Thursday, November 6, 2008

What went before? 510 S. Main

Picture this- its 1924 and you are manager of the U.S. Lunch Room at 510 S. Main. You arrive at work to find the safe wide open and the money gone, $1635 to be exact (comparable to almost $20,000 today). You tell the police you can't remember if you closed it or left it open the night before!?! Something other than soup and sandwiches must have been served at the U.S. Lunch Room to net that much cash.

Cut to 1932 -510 S. Main now houses a "girl show" that is frequently raided. In March of that year the manager of the "girl show" was convicted on indecent show charges, fined $200 and received a six-month suspended sentence along with a recommendation to pursue another line of work. They must have done a brisk business at the "girl show" also as a botched hold up in September 1933 left one would-be robber dead after a gun battle with two cops (both of whom he shot in the chest).

By January 1936 the location is a little tamer. The new owners are convicted on charges of presenting an indecent performance when vice cops testify that customers paid 5 cents to see a show and at the conclusion the audience is told that for 25 cents more they could go to the back room where they would be shown an unclad woman. Charges were dropped however when it was learned that the unclad woman was made of papier mache.

By 1937 510 S. Main became the Loyal Cafe, advertising themselves as having 'the longest bar in the city'.