Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You thought I was joking about Vernors, huh?

Well, my sister called to my attention this story in the Flint Journal, which talks about fans of the ginger ale meeting in Flint this month.

While she and her husband are there, I might add. Sw - art family celebrates.

The club will be at Halo Burger on South Saginaw Street in Downtown Flint August 23 to reminiscence on the good old days of fountain shops and Boston coolers.

Halo Burger! Why don't we have one of those here?

The Halo Burger in Downtown Flint once was a Vernors soda shop and the burger place still carries remnants of its ginger ale history.

The railing inside the restaurant still has large V's wrought in the iron, said Halo Burger District Manager Jeff Rak.

"The building was built in 1929 and it was the Vernor's Retail Store and Sandwich shop with an Italian style outdoor court," Rak said. "We want to keep the building as intact as possible."

Rak said Halo Burger has been looking into reconstructing the location to resemble its 1929 appearance.

Next door to the Saginaw Street location is a large Vernor's Ginger Ale mural on the Greater Flint Arts Council building painted by John Gonsowski. The mural features the ginger ale's signature gnome mascot.

Halo Burger helped to restore the mural in 1979 for $24,000. It has since been re-done by the Flint Arts Council, Rak said.

If you look really closely at the photo of the mural, you can see an oil spot in that photo, left by my 1977 Mazda RX-3.

OK, maybe not.

A Boston cooler, a name of which I have no memory, is Vernors and ice cream.

Halo Burger is unique to Flint, or was anyway. Sort of like Arby's used to be. And how Domino's was in Ann Arbor.

Remember, seven days without a Halo Burger makes one weak!


Dick Monahan said...

Many moons ago, I was involved with a company that had an office in Detroit. I spent way too much time there. Two good things were the Mexican food and Vernors.

Although, I have to profess a love of Chelmsford Ginger Ale, since that's my home town.

Macy Swain said...

Well, I love both Halo Burgers AND Vernor's Ginger Ale. It caused a major rift in my marriage when my husband told me he didn't like Vernor's Ginger Ale. NOT LIKE VERNOR'S GINGER ALE???? By the way, I add Vernor's Ginger Ale to my patented pumpkin soup. It's my secret ingredient.
Halo Burgers are one of the best things in Flint-Town. In LA it's "In 'n Out" burgers but Halo Burgers are better. Especially with olives.

Gillian Swart said...

Dick, The Mexican food?? Oh yeah, we went to a really good Mexican place once ... I'd forgotten all about it! Did you go to Greektown at all?

I have to agree about Chelmsford ginger ale; it's the closest I've ever found to Vernors.

MS, No comment on your husband's taste in soft drinks (!), but I'm glad you brought up the olives. I've never seen anyone else offer green olives on a burger. I was really happy to see that Halo Burger is still there, on Saginaw St., where it belongs.

Dick Monahan said...

You're asking the guy who had dinner at the Greek church all three days of its fair if he visited Greektown in Detroit? I visit those wherever I find one.

At the time I was going to Detroit (early 70s), there was little Mexican food around here. I had already acquired a fondness for it due to gigs in Dallas, so when I found there was a "Mexicantown" area of Detroit, I hit it often.

I've never been to Flint, though.

Dick Monahan said...

Did you see that Flint made a top ten list? Unfortunately, it's not good news. And, Springfield, Mass. is on it, too.


Gillian Swart said...

Yeah, I read about that on Flint Expatriates blog. Did you notice all the cities in Ohio, though? Although it says in the Flint Journal that the city lost a chunk o' population in the last 5 years. It's about GM; it's always been about GM, but still I'm a little surprised because the colleges and universities there seem to be expanding rapidly, and at least the community college (when I worked there some 23 years ago) was offering re-training for those laid off from GM. Thanks, Dick.

(Although there used to be a good but small Mexican place in Flint, I wouldn't recommend you venturing up there to check it out!)

Dick Monahan said...

I only have to go to Salisbury for good Mexican food. Have you tried La Chiquita? It's not in the same league as Agave, but most nights I think that's a good thing. Agave is a little too upscale for my taste in Mexican. :-)

Gillian Swart said...

Is that the place on Rte. 1? I've been there once, but I wasn't that impressed (my burrito was too dry). Must try again, since I keep hearing good things!

My favorite Mexican place of all time was Casa Mexico in Cambridge. We teared up when we heard it was closing its door. Oh, the puerco dish I used to get, oh the pitchers of margaritas consumed, oh the chocolate/orange mousse ... I like Agave's guacamole a whole lot.