Fried Chicken in College Park

Fried Chicken on the Drive

When Orlandoans were in the mood for “Coup de Maitre” Fried Chicken and Prime Shrimp Dinners in the 1940’s, they could stop at the Shell Station on Edgewater.  Based on the street address, this was located where Jersey Mike’s Subs is located today.

Petri Wine was a poplular nationally distributed wine in the 1940’s.

Putting “Coup de Maitre” at the top of the advertisements suggested they were serving better-than-average gas station fried chicken.   The perfect accompaniment would be a California wine from the now defunct wineries, Cresta Blance and Petri.   Nearly 70 years later and the Shell Station long gone, tasty fried chicken is still just across the street at Publix.

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Orlando Retro Advertisement: 1967 — Uncle John’s Pancake House


In the sixties, you could find 20 kinds of pancakes at Uncle John’s Pancake House on East Colonial.   You could also find a late night bites with hours until 3:00 a.m.  That’s according to this ad that appeared in a 1967 copy of “The Attractions of Orlando and Winter Park.”

Today, you’ll need to drive a little further down Highway 50 to the IHOP for your pancake craving.  Uncle John’s is long gone and the restaurant has been repurposed for decades.  Simply delicious coffee?  Not here anymore.  It’s now the home of a medical office provide chiropractic and alternative medicine.

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Minute Maid Headquarters in Orlando

Minute Maid Headquarters 1957 and the building today 2013

Minute Maid Headquarters 1957 and the building today 2013

Minute Maid Headquarters

From the back of the postcard:  “National Headquarters of Minute Maid Corporation in Orlando, FLa.  Located near the heart of Florida’s rolling citrus grove country, at the intersection of 441 and Rte. 50, this beautiful building is the center of all operations of Minute Maid, world’s largest grower and processor of citrus products — Minute Maid and Snow Crop frozen concentrates, and Hi-C canned fruit drinks.”

This history of Minute Maid goes back to World War II, when research created a new method to concentrate orange juice.  The US Army awarded a contract to a new company, Florida Foods, to provide an orange powder that could be reconstituted into juice.  The war ended before the product made it to the troops, so Florida Foods turned to the consumer market.   Florida Foods became Vacuum Foods and later renamed Minute Maid Corporation.

Minute Maid’s headquarters were built at the corner of OBT and Colonial in the mid-50’s.   Coca-Cola purchased Minute Maid in 1960 for its first venture outside sodas.   In 1967, Coca-Cola moved the headquarters to Houston, TX.

Having been used by Orange County Public Schools in recent years, today the building sits empty.  Plans are currently underway to locate a Wawa convenience store on this site.

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From The Miami News 10/20/1957

From The Miami News 10/20/1957

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McNamara Signs Go The Way Of The Pontiac


Two vintage signs were removed from the old McNamara Pontiac building in the last few weeks.   I am not sure when the came down, but I had just taken an Instagram of one of them in the last month or so.   The dealership has long been closed, but I loved these old signs.


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Checking Back into The Angebilt

Click to access the PDF of The Angebilt Hotel brochure.

Click to access the PDF of The Angebilt Hotel brochure.

The first post on Orlando Retro Blog was about the Angebilt Hotel.  We are checking back into the Angebilt with a circa 1940’s travel brochure and a restaurant menu from 1957.   (You can download a PDF of the brochure by clicking on brochure image to the left.)

This brochure is from a time when the highlights for Orlando travelers were:

  • Fishing and Swimming
  • Tangerine Bowl
  • The Washington Nationals Winter Home
  • Eastern Airlines
  • Rollins College
  • Ben White Raceway

The air condition dining room provided table de hote service.  (A Google search tells me we call that prix fixe today.)   From this 1957 menu, the restaurant offered a wide variety of seafood appetizers (Blue Point Oysters on the half shell $1, Crab Meat Cocktails Supreme $1.25), salads (a 20 cents up charge for Roquefort cheese dressing), and sides like Lyonaisse Potatoes (25 cents) and French Fried Onion Rings (30 cents).  Highlighted was the Deluxe Plantation Planked Burger: Our Specialty from the Plantation Lounge (Choice Western Beef, ground daily in our own Kitchen, Broiled on an Oak Plank with Ripe Tomato, Julienne Green Beans and Bordure of Whipped Potatoes) ($1.65).  An oak planked burger sounds rather culinary forward for 1957 Orlando.

Atop the Angebilt was a Sky Room or the “Top of the Town” for conventions and banquets.  Also a solarium where bathing beauties in the modest swimwear of the era could enjoy the “benefits of Mother Nature’s greatest helper ‘the sun'” as well as therapies and massages.  On the mezzanine was a lounge decorated in what looks like tropical prints on wicker furniture.


The text of the brochure speaks highly of our City Beautiful, “Nowhere else in this whole wide world has nature smiled so lavishly.”  The staff is described as, “young in years” but “old in service.”  Guests are invited to stay a night, a week, or as a permanent resident.

Below I created a “then and now” of the hotel lobby with the picture from the brochure and a current shot.   The lobby has been restored and is in great shape today, and looks very much like it did in brochure.   No longer a hotel lobby but a business entrance now.  The front desk staff and the elevator operators are long gone, but it is reassuring that some of the charm remains in this once grand hotel.

The Angebilt Lobby in the 1940's and Today

The Angebilt Lobby in the 1940’s and Today

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Beacham Movie Line Up in September 1933

“Cock of the Air” on Sunday and Monday.  According to IMDB, the movie was about opera diva who set her sights on a womanizing army officer.  On Saturday, the kiddos can see Mickey Mouse for a nickel.  The latest news was shown with each feature.Beacham Sep 23 33

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Luncheon and tea at The Perrydell?

The Perrydell


The Perrydell Tea House and Gift Shop was in the estate built by for the Beeman family.  No longer there, this was located near Gore and South Orange Avenue.  Ad from “The Greeter” 1933, which was a publication to “acquaint the busy man or woman with what is happening in Orlando and Winter Park.”

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From 1890 Map of Orlando: Line Drawing of Church Street Train Depot

From 1890 Map of Orlando: Line Drawing of Church Street Train Depot

From an 1890 map of Orlando, a drawing of the train depot at Church Street. The station was brand new and serviced the South Florida Railroad

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Remember when you could buy a Hupmobile on Orange Ave?


An ad for a Hupmobile Dealer from the 1921 Orlando Business Directory.  At 209 S Orange Ave, this would have been around the Church Street intersection.

And what is a Hupmobile?


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