Tag Archives: restaurants

Laurel in Postcards

Chances are, you’ve seen at least one vintage Laurel postcard in your life before. Maybe it was a 1950s picture of the Laurel (Tastee) Diner. Or more likely, it was a memento from Laurel’s most popular attraction throughout the past century, Laurel Park Racecourse.

Admittedly, I can’t recall having seen any postcards of Laurel while I was growing up there in the 1980s. By then, most had been relegated to personal scrap books (and unfortunately, quite a few probably ended up in garbage cans). The Laurel Historical Society has undoubtedly preserved many, and the Laurel Library has at least thoughtfully photocopied some of the oldest examples.

But what if I told you that there have likely been well over 100 picture postcards of Laurel, Maryland produced since the early 1900s? Many of them featuring motels, restaurants, and street scenes that have long-since disappeared… and a few that actually still exist today.

John Floyd II has amassed a tremendous collection of original Laurel postcards over the course of several years, and was kind enough to lend me his entire album to be scanned and shared. Here now are over 80 cards, front and back. Some bear interesting correspondence and postmarks, others are as blank as they were the day they were first purchased—undoubtedly in Laurel.

All postcards courtesy of J.D. Floyd II, Royal Blue Ltd. archives

POSTCARDS-1 POSTCARDS-2 POSTCARDS-3 POSTCARDS-4 POSTCARDS-5 POSTCARDS-6 POSTCARDS-7 POSTCARDS-8 POSTCARDS-9 POSTCARDS-10 POSTCARDS-11 POSTCARDS-12 POSTCARDS-13 POSTCARDS-14 POSTCARDS-15 POSTCARDS-16 POSTCARDS-17 POSTCARDS-18 POSTCARDS-19 POSTCARDS-20 POSTCARDS-21 POSTCARDS-22 POSTCARDS-23 POSTCARDS-24 POSTCARDS-25 POSTCARDS-26 POSTCARDS-27 POSTCARDS-28 POSTCARDS-29 POSTCARDS-30 POSTCARDS-31 POSTCARDS-32 POSTCARDS-33 POSTCARDS-34 POSTCARDS-35 POSTCARDS-36 POSTCARDS-37 POSTCARDS-38 POSTCARDS-39 POSTCARDS-40 POSTCARDS-41 POSTCARDS-42 POSTCARDS-43 POSTCARDS-44 POSTCARDS-45 POSTCARDS-46 POSTCARDS-47 POSTCARDS-48 POSTCARDS-49 POSTCARDS-50 POSTCARDS-51 POSTCARDS-52 POSTCARDS-53 POSTCARDS-54 POSTCARDS-55 POSTCARDS-56 POSTCARDS-57 POSTCARDS-58 POSTCARDS-59 POSTCARDS-60 POSTCARDS-61 POSTCARDS-62 POSTCARDS-63 POSTCARDS-64 POSTCARDS-65 POSTCARDS-66 POSTCARDS-67 POSTCARDS-68 POSTCARDS-69 POSTCARDS-70 POSTCARDS-71 POSTCARDS-72 POSTCARDS-73 POSTCARDS-74 POSTCARDS-75 POSTCARDS-76 POSTCARDS-77 POSTCARDS-78 POSTCARDS-79 POSTCARDS-80 POSTCARDS-81 POSTCARDS-82

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White Coffee Pot

In the southwest corner of Laurel Shopping Center, in the space eventually occupied by the former Mac’s Place Plus One restaurant, sat a White Coffee Pot restaurant.

According to Wikipedia, White Coffee Pot shared ownership with Horn and Horn Smorgasbord—which would eventually replace the Hot Shoppes on the other side of the shopping center, beside The Hecht Co. building.

Just a bit before my time in Laurel, I never had the pleasure of trying out the White Coffee Pot, but I’ve heard from a number of folks who remember it fondly—and at least one who didn’t exactly love their salads… Peggi R. says, “I embarrassed the heck out of (my dad) when I told the waitress their French Dressing tasted like pencil shavings.”

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Hecht’s… and Edgar’s

Like the proverbial “2-for-1” special, today’s focus is on a restaurant within a department store—both of which, of course, are now long gone.

I remember Edgar’s—the restaurant within Hecht’s at Laurel Centre Mall—more for its distinctive, art deco logo that I’d often pass while walking the upper level parquet floors en route to the mall proper. Truth be told, I don’t actually recall ever having eaten there; but I remember that logo—particularly Edgar’s beady little eyes and pencil mustache. In fact, to this day, whenever I hear the expression “beady eyes”, I immediately think of Edgar.

While I’m pretty sure I could’ve drawn it from memory, I found a couple of Washington Post ads from 1985 and 86, respectively, which feature both the logo and the beady-eyed Edgar himself.

The prices, I have to say, look great—even for the mid-1980s. And from what I’ve heard, the food was actually quite good.

While they’re not Edgar-specific, I’ve noticed a few Hecht’s Restaurants glasses on eBay, promoting Lipton Iced Tea. Coincidentally, that Lipton Iced Tea logo guy also had quite a mustache, didn’t he? Fortunately, his eyes weren’t so beady, though.

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Gone, but not forgotten

It’s fascinating how something as small and insignificant as a book of matches can hold so many memories. The sights, smells, and tastes of Laurel restaurants long gone are almost palpable.

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