If only we could meet at THIS Woolworth’s for lunch!

I received the following menu in a forward today, and couldn’t resist sharing it here.  The e-mail said it was from 1957.  Don’t those prices just make you drool?

I don’t know if Woolworth’s was nationwide, but in our little town it was THE five and ten cent store.  It’s the one my sister Martha worked at as a teenager and brought me home a Golden book each week after she had been paid.

If you go out to lunch today, I bet you may leave more for your TIP than what you would have paid for your entire meal at these prices.

Happy Monday!

p.s.  I just remembered something that seems remarkable now and might be interesting to younger readers.  Do you notice that there’s no price listed for coffee?   That’s because coffee was free with a meal (in all restaurants, I think).  I don’t remember (because I was too young to drink it, “It will stunt your growth!”) what was the policy in restaurants if someone ordered just coffee, but I do remember that it was always free with my parents’ meal.

19 Responses to If only we could meet at THIS Woolworth’s for lunch!

  1. C. Beth says:

    The menu didn’t show up! 😦

  2. Sandra says:

    Rats. Thanks, Beth. Linda also called me. I’ll work on that.

  3. Sandra says:

    I think I’ve fixed the problem with the image. If not, please leave a message and I’ll try again. 🙂

  4. Hilary says:

    I see it. Not only was Woolworth probably nation-wide it was up here in Canada, too. We had one just one block away from my home in Montreal. I can still hear the creak of the old wooden floors and feel the spin of the lunch counter stool. A burger, fries and fountain-poured coke for me, please!

  5. Sandra says:

    Isn’t that funny, Hilary that your memories of YOUR Woolworth’s are so similar to the memories I have of MINE. I wonder if all Woolworth’s had squeaky wooden floors. That burger, fries and a coke sounds great to me too. Although I always ordered my fountain cokes cherry flavored. Great memories.

  6. Linda says:

    Ah, and MY fountain cokes were chocolate flavored. So yummy. Makes me want to go put some chocolate syrup in a Pepsi right now. 🙂 Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  7. Margaret says:

    Wow, that is some menu! I remember Woolworth’s having lunch counters and wood floors. Sure was a better experience than ANY of the stores today!

  8. Sandra says:

    Linda — There was nothing better than a flavored fountain coke, was there. Hope you were able to resist the chocolate syrup in a Pepsi — that just sounds gross to me, but then I’m not a Pepsi drinker. Now if you were going to just drink the chocolate syrup STRAIGHT …. 🙂

    Margaret — You are right, nothing compares to the “Woolworth experience” today. 🙂

  9. carlahoag says:

    Oh, Sandra. Thanks for posting the menu! I really enjoy looking at old menus, newspapers and magazines because they’re like windows to the past.

    Believe it or not, the first Woolworth store I ever shopped in was in Windsor, England. Tulsa had a Woolco (which was the company’s big discount store, more like a Wal-Mart) and we shopped there.

  10. Tim King says:

    I remember Woolworth’s! But by the time I was old enough to remember, it wasn’t the sensation it was in the 50’s.

    Out of curiosity, I plugged some of the prices into the BLS’s inflation calculator. Assuming that the menu was really from 1957, here are some of the same prices in 2010 dollars:

    Bacon & Tomato Sandwich: $3.89
    Triple-decker Chicken Salad Sandwich: $5.06
    American Cheese Sandwich: $2.34
    Super Jumbo Banana Split: $3.04
    Regular Banana Split: $1.95
    Ice Cream Soda: $1.95
    Slice of Apple Pie: $1.17

    Still not bad prices, especially considering that Woolworth’s restaurant, if I remember, was a sit-down restaurant.


  11. Sandra says:

    Carla — I AM surprised that they were in England too. Did that one have squeaky wooden floors too? 🙂

    And I don’t remember hearing of a Woolco. You must have been real cutting edge trend-setters in Tulsa to have something like a Wal-mart. 🙂

    Tim — That is very interesting. The conclusion I get from those prices is that the Woolworth prices were cheap even for the times.

  12. Suldog says:

    We had Woolworths in many places around Boston, including one just up the road about a mile from my childhood home. It used to be a treat to go shopping with My Mom and maybe have a sandwich at the counter.

    Coincidence: I was born in 1957.

  13. Sandra says:

    Suldog — When you spend your very young years in a very small town, it’s hard to look back and judge how “universal” your little piece of the universe was. But I see now that Woolworth was a big part of lots of peoples’ lives. It’s kind of neat to share that common experience with such a varied group of people. Did yours have a wooden floor that squeaked too? 🙂

  14. Kristina says:

    Wow, that brings back memories! We had a Woolworth’s and I was lucky enough to eat a breakfast there in the 80’s before it closed.

  15. Grayquill says:

    Well the prices are certainly not the same but it appears the menu items haven’t changed much. All the progress we have made and we still love our bacon and ham – crisp that is. No loose bacon for me please.

  16. Sandra says:

    Yep, Woolworths was in Richmond, VA on Broad St. It had a wonderful diner counter and I loved being allowed to have an ice cold Coke in one of those small glasses. Great memories and, like you, I thought coffee was always free with the meal…for the grown-ups!

  17. Sandra says:

    Kristina — It was definitely a unique experience to eat at Woolworth’s — I’m glad you got to get in on the tail end of it. 🙂

    Grayquill — Isn’t it interesting that bacon and ham have actually returned to our good graces? When I was growing up, Daddy always referred to his favorite breakfast of bacon and eggs as “a rich man’s breakfast” because he remembered well that it wasn’t served very often when he was growing up. Then bacon (and eggs too) became a “bad guy” that we were supposed to avoid at all costs … now we can eat it again! And who would have thought that pork would ever get the exalted title of “the other white meat”. I guess it means we’ve been around a while when we start seeing things come around a second time! 🙂

    Sandra — You’re right, nothing was better than an ice-cold fountain coke in one of those great little glasses. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  18. Debbie says:

    Sandra, thank you for leaving your comment on my blog so I could find you. We do indeed have a lot in common. Growing up in Midland, Texas, I had an older sister who worked downtown at Woolworth’s. I now live in Illnois but my eldest daughter just married and moved over near you. My younger daughter is married to a Marine who was in NC but is now stationed in Maine.
    It’s so good to talk to someone who has worked with inmates. What you said is very true about some of the women. I guess that’s why the return rate is high.
    For some reason I am craving roast 🙂 We may have that for supper. I look forward to keeping up with you and seeing what else we have in common!
    Have a great weekend,

  19. Sandra says:

    Debbie — You had an older sister who worked at Woolworth and you have a daughter who lives near us? Sounds like it was inevitable that we would meet at some point! 🙂

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