After Rutter's acquired Avalong Family Restaurant in 1984, they operated in the former Avalong facility for 3-years until opening a larger facility August 12, 1987 on the same Mt. Zion & Whiteford Roads corner lot. (Photos submitted by Dick Moore; arranged & annotated by S.H. Smith, 2023)
Rutter’s Restaurants at the Avalong corner
Dick Moore submitted photos of the buildings housing Rutter’s Family Restaurant in Springettsbury Township. He wrote: “I have good memories of the Avalong Family Restaurant for several years before it was sold to Rutter’s. After which many Moore family meals were taken at both of Rutter’s places at the Avalong corner.”
Mr. Moore continued: “The company I worked for transferred my family to South Carolina in 1996. It brought back many wonderful memories when I discovered your YorksPast posts about Avalong: especially the photo of the curb service Drive-In.” Answers to a few related Rutter’s questions, posed by Dick, are shared in this post.
“Rutter’s purchases Avalong restaurant” was the headline in the July 17, 1984 issue of the York Daily Record. Quoting the opening paragraphs:
“Avalong Family Restaurant, a Springettsbury Township fixture for 30 years, has been acquired by the Rutter’s Restaurants chain, the old and new owners announced jointly Monday [July 16th]. Rutter’s will take over operation of the restaurant at Mt. Zion and Whiteford roads on August 27, Rutter’s President Jay Crist said.” The purchase included the restaurant and banquet facilities, plus four acres of land suitable for expansion.
In October of 1986, Rutter’s broke ground for a larger $1.5 million restaurant and banquet facility, that would replace the original Avalong Dairy Bar / Family Restaurant and Banquet Facility. This is when the roofed Curb Service area was demolished. However Rutter’s continued to operate the former Avalong Restaurant and Banquet Room during construction, since the new facility was located just to the west of the old building.
There is a difference of opinion if Rutter’s continued offering curb service for the two years following the acquisition from Avalong; i.e. between August 27, 1984 and October of 1986. If you know the answer, contact me.
The following 2003 aerial photo at corner of Mt. Zion and Whiteford Roads shows the locations of Rutter’s structures following their 1984 acquisition from Avalong.
The new Rutter’s Family Restaurant featured colonial architecture and opened for business on August 12, 1987. It offered seating for 168 people in the restaurant. The banquet room could be broken down into three separate rooms, with seating anywhere from 40 to 200 people. Parking was provided for tour buses.
Immediately after the new Rutter’s Family Restaurant opened, the original Avalong facilities were demolished; providing additional parking. Then in 1988, a Rutter’s Farm Store opened at 1450 Mt. Zion Road; just north of the new restaurant. That farm store was demolished in August of 2023, and is now being replaced with a larger 2-story Rutter’s Farm Store. It is being replaced in stages, such that it has remained open during construction.
The Rutter’s Family Restaurant on the corner of Mt. Zion and Whiteford Roads closed in 2002, as Rutter’s scaled back their restaurant business; to focus on growing the convenience store part of the business. After sitting idle for many months, the restaurant building was demolished to build a branch bank building on that corner.
On April 30, 2005 the bank building opened as a branch of Commerce Bank. In June of 2009, a bank name change resulted in this being Metro Bank. A bank acquisition in February of 2016, resulted in the present First National Bank.
Since the bank opened in 2005, the Avalong Farms Dairy Bar mural has been featured in the 1400 Mt. Zion Road building. The pictured Dairy Bar opened at this spot in 1954. The mural is based upon a photo taken March 24, 1956 by J. David Allen.
Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos in this post.
Links to related posts include:Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts