In 1978 two of the nation’s top grossing independent restaurants were New York’s Tavern on the Green and Mama Leone’s, according to Restaurant Hospitality magazine. At the first, guest checks averaged $14.50, while at Mama Leone’s the average was $13. A big aspect of both restaurants’ business was alcohol, accounting for 30% of revenues in the case of Warner LeRoy’s Tavern on the Green.
Meanwhile, a sturdy favorite in downtown St. Louis, the venerable Miss Hulling’s, home of chicken livers, creamed spinach, and carrot marshmallow salad — with a negligible drinks business – had a check average of $2. Yet it still managed to rank #58 out of the 500 restaurants in the survey.
Miss Hulling’s was the creation of Florence Hulling, who came to St. Louis around 1907 as a teenager from rural Illinois to work as a private cook. After a few years in domestic service she went to work for the Childs restaurant chain. Eventually she was promoted to manager, a rare status for a woman at that time. Childs closed in 1928 and she and her sister Katherine took over management of the cafeteria in the Missouri Hotel. When it closed in 1930 Florence bought the failed restaurant on the opposite corner and named it the Missouri Cafeteria. It would stay in business there for the next 62 years [shown just before razing].
Florence married Stephen Apted in 1931 and in 1934 the Apteds opened a second cafeteria at 8th and Olive, calling it Miss Hulling’s, a name that would eventually apply to the Missouri Cafeteria as well. The Olive Street restaurant occupied a basement site that had previously held the Benish cafeteria [entrance shown] and before that – I think — Lippe’s, a restaurant operated by Detlef van der Lippe.
How well I remember a job I once held chauffeuring an alcoholic boss to Miss Hulling’s, his regular eating place and virtually his true home when he wasn’t bunking in the office of his advertising agency. I suspect he was not the only St. Louisan who relied on Miss Hulling’s for more than just food.
A 1939 Miss Hulling’s menu reveals the kinds of homelike dishes featured there. In addition to those shown, a mimeographed attachment lists a number of dishes not found much in restaurants now. Among the choices are Stuffed Baked Veal Hearts and Braised Ox Joints. If a complete dinner was ordered, for about 50 cents, the diner also got soup or salad, bread and butter, a vegetable such as Creamed Kohlrabi or Fried Egg Plant, a beverage, and a dessert such as Peach Rice Pudding. (See Miss Hulling’s Sour Cream Noodle Bake and her German Chocolate Cake on my Recipes page.)
In the 1940s and 1950s Miss Hulling’s was just the kind of place that earned high ratings from Duncan Hines and Gourmet’s Guide to Good Eating, the latter reporting, “Everybody in St. Louis swears by Miss Hulling’s. Food is exceptionally delicious, clean, and of high standard.” The cafeterias served their own ice cream and baked goods, used fresh fruit for pies, and prepared food in small batches.
Through succeeding decades the Miss Hulling’s enterprise, headed by the couple’s son Stephen J. Apted, grew large. It acquired Medart’s (turning it into the Cheshire Inn), and opened numerous restaurants in the metro area, among them The Cupboard and the Open Hearth, as well as running food services at two hospitals. Headquarters, including a bakery, were at 11th and Locust above the two-floor cafeteria. At the same location were the more formal dining spot Catfish and Crystal, His Lordship’s Pub, and a bakery and ice cream shop. In 1993 the entire operation at this site was closed down, the same fate having befallen the Olive Street cafeteria some years before.
© Jan Whitaker, 2012
97 responses to “Famous in its day: Miss Hulling’s Cafeteria”
It has been a blast reading this article I used to work for Steven Jay Apted and his wife Barbara. I miss them both very much I was with them on and off for 14 15 years and I learned so much from the both of them. They will always be in my heart. I love the restaurants. Miss Hullings was the best food in St Louis and I miss it.
I loved this place ❤ ♥ 💕 I worked there. Too fun place to be work. Hulling was awesome and wonderful person like a grandmother. I went to the restaurant one time when I was in st louis mo 💙 to say hi, but it was closed down.
Looking for any published recipes
My Mom work for Miss Hulling’s as a Baker in the early 1960’s. She mastered all the cake recipes. Now I and my youngest brother have the family secrets. She made 7 layer Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut, Lemon, German Chocolate etc.
I have a cookbook “Miss Hulling’s Own Cook Book” from 1962. I’d be glad to take photos and post the recipes.
I would love to have the recipes from that cook book. Would you mind posting? Are you a member of the Lost Dishes: St. Louis FB group? I am sure the group would be excited to have these recipes to post.
I’ll try to scan and post it soon.
Aaah such fond memories stirred up by all the comments, I want the recipe for the ribbon cake with fudge filling and butter cream icing.
This was my Aunt so it is wonderful to read such a beautiful article of how Miss Hulling’s establishment was so well received. Thank you.
Hi Diane, your aunt’s desserts are amazing. Is there any chance you have the recipe for the lemon cake? I’ve been trying to find it for MY aunt’s birthday for about 2 months now with no avail. Any point in the right direction would be heavenly.
While a student at MU’s School of Journalism in Columbia, I went to St. Louis to visit Miss Hullings Cafeteria. My mission? To try the renowned carrot cake. It was as good as it gets. Still, the finest carrot cake I’ve ever enjoyed!
Does anyone have the recipe for the chocolate almond banana torte with whipped cream? I remember getting it at Seven Kitchens at the mall with a favorite aunt on shopping excursions there and pretty sure it was a MissHullings dessert? Would like to try to recreate it.
Wow! Born in 1953 in St Louis, my grandparents frequently took us to Miss Hullings prior to going out to PG level movies. It was there that I learned to like spinach, via Miss Hullings’ famed creamed spinach. My mother later made it in a more decadent way starting with bacon drippings. Last night I was asking my sister for details about the recipe and it was then that the memories came flooding back about Miss Hullings. My grandfather worked downtown at May Department stores as the General Counsel and on those Friday nights we would be picked up by our grandmother in Ladue and driven downtown for dinner, a movie and a sleep-over. Thank you so much for honoring this place, it has a very special place in my heart.
Those must have been very special Friday nights!
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As a boy my grandfather took my brother and i to Miss Hullings in downtown St. Louis.
It was a magicel kingdom of food.
Of course our eyes were far larger than our stomachs.
We ate it all.
The reward. German Chocolate Cake
Just briefly reading this makes my mouth water! Almost a daily luncheon patron, from early sixties, always served by Lorraine on Olive Street [before that a rosy cheeked Irish lass of about 70]. Their fried chicken, apple pie, beef anything, 5 layer coconut cake/chocolate too, occasional sauerbraten; great meeting place for Dempsey Tegeler brokerage elite [out of business in 2069] many of us at the lawyer table——-until it closed in 93—then moved to 10th and Locust for many years [almost as good]. I’ve never eaten so well!
retired lawyer in AZ
When I was a child in the late fifties and sixties, my parents would take my brother and me to Miss Hullings downtown. Frequently my Paternal Grandmother would join us. I have no idea what I ate for a meal, but I remember the chocolate cake … I can taste it today! On special occasions such a a birthday, we would eat upstairs, and I would always get the German Chocolate cake, my all-time favorite. Another great recipe was her original potato salad, not the German (which was also great). Schnucks delicatessen has a pretty close version in their red potato potato salad.
Late summer of the year my parents separated (just after Christmas) we had dinner in the dining room and saw Mary Poppins at the Lowe’s theater downtown. One of, if not our last outing as a family, and so, a wonderful memory. Miss Hullings is still my favorite restaurant of all time!
My stepmother (although she was more like a real mom to me), Daisy, worked at Southwestern Bell (1010 Pine in Downtown St. Louis) in the late 1960s/early 1970s. During our times shopping there, we would always have lunch at Miss Hullings. It was a tradition. I was a small child (around 8), and don’t remember what I would have, but I do recall it was always very clean and fancy (and it was where I learned to place my napkin on my lap, a habit I still engage in to this day). Amazing food and desserts and one of my mom’s favorite St. Louis restaurants. Thanks for the comments and memories; it reminds me of my mother and of a St. Louis long gone, but not forgotten …
The split chocolate was my absolute, without-a-doubt, favorite cake until about 5 years ago when it tasted different and, frankly, disappointing. I remember the original recipe being white cake with a thicker icing than you get at Straubs. I have been enjoying it for 35 years! Who knows the secret about a possible recipe change? I want the original!
My mother was bakery manager at Miss Hulling’s and also at the Cheshire Inn so we grew up with and loved all her pastry. Being a baker myself in later years, many times I have tried to duplicate the recipe for the chocolate split-layer cake and each time my attempts fell short. This cake and the lemon split-layer were unique and many would love to have the recipes. That you were able to continue buying the chocolate split-layer at Straubs for many years was indeed lucky. All we can do now is cherish the memories.
Hi Carol, I’ve been trying to find the recipe for the lemon split-layer for a while now. Did you ever try with any success to duplicate that one? If so I’d love it if you could share the recipe with me!
I worked downtown for 13 years & ate plenty of lunches at His Lordships…such fond memories.
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I loved reading all the nice comments. So many memories sprang up. Miss Kay Gillis was a friend, as was all of Miss Hullings Supervisors. I don’t believe a day goes by that I don’t think of things that happened, in those 40+ years I spent there. Thanks.
Just happened onto this site as I was remembering my years entertaining at the Cheshire Inn and all the happy and fun times with the Apted’s and Miss Hullings Cafeteria. In particular a huge birthday cake with my image in my yellow dress and big hat that I wore for our Carriage Club events. Some of the happiest years of my life! Judy Zelle
Do you remember Miss Mary who was with Miss Florence from the time Miss Hullings opened until it closed? She worked in the kitchen as a supervisor.
Wow! Do I remember Miss Mary – indeed, and Miss Rose. Both were supervisors when I worked there part-time after school from the summer of 1947 to 1949. Both supervisors were no-nonsense when it came to running the shop, which I recall was Miss Mary’s responsibility during the day and Miss Rose’s in the evening. I don’t recall Miss Mary’s surname, but Miss Rose’s was Nennert, who was the aunt of my boyhood friend, way back when!!
Worked there in 1966 in dish pantry for Miss Beulah. Summer job and into fall. Age 17 learning experience. Had to wake up 4:30 for bus from S. St. Louis to downtown for $1/hr. Breakfast and lunch were free of course and great. Could eat all I wanted at that age. Meeting a girl there that I dated through high school was best memory. Realized that I’d better continue on with education to college so I wouldn’t have to work this hard again.
Me too. But that work ethic stayed with me for life.
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My grandpa, grandma and my mom, all 3 of them worked for Miss Hullings. My mom started working there, I am pretty sure it was the one in downtown St. Louis, when she was about 14 yrs old. That was around 1935! My g-ma & g-pa were still working there in about 1946. I know this cause my brother was about 2 years old when my g-ma was holding him in a picture at Miss Hullings with some other ladies. My dear brother is now going to be 70 yrs old & acts like he is in his 40’s! I still have a pie tin from Miss Hullings from way back then! I must say the recipes everyone talks about sound very delicious!! So glad I was able to pull up Miss Hullings and see all these comments!! Thanks!
I did not discover Miss Hullings until I went to school at the U of I in Urbana. It was a great place to eat and enjoyed every meal I had. It’s good to hear that others also liked eating at Miss Hullings. Thanks. Bruce Holberg
Yes, it was like a miracle finding this site and reading all these comments. I also started working there at age 14 in 1954-56 along with my mother. So I may have known some of your family if you care to share first names. I’m 75. I remember the Pie tins and I have the cookbook and still use it.
Do you remember Miss Mary who worked at Miss Hullings? She was with Miss Florence from the beginning.
Does Miss Hullings still exist? I have a cookbook from there – probably circa 1978-ish. Fabulous food. Left Missouri in 1987.
I’ve actually been searching for the Miss Hullings cookbook for my mom for a while now. I know it’s a huge thing to ask (and I’d obviously be willing to pay for it), but if you could either scan or copy it for me, I would be eternally grateful. If you see this, please contact me at email@example.com
Brian, I can’t help you with the cookbook. But if you find a Miss Hullings cookbook, send me a note. her food was excellent. Thanks Bruce
I have the cookbook, use it frequently and although I could copy some recipes for you but I wouldn’t part with it.
I don’t know if you’re still looking five years later but this is where you can find “Miss Hulling’s Favorite Recipes”
It’s an antiquarian bookstore. Three copies, each 100 bucks and up.
Wow. How did you get the book? I would like some recipes.
From Violet S. From Jan. 1955 thru Feb. 1962, I worked in the beautiful Arcade Bldg. at 8th and Olive. I was 17 when I started and was so happy to hear of the Hullings cakes. Now I could afford to add the dessert to my family’s Christmas. For many years we truly enjoyed the chocolate split layer (my favorite) and the lemon. I wanted to have some this year, since my family cannot celebrate Christmas until Jan. 18 – 25. But it seems to be a lost cause, what a shame that a yummy tradition cannot continue.
The chocolate and lemon split layer cakes were secret recipes that never got published in her cookbooks. I have recreated them myself though. For the Lemon cake I used lemon curd for the filling and made a butter cream frosting with lemon zest. For the chocolate, oh my that was good it was a little more difficult with a homemade dark chocolate pudding for the filling and the frosting is made with semi- sweet baking chocolate. Not exactly perfect but a close replica. To cut the layers I use a very long serrated blade knife.
I just received a fab Christmas present, a xerox copy of Come Home to Miss Hulling’s, Favorite Recipes!
Can you please send me a copy? I used to eat there when I was in college at SLU and my mother and grandmother ate there too.
Which recipe are you looking for?
I just received Miss Hullings Favorite recipe from Amazon however the seven layer lemon cake is not in it. Would you happen to have this one?
Can I please get a copy of the recipe for split lemon and chocolate cakes.
The split lemon isn’t in the cookbook but here is the German Chocolate cake recipe.
4 oz sweet cooking chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
Melt chocolate in boiling water. Cool. Cream butter ans sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into three 9-inch round greased and floured pans. Cool on a wire rack and frost between layers with Coconut Pecan Frosting.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup butter
1 cup shredded or flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
Blend milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about ten minutes. Remove from heat, add coconut, pecans and vanilla, and beat until cool and of spreading consistency. This amount will cover tops of three 9-inch layers. Do not frost sides of cake.
For extra glamour, top the cake with shaved chocolate (sweet) curls.
I would love to have any recipe from there. Wonder if you still had them. Would love deserts chocolate, lemon.
Miss Hullings’ prize-winning recipe for Lemon Ice Box Pudding was published in the Globe-Democrat in 1963:
3 1/2 tbsp gelatin
1 cup cold water
3 cups boiling water
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/8 cups lemon juice
3/4 cup egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Soak the gelatin in cold water for five minutes. Add boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice. Stir well and chill until slightly thickened. Beat the eggs whites and sugar to a stiff meringue. Pour thickened mixture into the egg whites and blend. Line a two-quart mold with lady fingers or strips of angel or sunshine cake. Pour in the pudding mixture. Chill overnight. Unmold and serve with lemon custard sauce. Serves 10 to 12.
I have also added the recipe for her German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting. See my Recipes page.
My mother was Anna Presson, well known as Miss Ann. She was the banquet hostess and also decorated. I worked at the Mavrakos candy store on Locust St across from Miss Hullings. Ate many lunches with my mom. Great time, memories.
I worked for a Miss Ann at 11th & Locust in the cafeteria. I believe she lived in Granite City, Such a nice woman, I was 16 yrs old. then I moved up to the bakery on the third floor. Great memories :^)
I knew your mother, Miss Ann back in the 50’s. We seldom knew last names. My mother was Miss Eunice who managed the bakery first at Miss Hulling’s then at the Cheshire Inn under Stephen Apted after Florence retired. Did your mom work in the Grey Ghost Room?
My dad worked for Miss Hullings as a cook, and recalls warming Steve Apted’s bottle when he was a baby. I remember him sharing the wisdom he learned from Miss Hullings, “people eat with their eyes first”, so make it pretty!
I grew up in STL. My grandmother would always go to Miss Hullings when she went downtown to shop once a week. Her favorite meal was chicken salad on whole wheat bread and coconut custard pie. She would always bring home a pie from Miss Hullings. I remember eating at both cafeterias, and seem to remember the large above ground cafeteria had a more formal room in it with tablecloths. Was it called the Grey Ghost room or something like that? I was a little boy back then, but anytime we were downtown, we either ate at Miss Hullings or Stix Baer and Fuller’s tea room. All gone now! Sad!
Yes, I worked in the Grey Ghost Room for a couple of years from the time of its inception. It was next to the main (Upstairs) dining room of the Cafeteria. We wore grey uniforms with white collars and cuffs and wore white aprons. I too remember the elegant Stix and all the window decorations at Christmas time.
The Grey Ghost Room was sit-down, I assume. What was on the menu? We never ate in there, but I remember looking in there often and remember the ladies in their grey uniforms. I remember it was right by the stairs where you could go downstairs to eat.
Help! I just recently purchased 2 Miss Hullings cakes from Straubs in St Louis, MO, 1 lemon and 1 choc split layer cake. Needless to say they should stop baking Miss Hullings cakes and stop saying they are making the cakes from the original recipes, because I was not impressed at all. I was introduced to Miss Hullings cakes by way of my father who was a mail carrier and I do remember the Clayton and Downtown location. I come from a family that bakes cakes from scratch so I started looking to see if I could purchase her cook book (for the split layer cake recipes only) but the book price has scared me to tears. Is there anyone out there who is willing to send me a copies of the choc and lemon split cake recipes? Only if you have the original cake recipes could we talk by way of my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m requesting a copy of the original Miss Hullings split lemon cake recipe please? Thank you!
Those two cakes were secret and the recipes never printed. I too bake from scratch and have duplicated both but of course the end result was not exactly the same.
I used to eat at Miss Hullings cafeteria at 8th and Olive with my mother after shopping with her at Famous & Stix. Wonderful food in a basement location. I believe there was a 2nd location on Washington just east of the Fox.
I was given 6 spoons from Miss Hulling’s restaurant. I bet they are solid silver like the restaurant.
I worked at the cafeteria on 11th and locust in st louis. I have so many fond memories working there. Although I can remember rolling all that silver ware in those napkins when it was slow. lol
I also remember the heavy silver plate that the cafeteria had and the while cloth napkins. These places just do not exist anymore. We have a few cafeterias left in the Fort Lauderdale area, but they do not match up with Miss Hulling’s. Bruce Holberg
Yes I remember so much from there. It was all about sitting down and eating a well balanced and wonderful meal. You rolled your silverware in cloth napkins, and the real plates were very hot. I remember dishing up the side dishes but you had to have a cloth to wipe the edges of the bowls. Always had to put the dishes up on the glass top first then the customer took them off from there. Very particular but things like that stayed with me forever. I broke my toe and used to come to work in a house shoe and she gave me a little step stool to put my foot on. Then she gave me a sit down job upstairs for a while till it got better. lol She was something else but oh my father used to love those strawberry pies. Used to bring him one home every week.
Susan, thanks for more good memories. I do remember their famous strawberry pie. Very tasty. There really was not anything I did not like. Thanks. Bruce Holberg
Susan Cange, My parents and I used to eat at Miss Hullings at least twice a week until it closed. We would probably recognize each other! There was a vegetable side dish with Broccoli and Zucchini I believe and there was a celery looking veggie in there that had a garlic flavor. I asked what it was and one of the servers said it was a Chinese vegetable but I don’t remember what it was called. Do you know what it was?
I remember a man with his wife in there all the time, as he always had his slippers on. One night when we were there, he was sitting alone….so sad, his wife had passed away. Memories!….
Does anyone remember the Miss Hulling’s location on Clayton Road near the Cheshire Inn? This was back in the early 70’s in South St. Louis. The building is gone but the memories are there. 🙂
It was run by her son and it was IN the Cheshire Inn
It was called “The Cupboard” but this was on Clayton Rd near Brentwood Blvd. My husband used to play in the lounge with a friend. I bought 2 of the wing back chairs when they closed and had an auction. It was a great place. I worked downtown and right next to the one on Olive and Wednesday was meatloaf day which I am making for dinner tonight!
I have fond memories of Mrs. Hullings. My father would always go there any time we visited St. Louis. I remember there was a railroad tunnel underneath the basement restaurant, and you could faintly hear trains rolling by enroute to Union Station. I imagine it’s the same tunnel that Metrolink uses today. Seems as though many cities had a “signature” cafeteria that was known for good food back in those days. Always reasonably priced, with a dignified atmosphere. A far cry from the fast food places today. Too bad a single person of limited cooking skills, doesn’t have something like Mrs. Hullings today. If I had lived in St. Louis in that era, I would have eaten there everyday.
I have very fond memories of working at Mrs. Hullings downtown St. Louis when I was a teenager. I learned so much from her. She was very particular but it stayed with me forever. I guess no places like that around here anymore. Loved working there.
I believe you are correct. I remember coming through the tunnel just before Amtrak started in 1971. I was on the Pennsylvania (then Penn Central) train from Pittsburgh to St. Louis. It was about 8:00 PM and I was the only passenger on that train. I boarded in Effingham, IL after taking the Illinois Central down from Champaign. The train almost did not stop in Effingham, but I got their attention. I recall the old tunnel was dark and dirty. I was looking out the rear car door. Today, it is much nicer and is part of the subway system. Thanks for your comment. Bruce
Do you know the recipe for the white dough sheet cake from scratch?
Thank you Tracy
My grandfather was the head butcher at Miss Hullings, and for a short time I worked there as well. I started as a bread slicer, and eventually became a baker… Someone mentioned Miss Bulah, she was my direct boss as a bread slicer…
I’m requesting a copy of the original Miss Hullings split lemon cake recipe please? Thank you!
I just found a Miss Hulling’s cookbook at an Estate Sale for $5.00. It has the carrot salad but it did not have the Lemon Split Layer Cake. I do hope someone can find it and post.
Hi, I was looking for old St. Louis restaurants and read your comment. I live in St Louis and also wondered about those recipes. I was told they were sold when the restaurants shut down and never printed. They were sold to a commercial bakery and they make the cakes which are sold at Straubs markets. I don’t know how they compare. Regards
I have a recipe book from Miss Hulling’s from the 1960’s but it doesn’t have her split layer lemon cake in it. Would anyone care to share if they have it? My daughter just went to a local home auction and in her find of old metal pie plates came across one marked from Miss Hulling’s, such a treasure, this will have to be displayed in her new kitchen.
My Aunt Kay was the head cashier at Miss Hullings for many years. Every weekend my Mom and Dad would take us out to her country retreat in Dittmer, MO. That was back in the 1950’s and 1960’s and served me well with hundreds of special memories.
I have been trying to find the location but just can’t seem to turn down the correct road to get me there. By any chance, does somebody out there know her former address in Dittmer?
I remember a checker by the name of Kay. She was so funny and sweet.
Miss Hulling’s was a great name for the cafeteria. It made you think of home cooking. I only had a few chances to eat there, but each meal was great. Bruce Holberg
Found an old Rumford Common Sense Cook Book, and it mentioned carrot salad, which led to remembering Mrs. Hulling’s Carrot Salad, and many happy memories of lunches there when I worked downtown in the Wainwright Bldg. That was in the l940’s! Thanks for an update!
My son and I inherited my grandmother’s recipe collection. I was looking through them just today and came across two handwritten recipes on note cards…one of them was the carrot and marshmallow salad! Grandma made a little note on the end that says; ” This is Mrs. Florence Hullings salad. She has a restaurant down in St. Louis.” My grandmother worked in St. Louis as a young woman at a canning factory along with my grandpa’s sister, who served as a matchmaker for them!
My aunt lived across the street from Miss Hullings in the Hotel Alverne. She ate most of her meals at Miss Hullings. I would love to have the recipe for the carrot & marshmallow salad. It would be such a wonderful reminder of my Aunt Bess! Blessing to you!
In 1963-64, I valet parked cars at the 11th & Locust Garage across the street from Miss Hulling’s. Two daily customers were Miss Hulling’s manager Miss Beulah and cashier Miss Kay. They arrived for work at 5am and would leave their cars parked on the street at the garage entrance and we would bring their cars in when we opened the garage at 6am. Florence and her son Stephen frequently used the garage too. I ate many meals at Miss Hulling’s. Miss Beulah would patrol the serving line rigorously, constantly checking the food and ordering anything that had set too long or didn’t meet her standards to be discarded. Quality was #1 then. They ran a first class operation.
In 1956 I began working in the Cafeteria summers going to work with my mother. It was handy for her, a non-driver, to have me drive from Overland. We left home at 4:30am, quite early for a 16-year old, and on the way in we picked up Miss Beulah, my boss. Nice for you to remember all the women. After I quit school that year at 16, I was the regular driver for my mother Miss Eunice who managed the bakery and of course Miss Beulah who was always so prim, proper and pleasant in her starched white uniform. Miss Kay was a jolly one, a little round as I remember, so sharp and always in a good mood. Miss Florence (Hullings) demanded perfection of everyone and everything. I worked the ‘line’ for breakfast and lunch and although I was a high-school drop out working there was like being in the military and it was just the discipline I needed the stayed with me the rest of my life. It truly was a quality, first class operation, not a crumb or scrap was wasted and every ingredient was fresh. All pastry in the bakery was made fresh every night, most of it Danish pastry. Oh, the stories I could tell. Thanks for your take.
I used to be a cook (part-time) at Miss Hullings in the 1960’s while going to school. Thanks for the memory of past joys.
When my mother brought home a seven-layer chocolate cake from Miss Hulling’s, all other activity stopped until the first slice was plated – and if one was lucky, there might be a second slice, too. That cake’s exquisitely delicate texture remains unmatched, despite years of searching for a substitute.
I can still remember Miss Hullings Cafeteria in 1967 when I started at the University of Illinois in Urbana. I would make periodic trips to St. Louis to explore the city and learn its history. You could still get to St. Louis by train from Champaign by taking a shuttle bus 10 miles south to a small town named Tolono. There you could catch with a day or night train to St. Louis via Decatur. The day train was only 2-3 cars and one car had a six seat counter in the center of the car. One man was the combination cook and waiter and did a great job in a very small space. The night train left St. Louis around 6:30 PM and it did not have a diner, but it did have a sleeper to Detroit. I usually spent the extra to get a seat in a roomette for $1.15. I never remember more than 4-5 passengers in the sleeper. But I discovered Miss Hullings on my first weekend excursion to St. Louis and ate there at least once on each trip until I graduated. The menu above was very typical even into the 1970’s and I would have items like the prime rib, lamb chops or filet of sole. Plus everything else was still home made. I left the area in 1972 and did not know it had closed in 1993. The building is now gone and people only have fond memories of good food at great prices.
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The carrot marshmallow salad was great, and I loved their baked white fish! Of course, the layer cakes were the best! Even the hot dogs, split and grilled, at the 8th & Olive location were amazing (I was just a kid)! And, we celebrated so many birthdays and anniversaries at the other location….
Great memories of Downtown St. Louis in its prime! Thanks, Jan!
Would you have the recipe for pasta sauce? It had green pepper and chili powder in it and of course tomatoes? Thanks Rose Powers
Just found your blog. Makes me think of lots of places that are no longer here.