadly Tom Sgagias died in 1997. He left Ember’s to his wife and children. They operated it for another 20-years before deciding to retire. Ember’s last day was February 26, 2017.

The Embers Restaurant and Lounge at 100 Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township. Photo was taken upon closing of The Embers in February 2017. The Embers initially opened for business during February 1959 in the York County Shopping Center. (Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee Archives)

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos and illustrations in this post.

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Bowling Lanes at the York County Shopping Center

Remembering the Talk of the Town Restaurant in Springettsbury

Glost Signs in the Burbs; York County Shopping Center

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