Top posts in 2020

It’s been a year! Bad for restaurants but good for restaurant history. I’m disturbed by the number of restaurants that became history this year and the many that are barely hanging on. It’s great that my blog has fared well but I’d rather see good fortunes shared.

The top post was a controversial one: Aunt Fanny’s Cabin. I focused on its troubled relation to race, which many readers disputed, arguing that the Black staff loved working there. Others ignored the post’s theme and just commented on the restaurant’s fried chicken.

The second most popular post was about Wolfie’s, in Miami. Since I published this post in March of 2011, it has consistently drawn large numbers of readers, becoming the all-time #1 post about an individual restaurant.

Other starring restaurants that drew many readers were (in this order): Schrafft’s, The Bakery, The Bird Cage, Miss Hulling’s Cafeteria, Toddle House, The Pyramid, and The Silver Grille. Note that two were in department stores: the Bird Cage in the newly-closed Lord & Taylor, and the Silver Grille in Higbee’s.

The number three post was Taste of a decade: 1970s restaurants. That was the decade in which many small chef-owned restaurants came along, introducing more adventurous menus and moving away from the post-war favorites, steak and baked (potatoes).

Most surprising to me was the number of clicks on Sawdust on the Floor, a post not focused on an individual restaurant, so not a fan page. This made me happy because I actually prefer researching and writing posts on trends and characteristics of restaurants.

Another surprise in 2020 was the increased number of appreciative comments — and especially emails — that I received from readers who took the time to write. Despite the contentiousness and divisiveness on display this year, I am also struck by how many people have gone out of their way to be kind and thoughtful.

Finally, I’m remembering what a friend said to me when I began this blog in 2008: Won’t you run out of things to write about? No, my list of ideas is longer than ever.

Meanwhile, wishing you all the best for 2021!

23 Comments

Filed under blogging, favorite posts

23 responses to “Top posts in 2020

  1. Anne Bonney

    Ah, the Silver Grille!
    Thanks for all of your posts and Happy New Year!

  2. Kate

    Thank you for all the work you do. When I get an email notice of one of your posts, I always come running.
    I hadn’t gone back to that Aunt Fanny’s post to see all the replies. The lack of understanding is mind-boggling–such a lot of bland but obvious racism. Spooky stuff.

  3. Henry Voigt

    Congratulations on another great year!

  4. Michael

    Thank you for your posts. I look eagerly to read each one. All of the stores and restaurants I used to go to seem to disappear one after another. Your posts remind me of all of those stores and restaurants I fondly remember and still miss…

    One of them was a restaurant chain called Charlie Brown’s. I still vividly remember one year my parents took me and my brother to the closest Charlie Brown’s on my birthday. I was so embarrassed when I was surrounded by at least a half-dozen waitresses singing happy birthday and every one in the restaurant was looking at me! [in hindsight, they were probably staring at the cleavage]. The waitress uniforms were awesome! Their waitresses wore a knee length dress loosely based on Colonial Style 1770(s) clothing. The brown dress was very low cut in front showing ample cleavage. The square front neckline was covered with white ruffles. The narrow sleeves were elbow length with white ruffles at the bottom. The dress was open at the front showing a huge white petticoat. Unfortunately, there are no more Charlie Brown’s restaurants left in California. Years later, I saw the same dress in my favorate restaurant chain Loves. The waitresses in the Loves bar were wearing the same dress only the dress was black instead of brown.

    I would really enjoy reading a post about the 1970(s) Charlie Brown’s Uniform based upon 1770(s) fashion. Especially, if the post could include pictures of their waitresses in uniform. If a source who could reproduce the dress were included that would be awesome.

  5. sandra hunter

    Happy New Year!!
    Still glowing i my Gaslight Square post…working on my cookbook and My Mother’s career as the firsts she cooked up as female chef and Black!
    Blessings

  6. Seth H. Bramson

    Greetings, all! For those of you in South Florida who can get WTVJ Channel 6, the 4:00 News on that station is scheduled to have a very nice segment of LOST RESTAURANTS of MIAMI and if you can get to a TV set at that time and can tune it, you hopefully will enjoy it. Be–and stay–well, all and above all, stay safe. With all good wishes for a wonderful, happy and safe 2021.
    Cordially,
    Seth

  7. phillord

    Hello Jan– you wrote- “Won’t you run out of things to write about? No, my list of ideas is longer than ever.”
    So there is GOOD news already about 2021. Thanks for sharing your research and observations. It is always a (low cal) treat to see your postings show up in my mailbox.
    Phil L

  8. Jim

    To a better new year everyone!

  9. I don’t comment here too often, but let me just say that I am always glad to see a post from your blog on my feed — they’re informative and entertaining, regardless of the subject matter! Thanks for all you do, and may you have a very happy and healthy New Year!

  10. Marty Oppenheim

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. Health, happiness and vaccines in 2021

  11. And a very happy New Year to you too! Thanks for all the enjoyable reads in 2020.

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