The menu featured pizza and other Italian specialties, but also steak and chicken dishes. They also had prime rib on the weekends.
In the early days, Route 9 was the prime route of north-south travel in the area, as the Northway didn’t exist. The dining room and bar were full every night, he said.
Fred said his dog would sneak in with customers, then hide under a table. He would eventually beg for pickled eggs at the bar, then wander back to the door, jump up to push down the exit bar and let himself out.
Stella, the mainstay in the kitchen, passed away after a struggle with cancer in 1957. Carol said her parents, Doug and Grace Zimmerman, along with Grace’s brother and his wife, Dana and Marian Knox, bought the restaurant in 1958, with Edwin Knox acting as a silent partner.
They did some remodeling, including creation of the foyer and conversion of the porch to a fireside room.
“People love that room because of the fireplace,” Carol said.
She remembers visiting regularly,especially after school sporting events. Carol and all the other members of the family took their turns working at what everyone fondly calls “The Club.”
Special orders shipped
She and her husband, Peter Stone, took over in 2001 when Doug decided it was time to retire.
“We kept the pizza exactly the same because everybody loves it,” Carol said.
The motto was “known from Montreal to Miami” because of the popularity of the pizza, Carol said. They often had to ship special orders to Florida for past customers.
Some of their customers’ fond memories are now hidden, Carol said. The dining room had soft tongue-and-groove paneling on which guests would etch their initials, but it is now covered by wainscoting.
She remembers Arto and Gladys Monaco visiting on an almost weekly basis from their home in Jay.