Tag Archives: top posts

2013, a recap

recapWolfie'sMBI think of the past twelve months as the year of Wolfie’s.

Although it was two years ago that I wrote Famous in its day: Wolfie’s, about a former Florida coffee shop, 2013 was the year when the post broke records, becoming my top post devoted to an individual restaurant. It also became the all-time most popular post on a single restaurant since I began blogging in 2008. I’d love to think it was my sparkling writing that made Wolfie’s so hot, but I suspect it was due to interest stirred up by two seasons of the TV show Magic City about mobsters in 1960s Miami.

As for other single-restaurant posts, Miss Hulling’s, published in January 2012, came in second. It was followed by Schrafft’s, John R. Thompson, and Pig ’n’ Whistle.

My Recipes page actually topped Wolfie’s by a thousand or so, demonstrating that day and night there are legions of recipe hunters searching for their favorite bygone restaurant dishes. I fear they are usually disappointed. Through the generosity of a friend I just obtained Miss Hulling’s cook book. No split layer cakes, but I can do Country Gravy or Miss Ethel’s Scalloped Potatoes.

The Prices page was another click magnet. Yes, it’s true that in 1964 Howard Johnson’s ran a special on one-plate turkey dinners for $1.49.

Other notables

Evergreen posts: The Decades stayed strong, in this order: 1920s, 1960s, 1950s.

recap1970sRuth'sHickoryMtnRestaurantMy biggest achievement: Finally completing the decade of the 1970s, which takes the 20th century right up to 1980. I expect it will eventually move into second place among the Decades.

“Fastest out of the gate”: B.McD, which was the fastest to accumulate page views, maybe because of great images.

recapWoolworth67cheeseburgerPerennially most popular post not about an individual restaurant: You want cheese with that? Alas, it is sadly lacking in “likes” maybe because that feature didn’t exist when it came out in 2009. Once no likes, always no likes?

recapShambarger'sDMy personal favorites of 2013: Writers’ favorites never quite seem to mesh with readers’ favorites. Mine were Greek-American restaurants and Restaurant as fun house: Shambarger’s.

Most deserving 2013 post that didn’t click with readers: Charge it! Boo hoo. Was it because it has no color pictures, or because it came out in summer?

Coming up: There are many posts on the drawing board and quite a few already moving down the production line for 2014. I’m determined to tackle fearsomely big topics such as oysters, and Chinese and Mexican restaurants. And then there are lunch wagons, smorgasbords, celebrity restaurants, tableside preparation, restaurants at world’s fairs, and . . . (fill in the blank). Any requests?

Thanks for reading and best wishes for happy restaurant-ing through 2014,signature168


Filed under miscellaneous

2011 year-end report

This has been a good year for my blog. My daily hits were up, as were the numbers of comments and subscribers. I heard from a few reporters and researchers plus had interesting correspondence with several dozen readers. Via my blog quite a few descendants of restaurateurs found long-lost relatives, sometimes continents apart. When I started writing the blog in July 2008, it did not occur to me that writing about restaurant history would create a platform for people seeking information about their families, much less that this would be a way for them to contact each other. I love it.

When I learned from a subscriber that an advertisement for how to get rid of belly fat was attached to the post he received automatically via email I decided instantly that I was willing to pay a fee to WordPress for the privilege of having NO ADVERTISEMENTS on my site. Think of me like public TV, penniless but proud (I won’t be fundraising).

All 185 of my posts were viewed this year, although some received scant attention – at the very bottom of the heap was ham sandwiches with a mere two. My “home” page, which contains the most recent six posts at any given time, had 24,262 hits. WordPress statistics do not enable me to say how many individual persons that represents nor how long they stayed on my site. Note that the figures given here contain a certain percentage of misguided viewers on the one hand, but on the other hand, happily, do not include views by subscribers.

The top posts continued to be the Tastes of the Decades, with the 1920s out front for reasons I still haven’t grasped. Could it be that droves of school children are studying the 1920s? The 1920s got 4,621 hits this year, followed by the 1960s, 1950s, 1930s, and 1940s. Alas, the nineteenth century continues to be a hard sell.

Posts on individual restaurants that garnered the most attention were, in descending order: Detroit’s London Chop House, New York’s Maxwell’s Plum, the Chicago-based John R. Thompson chain, the New York-based Schrafft’s, and Miami’s Wolfie’s. Judging from the number of hits, 2,238, I give the Chop House the award for the historic restaurant with the most loyal former patrons. The high level of interest in it inspired me to buy this photo of the Chop House’s well-dressed proprietor, Lester Gruber, taken in February 1974 shortly after he learned his restaurant had won its fourth Holiday Magazine Dining Distinction Award.

As for posts on more general, cross-decades subjects, number one focused on bloomers as waitress costumes, followed by “Birth of the theme restaurant” in which I discover the source in 19th-century Paris cabarets. I am pleased that interest in Afro-Americans and restaurants remains strong, with a goodly number of hits being registered on the topics of discrimination, fighting for rights, the role of black women, and Afro-American tea rooms.

Shortly after I began the blog a friend asked if I was afraid I’d run out of topics. I am happy to report that my to-do list remains as long as ever. I think of new topics every day. My desk is a flurry of notes that say things such as Coca-Cola, mob restaurants, interior designers, and Repeal.

Another year has passed and I am still ambivalent about doing a book, mainly because I’m plagued by two highly related questions: 1) whether I could get a contract with a good publisher,  and 2) how well it would sell. Meanwhile I have published a second, extravagantly illustrated book on department stores, The World of Department Stores. It does have some restaurants in it.

Best wishes to all for 2012!


Filed under miscellaneous