Take the Clinton Square Café, located on the first level
of the Syracuse Mall. This ad from the July 2, 1980 issue highlights
quite the breakfast deals. Of course, that was back when it was easy to
find an early-morning meal downtown; the options now are few and far
At Mr. Steak, from the Nov. 5, 1980 issue, you could
show up with a ticket stub from a Syracuse University home football
game and get 15 percent off your check. The red meat joint had three
locations–Fayetteville, Liverpool and Westvale. With a logo that said,
“We more than live up to our family name,” you just knew that steak had
to be good.
Pastabilities certainly hasn’t gone anywhere, unless you
count moving from Hanover Square to its current Armory Square location.
Also different is the fact that the noodlers no longer serve breakfast.
This creative ad from the Jan. 4, 1984 edition says it all—head to
Pastabilities for some dancing eggs.
Ah, R.J. O’Toole’s, with two area locations, Airport
Plaza in North Syracuse and Nottingham Plaza in DeWitt; this ad is from
Jan. 18, 1984. One of the city’s original brass-and-fern bars (along
with Phoebe’s, which has since redecorated), O’Toole’s near Syracuse
University was the location of a lunch date for the editor of this
newspaper. It was 1983, we dined upstairs and I’ll be damned if I can
remember the guy’s name. If you’re still out there, I had a nice time!
Another SU institution was Hungry Charley’s, as this
Sept. 16, 1971 ad attests, where you could buy cheap nachos and cheap
pitchers of beer and listen to some pretty cool music. The
basement-booth vibe gave Chuck’s a not-for-everyone feel, and the
scribbled-upon bathroom walls predated those inside the Dinosaur. Once
the drinking age was raised to 21, business dropped off considerably,
and the place closed. Drinking with fellow undergraduates brings an
immaturity level with it that imbibing grad students could never
And then there is the Tecumseh Club, at the end of East Colvin Street, Sept. 30, 1971 ad explains. Could you imagine 15-cent draft beer or mixed drinks for half a buck? The ad touts its off-street parking, but at those drinking prices wouldn’t it have been better to say it was few minutes’ ride in a cab?
Tried and true, as this March 28, 1900 ad attests,
Coleman’s still stands at the corner of Tompkins Street and Lowell
Avenue. The building itself has certainly changed over the years, but
the sentiments inside haven’t. Coleman’s remains a place to get a
decent meal and an even better buzz from the handsome bar and the music
that occasionally resonates inside it.