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Worth a Closer Look

Give My Regards to Davy

Johnny’s Sign

A look back at some of Ithaca's legendary hangouts

This story comes from Cornell Alumni Magazine's November/December 2011 issue. Subscribe to the magazine by December 15, 2016, and be entered into our hockey ticket raffle!

This summer, two popular College-town bars, Dino's and Johnny O's, shut their doors for good. Although their stretch of College Avenue has served as the epicenter of Cornell nightlife for the past decade, their empty facades remind us that no watering hole lasts forever. Many of Cornell's legendary bars and restaurants have come and gone, but these historic haunts live on in the memories of generations of Cornellians.

Watering holes: Of these four Ithaca bars, only the Royal Palm Tavern is still in business.

Only one bar is so central to Cornell's history that it merited a mention in the University's unofficial drinking song, "Give My Regards to Davy." Zinck's, founded by German immigrant Theodore Zinck in 1876, drew crowds of thirsty students through the end of the nineteenth century. But in 1903, the iconic bar was touched by tragedy when Zinck's only daughter died of typhoid, and her grief-stricken father drowned himself in Cayuga Lake. Zinck's later re-opened under new management and, after closing during Prohibition, saw renewed popularity in the Forties. As retired CAM editor John Marcham '50 recalls: "It was a great favorite with fraternity boys."

Another much-beloved twentieth-century destination was Johnny's Big Red Grill, a bar and restaurant in business from 1919 to 1981. (It stayed open as a bar until the Nineties, and its iconic sign remained aloft on Dryden Road until 2009.) Novelist Richard Fariña '59 wrote about Johnny's, and famed folkies Harry Chapin '64 and Peter Yarrow '59 played there. Its owners, John and Ruth Petril-lose, founded an Ithaca dining dynasty; their son, Bob, created the ever-popular Hot Truck. "Everybody knew the Big Red Grill," says Cornell archivist emeritus Gould Colman '51, PhD '62. "The Petrillose couple knew all the students, and we would be greeted when we came in."

Across the street, the Royal Palm Tavern—still open, despite recent rumors to the contrary—has served a steady stream of students since the Thirties. Mid-century Cornellians also frequented Wes and Les, a late-night diner by the railroad tracks, and Old Landmark, a popular bar and grill downtown. Later generations trekked to the west side of town for cheeseburgers, fries, and a game of pinball at Bud's Diner, operated by Bud and Amelia Wimer on Old Taughannock Boulevard from 1966 to 1974, and then on Lincoln Street until 1988.

In the Eighties and Nineties, students flocked to Dos Amigos, a Mexican eatery on the Commons that served wings and beer late into the night. ABC Café, another longtime favorite on Stewart Avenue, played host to local bands and open-mike nights while serving coffee and vegetarian fare from 1980 until it closed in 2009. The Connection, a now-defunct bar on College Avenue, was another Eighties-era favorite. "On your birthday you could get a free drink that was equal parts tequila, 151-proof Bacardi, and Tabasco sauce," says Mark Anbinder '89. "You had to pay for the entire pitcher of beer you'd need to wash it down with, though."

While Cornell's gustatory landscape continues to change, some things stay the same. Anbinder notes that his uncle, Stephen Anbinder '59, is a longtime fan of Joe's, an Italian restaurant that has been in business on Meadow Street off and on since the Thirties. "When my uncle came up for Reunion," he recalls, "the first thing he said was, 'We have to go to Joe's, and I have to get spaghetti and meatballs.'"

— Amanda First '12

Comments (73)Add Comment
written by Tad Mann, November 02, 2011
Doesn't anyone remember Noyes Lodge, across the gorge? Or the State Street diner, still looking the same as it did in the early 1960s? Boburger, come home.....
written by Arnie Berger, November 02, 2011
For my roommates and I there was only one hangout. "Obie's" diner on the other side of town on the way to the road up the lake.

Obie was still there and the counterman, Bud, took our orders for the three years that me, Bruce Bergman, Keith Jurow and Joel Freedman were devoted patrons.

I was partial to the hot apple turnover with melted butter on it, but the Bo-burger was also popular. As I recall, I think it was a fried egg on a hamburger. Note that colesterol wasn't yet invented, so we could eat with impunity.

Arnie Berger '66, PhD '71
written by Nancy Shaw, November 02, 2011
CABBAGETOWN CAFE, formerly on Eddy Street, was a favorite of mine in the 1980's. The superlative cashew chili was the best way to get warm on a winter eve in Ithaca.
'63/BEE '64
written by Bob Ulrich, November 02, 2011
The Palms !! Oh yes - that's where, taking a break one Sunday evening from some lab reports, most probably, I went down to see the Ed Sullivan Show on TV because a group called "The Beatles" was to appear. Yes !!!

..... and Joe's !! The red and white checked tablecloths ! Not meatballs for me; it was the veal parmigiana, but only when I could find a ride downtown from my Dryden Road apartment (also owned by a Petrilose, by the way !!).
written by G. Lalumia, November 02, 2011
I sure do remember Noyes Lodges. A great place on the lake. Is it still there?
Royal! We'd stop in there once in awhile..nothing fancy, but a good place to have a beer and some conversation!
As for Johnny's Big Red Grill...when my parent dropped me off for my freshman year in '68, we had dinner there and my mother raved about the fish she had for years!
written by Frank McElroy, November 02, 2011
The Haunt, the Royal Palm, but especially the Rongovian Embassy. I had one nice night at the Chanticleer when I lived above Moosewood at the former high school. Anyone remember Tweetman's Half-way House? Not a college bar, but seriously fun and fairly dangerous. Cheers
written by Nelson Spencer, November 02, 2011
I love "Japes", AKA the Johnny Parsons Club on BeeBe Lake and of course Jim's Place in College Town.
written by Olivia Gollin Hoepfl, November 03, 2011
What will become of North Campus late nights without PMPs from Johnny's Hot Truck?
The Souvlaki House on Eddy Street was always a favorite in our day!
1977 (PhD)
written by John Sawicki, November 03, 2011
Best memory of Johnnies BRG was the night one of the townies asked the barkeep, young Johnny, for the phone (cell phones hadn't been invented either) to call a cab. We all watched when he instructed the cabbie to take him to the Palms: a cab ride consisting entirely of a U-turn!
written by Chris Stegman, November 03, 2011
The Salty Dog was by far the most noteworthy of hangouts where for no cover and cheap beer the patrons could dance to local and national acts late into the night. The University Deli on the corner of College and Dryden Aves. sported out-the-door lines for frsh scooped Stewarts ice cream, meanwhile down the block on Eddy street, revelers from Morey's would stop in the the legendary King Sub for a late night Tuna Moon.
written by Bob Crump, November 03, 2011
I had my first, and last job as waiter at the Royal Palm. I remember being shocked when a rich student ordered a Jonny Walker Black with Coke (beverage). I am still shocked.
written by John Speese, November 03, 2011
This brings back memories! I occasionally frequented both Johnny's Big Red Grill and the Royal Palm. Don't remember the other places, must have been after my time. Although I certainly remember "Give my regards to Davy." I lived in Clara Dickson, so remember Noyes Lodge as well. But my favorite hangout was "the Pub" in the Noyes student union on West Campus. Nearly every Friday! And us regulars were known by name there too. Even though the Thirsty Bear in North Campus Union was closer, I preferred the Noyes Pub. Of course the drinking age in New York was 18 back then, but now that it's 21 I don't know if either of those places is still open. Was the Hot Truck the vehicle that parked not far from Balch Hall and Risley Hall that served hot subs, cold cut subs, etc.? And I think there was a second one somewhere on West Campus? If that's the same thing, we just called it "the Truck" in the 70s. On North Campus, a couple named Dick and Reta (don't know their last name) ran it, but I don't think were the actual owners.
written by Mary Steinmetz LeDonne Cassidy, November 03, 2011
Loved Noyes Lodge, where I ate my first bagel and would go for Dusty ? sundaes, ice cream with chocolate sauce and powdered malt on top. I also remember when I lived on the fifth floor in Risley (many, many steps to climb, but how cool to be up in the tower), there was a mobile unit that parked across the street where I would go for milk and molasses cookies at 11:00 at night. Anyone remember the name?
written by Joey Contreras, November 03, 2011
The Connection was awesome! There was a popcorn machine and the popcorn was free! But what I remember most is the juke box that had the coolest songs-- stuff like "Puff the Magic Dragon" to Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang." Last year my wife and I went to my 25th reunion and I dragged her to College Ave in search of the Connection. I was so disappointed to see it was gone (and that I barely recognized Collegetown). Memories...
DVM '58
written by Thomas Nytch, November 03, 2011
If you lived in Cascadilla Hall, a dormitory in 1952, you would remember Leonardo's just across Eddy Street from Cascadilla. That was a quiet place you could feed the jukebox and dance all my days on the Hill.
written by Danny Velez, November 03, 2011
To clarify a bit of the above, Louis Lunch was the truck in North Campus while the "Hot Truck" was on West Campus below Libes Slope. Unfortunately, the "Pub" of Noyes Center in the "dust bowl" went under around 1984-85 due to the change in drinking age, but I will always remember it as the place I had my first college beer during orientation week. Those were the U-Hall days. After that, spent lots of time at the Nines, back when deep-dish was a novelty on the east coast.
written by Bob Schwartz, November 03, 2011
Bud's was the place to go for late night Boburgers & home fries after playing music gigs at fraternity parties. And of course Hal's Deli -- walk downtown through Cascadilla Gorge. Or walk down through Fall Creek Gorge for steamed clams at the Fall Creek House. Then there were the PARENT VISIT places on State Street -- the College Spa and the Normandie.
written by Alan Miller, November 03, 2011
Weeknights at the Someplace Else Tavern, anytime at the Fall Creek or Pine Taverns downtown, after too many beers at the Manos Diner on Rt. 13, anytime at Jim's. Hot truck was behind the U-Halls; cold truck was in front of the girls' dorms (Balch?).
written by Bill McGrath, November 03, 2011
I frequented Morrie's on Eddy Street as well as the Palms. I remember downing tequila shooters at the latter while listening to John Denver's "Country Roads." Those were the days...
written by Marty Cohen, November 03, 2011
My roommates and I would go to Joe's for an Italian dinner, promise to drink only one bottle of wine because we had to study, and after Joe sent over a 5th bottle free we did not study much that night. The steamed clams dipped in butter were wonderful.
written by Jon Wardner, November 03, 2011
Johnny's BRG was a Glee Club hangout during the 1970s. When the Savoyards showed up, we would engage in a dueling songfest. After Johnny's closed in January of 1981, we moved to Vinnie's Italian Kitchen on Eddy St. A favorite menu item was Vinnie's margharita pizza (imported Italian tomatoes, fresh basil, wonderful crust, and lots of garlic). It closed in the late 1980s, when Vinnie retired and moved back to Napoli.

Morrie's was converted by owner Gus Lambrou to the Gin Mill ca. 1979. Morrie's regulars were upset, but Gus wanted to improve the establishment's image and clean up the corner of Eddy & Dryden.
written by Jennifer Lynham Cunningham, November 03, 2011
We alumni-cum-townies need a "grown up" pub, cozy with good beer, somewhere far from c-town and the commons. If anyone's a restauranteur, please come back to Ithaca and start one! :)
written by Bob Dupar, November 03, 2011
I too enjoyed Joe's. But I preferred his pizza. It had a flavor that I have never seen duplicated. And what about Leonardo's up in College Town?
written by Judie Baker Byndas, November 03, 2011
Johnny's BRG was a great date place but Rich and I hung out at the Villa downtown where he could get dinner after returning up the lake from student teaching and I had already eaten dinner at the sorority house. Spaghetti and Manhattans! Not much better than that! Had my first coffee date at Noyes as a freshman at Risley.
written by jay branegan, November 03, 2011
The Sun in Nov. 2009 ran a story about the fate of the Johnny's BRG sign. It had been bought by Carolyn Coplan '76 on eBay as a gift for her husband--but it was 21 feet high, too big for the foyer. When she couldn't find anyone in Ithaca to take it, she ended up donating it to the American Sign Museum, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
written by Donald Hearn, November 03, 2011
I remember Jim's Chapter House and the Boxcar as 2 bars that got a lot of play when I was an undergrad.
written by Leland Carl Mote, November 03, 2011
I loved the apple tyrnovers at OB's. No one seems to know exaactly where they were located. I also went many tiems to Jim's on Steward Avenue. Cheers
written by Cindy Loynd, November 03, 2011
I am glad to here the Johnny's sign is in a museum. My father and his crew practically lived there in the late 40s.We hit the Haunt on Friday nights and the Chapter house on Saturdays, depending on who was tending bar and if you could get in the front door, the Nines was great.For dancing the Salty Dog and the Boxcar sometimes Tweetmen;s!
written by Melany Whitney, November 04, 2011
I am so glad someone remembered the Someplace Else! What about the BoxCar on Rte popcorn with old black and white movies playing in the background.
Anyone remember an old barn that a "dropped out CU Vet Student" opened...... was decorated with tons of taxidermy owls? You could get the best steamed clams there!
written by Stephen Appell, November 04, 2011
And does no one remember the Home Dairy restaurant on State Street, which we frequented in the early 60s and which I know dated at least to the mid-30s? Despite its name, it had good roast beef and a lot of other good food which was dispensed cafeteria-style.
written by Ted Rauch, November 04, 2011
Jim's Place on Stewart Ave ( Chapter House now) in the 50's and 60's was the "gold standard". Pitchers of beer for a $1,the best hamburgers in town, and a full house 7 days a week from dusk til closing.If you were a regular, the owners, the Willis family took very good care of you no questions asked.
written by Craig Ferris, November 04, 2011
The "dropped out CU Vet student place" was Mother's. After we closed all those bars you mention, we made the road trip to the Genoa Hotel and The Rainbow??. It was in the next county, and the bars were open till 4 am.
'61 AB '69 Law
written by Bob Wrede, November 04, 2011
I concur with "Alfie" Rauch - Jim's Place was the gold standard in the late fifties and early sixties. Just down the hill from our house, Psi U, it was frequently populated by energetic males and attractive females, and adorned by many photos, the most memorable of which was of Lael Jackson, a Miss New York (I believe) from bygone years. Many a pitcher of beer were processed there,and it was the starting point for a post-exam sky-diving road trip involving me, Ted Snyder,Don Spero and (I believe)John Beebe. The impetus was clearly the freely dispensed and eagerly consumed adult beverages from Jim's Place.
GRAD '90
written by Zoe Humphrey Cunniff, November 04, 2011
Cabbagetown Cafe was the best. When I brought my daughter to start her freshman year this August, I was elated to learn that Julie Jordan from the cafe had joined up with Wegman's on Meadow to recreate some of her famous dishes. My all time favorite was the Wings of Life salad, and you can get that exact salad now at Wegman's. Yeah!
written by Ron Hailparn, November 04, 2011
Jim's on Stewart Ave. was the favorite dinner spot for my future bride Faith and me on Sunday nights, when fraternity house kitchens were closed. Our favorite dinner was a number 12 sandwich and a dry martini.
written by John Wilhelm, November 04, 2011
Summer school 1960 brought a special treat of spending every night at Johnny's Big Red Grill listening to Peter Yarrow teach us all to sing the folk songs of the era. With the drinking age of 18 the place was packed every night. One evening hosted both Peter Yarrow and Bobby Comstock who was an up n coming Ithaca based rock group. I believe the fire department eventually kicked us all out that evening as there wasn't even standing room.

Fortunately not too many of us had cars at that time so we all walked back to campus at 1 AM right down the middle of College Avenue singing the songs Peter taught us. It was a hell of time! Thank you Peter and JBRG.
written by Allan Trimpi, November 05, 2011
From the Commons to the Unmuzzled Ox,
from the good Greek food to CoS dinners,
from KDR to the almost all night truck stop,
To the farm kitchen restaraunt outside of town
That served up heaping baskets of everything
Good, it was all good! Even the Green Dragon
on a cold snowy night!
written by Brian Fristensky, November 05, 2011
Tweetman's Halfway House -An ass-kickin' country bar way out on Dryden Road. It was the kind of place where, on New Year's Eve, you go to the men's room at 9 o'clock and there are three urinals on the wall. Go back at 10 o'clock and there are only two! The kind of place where you'll see a girl with no underwear get up and dance on the tables, and guys really do have fights out in the parking lot.

The Collegetown Diner (was that it's name?) - Endless nights spent in Upton Hall working on computer assignments with punch cards! After that, where else could you go for breakfast at 2 am ? Find your sleepy way across the Stone Bridge and there it is, the quintessential greasy spoon in an antique building that must have dated to the 20's. The late hour makes it seem almost surreal. You ask yourself, "what were all those people doing there so late at night?"

written by randye ringler, November 05, 2011
As a night person, The Chapter House was my place to go until closing at 1:00 a.m. before heading to see Bob at the hot Truck for my Mini (half an MBC)on Garlic with Pep and then to study!But the Haunt on Wednesdays and the North Forty and Shipwreck Kelly's were great for dancing!
written by Norine (Zimberg) Krasnogor, November 06, 2011
Noyes Lodge - In the middle and late 60s it was a place for poetry readings, for the "artsy" and "independent" crowd. Close to Franklin, Sibley and Goldwin Smith, it drew those who majored in art, architecture, music and writing. We could go to hang out, grab hot cocoa or a burger, and overlook the waterfall, lake and hydro-electric plant. It was intimate; cozy. We were half a campus away from the fraternities in distance and preference. The last time I visited, Noyes was silently filled with sound-proofed booths and head phones for language tape study; far from the free flowing spaces that encompassed and encouraged the creative bent and social exchange.
written by Richard B Hoffman, November 07, 2011
Glad someone has already mentioned OBIE'S, a true converted railcar diner that was re-named BUD's when Bud, longtime sidekick to the late (?) Courtland O'Brien, Obie, took it over when Obie left town for parts warmer. The classic Bo-Burger had a fried egg atop a cheeseburger and fried onions and the Yeager-burger was a combo BLT and hamburger. Yes, it was indeed cholesterol heaven! George Neferis ("Nefarious George"), whose Ithaca Whips semipro net quartet would take on Pastrami impresario Hal Kuntz's five before some Cornell basketball main events, would play "My Best Friend" on the jukebox over and over.
written by Karen Jewett, November 07, 2011
How about the Haunt (Lonely Hearts on Wed night and happy hour on Friday.) It was the one place that IC, townies and Cornellians mixed.

In the late 70's we also loved the 9's. (Surprised no mention of Dunbar's?)
written by Diana Jarrett, November 07, 2011
Am I the only one who remembers dancing, sweating, and drinking at the Heidleberg to Cornell's own girl group, the Ratchettes, and going to hear Sly Stone at the Warehouse?
written by Redford "Sandy" Ssnderson, November 08, 2011
Zinck's, of course, after the art movie theater, for a pitcher of whiskey sours and songs with Cayuga's Waiters. Then up the hill to Johnnies BRG for the best pizza around and one more sour while we waited, and then across the street to the Royal Palms for a pitcher of beer to take upstairs to our apartment over the bar. Frequently had poetry readings(Dylan Thomas) by English Department friends, and roomate stomping sround to Flamenco records, he was a pretty good dancer. Owner would come up and tell us to pipe down as it was disturbing the patrons downstairs
written by Stuart Kloos, November 10, 2011
Gotta love those memories. Anyone remember Someplace Else downtown, walking to the Chapter House from the freshmen dorms (University Halls), and heading to the Fall Creek House to make the most of your last couple bucks. How about dime drafts and hard boiled eggs on the bar at the Chanticleer. A little further off campus was the Boxcar and the Warehouse. Not to slight the road trips to the Aurora Inn (Wells College hangout), Elmira and Cortland. Standing on line in the snow for late night survival food from the Hot Truck (PMP, MBC, half sui, wet garlic bread). Tully burgers and home fries at the State Street Diner.
written by Chip Poll, November 12, 2011
Great Memories! Freshman year the Chapter House. Met all the hipsters at the Salty Dog. Blew my mind watching Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band at the Warehouse. Got rock and roll religion seeing Chuck Berry at the North
Forty. Grooved with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Ithaca College coeds at their Student Union! Let's take back Noyes Lodge! Sitting on the balcony overlooking Beebe Lake is more important than language lab.
written by Richard Peterson, November 12, 2011
I'm surprised that The Boxcar was not included.
written by Barry Weintrob, December 28, 2011
Surprised no one has mentioned Pop's Place, where College Ave. met the campus. I recall student demonstrations in the 60s when it closed. Also, how about the 400 on the corner of College Ave and Dryden Road.

Thanks for remembering the great Peter Yarrow summer concerts to a packed house at Johnny's.
written by Marti Reisman Sheldon, December 31, 2011
I loved Noyes Lodge. The pancakes were to die for. Also, it was the first meal I ate in Ithaca in my pre-frosh summer. I will also remember the Glee Club afterglows at Johnny's then Vinnie's,and the delicious(but not always healthy) veggie meals at Cabbage Town. And PMPs were always a good study break meal in the middle of the night at the Hot Truck.
written by Marcia Fogel Yeager, January 10, 2012
My husband, Bob Yeager '55, father of the Yeagerburger(burger, bacon, lettuce and tomato) loves telling the story of our visit with our children in the early 70's to Alumni University and lunch at Noyes Lodge. They had his burger on the menu, which of course we ordered. I was very excited and introduced him to the man at the next table, who introduced himself...Mr. Noyes!
'72 PhD '77
written by Bob Smith, January 16, 2012
Sorry to say word's out today (1/16/12) that The Royal Palm (aka The Palms) will soon close as well, probably in February. Owners say they couldn't afford to keep it open because of declining volume, especially on weekdays. Meanwhile a real estate developer who wants to build new upscale student and young adult housing on the site, came along making the owners an offer they couldn't sanely refuse. First Johnny's Big Red (which also served some fine spaghetti and meatballs) and now the Palms...too many of the best places where '70s-era Cornellians could unwind are disappearing. :(
written by Gene Weber, January 20, 2012
From 1970-1972 I spent way too many nights at The Someplace Else Tavern on N. Aurora. I'm glad my fraternity brother Stu Kloos and others have added it to the list of legendary hangouts. We were members of the "Mug Club" where you paid a nominal amount to buy a pewter mug that was personalized and kept behind the bar. Not only did the bartenders get to know you, but it entitled you to an additional few ounces of beer for free. I still have mine and it is a conversation piece. The "Else" was where I met two girlfriends from Ithaca College. I believe the bar disappeared sometime in the 80s.
written by Adam, January 23, 2012
Every Saturday night we'd go to the Haunt for 80's night...and then to Manos Diner for a late night snack, usually grilled cheese.

The truck on North Campus outside of Balch hall was Louie's Lunch.
written by Nicholas, February 08, 2012
Great postings. I have not been back to Ithaca since 1974, so the place is mostly a distant memory. Very vivid, however are the memories of The Palms. As an 18 year old sophomore living three doors away, and an 18 year old drinking age, it was often a stop on the way home. I remember terrible beer (we salted it to make it drinkable) and a lot of happy people. Sorry I never made it back.
'72/76 . MBA '77
written by Tom Kelsey, March 03, 2012
I, too, spent a lot of time at the Chapter House and have fond memories of playing pinball, especially the Gottlieb Dimension table with the guys from my fraternity, Phi Gam. Favorite food places afterwards were King Sub in Collegetown and for Tullyburgers and/or breakfasts, the Rosebud. Guy Fieri could have done a whole show in Ithaca!
written by Doug Grover, March 04, 2012
I'm surprised not to see The Traveler's mentioned ... I remember cutting class for an afternoon of dime drafts and Rubber Soul.
written by Julia Karlson-Waid, March 05, 2012
I remember a fabulous pizza place, Elba's, on Eddy Street, and the wonderful thickshake machine in the Willard Straight dining hall that used CU's own ice cream. I recall that same dining hall also put out, quite late at night, the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I've ever had; square, hot, gooey, for ten cents. And hidden upstairs in the Straight was a small, elegant dining room that I think may have a been a test lab for the hotel school, serving a magnificent formal, white linen lunch of steamship roast carved at your table for a nominal price. No one seemed to know about it and it was amazing.
written by Mike Young, August 19, 2012
Some accounts of the classic Obie's Bo Burger omit the fried onions. The build order was hamburger, fried onions, fried egg, and slice of cheese. The Apple Turnovers slathered in butter were a must-have dessert. I regularly had Obie's chili too, which he never charged me for because the first time I went I asked for more Tabasco to spice it up. Obie love that so he never put it on my bill. Whenever Cornell was closed for vacation, Obie travelled to Spain. One year he came back with a wife and soon afterward a small baby, both of whom were always around. When Obie retired his trusty sidekick Bud took over. By then I had graduated, so I don't know how the story ends. Oh, BTW, Bo Roberson, regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time and certainly one of the finest athletes in Ivy League history, was a graduate of Cornell in the 1950s. There's the Bo in Bo Burger.
written by Mike Young, August 19, 2012
The Boxcar was created by Gary Morfett, then a Hotel student, son of the TV entertainer Gary Moore. Two or three of his classmates appropriated the idea and built the chain of restaurants known as Victoria Station.
written by Joe Pietrangelo, December 23, 2012
Dos Amigos! It was the place for me and my friend, Betsy Johnson. We went there weekly, sometimes twice a week, and ate and drank. We were the classic "dos amigos". Those are wonderful memories!!
written by Heriberto Burgos, January 15, 2013
I remember the truck in front of Balch (saved my life more than a few times), Dunbars (specially downstairs), Plums - Downtown, Soublaki (fine pizza and salads with feta cheese - beatiful waitress but greek husband with 24 in. knife nearby), Charthouse, the reggae bar in the back of the Commons (thank God for the statute of limitations), the dinner at State St. in front of the movie theater (straight from the 50's) and the one at Route 13. I also remember the restaurants, L'Auberge du Cochon Rouge, Old Port Harbor, and the disco on the road to Wells. I also went to class.
written by Tom Damura, May 18, 2013
Reading these posts brought back memories I really can't detail since I spent too much time at so many of these "spots". Classmates through the 70's would be amazed at seeing me all nights of the week somewhere; I would have made it 8 nights a week if they changed the weekdays - I had a route (from the North 40 back through downtown out to the Boxcar and the place behind it) !!!! It was fun in a different time and place of youth; thanks for the memories. Anyone remember the name of the piano bar across from the Chanicleer down on State around the corner from the Someplace Else ??? I had friends who lived above this joint and we spend many nights in 25 cent beer fests there.
written by Art cohen, May 20, 2013
Elbas on Eddy St was the best Italian food in town. Dan Vlock's Tamany Hall in Risley was the place for coffee and live music. The Rosebud for breakfast with Steve Booth still evokes great memories. George's restaurant downtown for was the go to place for chicken dinner. Chef Italia for the best salad bar around. And Tastee Freeze out on Elmira Rd always hit the spot for soft serve.
written by Howard F Fries, March 17, 2014
Did anyone know back in the 1970s there were something like 60 places within 5 km radius of the campus that you could have a beer and more? Ours was the North 40, but also the Fall Creek House - the Haunt downtown. Once in a while - the Chapter House
written by Ron Vincent, April 08, 2014
It's great to rekindle the old memories! I knew Joe Leonardo pretty well and then met his sons the last week the Palms was open. Obie's was quite the place for apple turnovers up to about 1966 (near the Octopus). A great little place on State St. in the early 70's was The Rosebud (open all night), and of course the State Diner. The 3 theatres downtown in 1965 were not at all like today's multiplex. Ithaca and Cornell are almost overwhelming now. So it goes.
written by charlie pearlman, August 29, 2014
closed down the palms on many nights - had a friend named meatball who used to pass out pretty regularly right on the table, did it so often, we started calling it "pulling a meatball". and we lived right behind a converted garage across the street called johnny's carry-out (owned by johnny's big red grill). best mbc's anywhere. i loved the subway pinball machine so much at the state st diner that i now own one that is almost identical (called "circus" same playing field). but elba's italian kitchen was special. - so many fond memories, it's amazing that we actually got to class . . .
written by Aron Steck, September 04, 2014
Alas! Another iconic Collegetown institution has closed its doors. I'm sorry to say that Rulloff's officially closed this month. As an employee alumni and frequent patron, all the great memories will live on.
"56 Law
written by Alan Saks, October 02, 2014
There was a nice restaurant at the old Delaware Lackawanna railroad station.
written by Bruce MacDonald, November 27, 2014
I was a bartender at the SomePlace Else Tavern while I attended Cornell. Made many great friends. Guy Natali was a super boss/owner and the weekend poker games upstairs by the Ithaca movers & shakers helped supplement my income. $.35 8oz drafts--times have changed.
written by Mike Podlucky, September 08, 2015
Alpine Tavern and the Dugout owned by homegrown Gary Miracle and The Derby owned by his uncle Moe...enjoyed playing slo pitch softball for their teams with Ron and Dom Amici, Lou Fabi and Chuck Fis and Buddy Lang,Joe Moresco
written by Bob Fabbricatore, February 24, 2016
I may have the distinction of being the only person to have tended bar at Johnny's, the Palms, and the Chapter House. I lived next door to the Chapter House one year and above it the following year. There were "strategic advantages" to this living arrangement. I was on duty on St. Patrick's Day the year the hockey team won the National Championship and they all came in to celebrate. I had to go upstairs and get my baseball bat as a "show of strength" to keep order.
written by Maureen Demar Hall, June 28, 2016
We frequented the Royal Palm, Pine Tavern and Someplace Else but my fondest memories are of playing Walk on the Wildside at Morrie's, dancing and singing along, scotch in hand! Last time back to Ithaca, mid 80's, I was saddened to find Morrie's gone AND those wonderful old wooden booths with the high backs and pine tree cut outs at The Pine Tavern had been ripped out! It's true what they say, you can't revisit your youth!
written by Bruce Cheney, February 19, 2017
Does anyone remember the name of the pinball machine based on a deck of cards at Morrie's around 1975? Thanks !

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