Food and memories go together. Sudbury.com received an enthusiastic response to our invitation to readers to share memories about their favourite restaurants, past and present.
David Parsons wrote from Missouri, "Love reading about Sudbury where my wife and I both grew up. I am old enough to remember many really old hangouts.
"A favourite was The Manhattan on Cedar Street. All of us high school types went there after Friday night dances at the Y or at the Ryan Club on Saturdays in the early and middle 1950s.
"Just down Cedar was the Radio Lunch across from the Capitol Theatre where I saw the movie Blackboard Jungle. Radio Lunch was famous for its Boston cream pie.
"Then, there was the Star Restaurant on Regent Street. Its specialty was hot hamburg sandwiches. Around the corner was Wimpey’s. They sold 10-cent hamburgers smothered in gravy. There was also a restaurant on Durham that had the best foot-long hot dogs ever made. I forget the name.” (It was Frank's Deli.)
Another former Sudburian Richard Woloschuk, who now lives in Toronto, remembered, "Radio Lunch was THE place to go, especially for high-schoolers and the young crowd in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On the weekends, after high school football games and other sports, we’d all head down there for burgers and fries.
"The restaurant had a jukebox with consoles at every booth. There was usually a line up to get in, especially on weekend nights."
Woloschuk also noted Murray’s, an upscale restaurant, next to the Coulson Hotel on Durham Street, was a great place to meet friends and enjoy a coffee. His favourite dessert there was the steamed fruit pudding.
Ken Roberts wrote his favourite restaurant was Gus’s in the 1950s. He lived on Albert Street not too far from the restaurant on Elm Street.
"I was allowed to borrow my father’s car on Friday evenings, but it had to be parked in the garage by 1 a.m. So, my brother, Carl, friends, Gerry and Leo, would walk over to Gus’s for a hamburger and a milkshake as the restaurant was still open.
"It was a ritual. Gus would have the hamburgers on the grill when we arrived. We really enjoyed our hamburgers on Friday nights."
Karen Hoedicke, who lives in Renfrew, stays in touch with Sudbury by reading Sudbury.com. She remembers a German restaurant, The Continental, on Notre Dame Avenue.
"As I am of German descent on my father's side, it was always a treat to have true German food. I was fortunate to be able to experience the food while visiting family in Germany, so it was wonderful to be in Sudbury and enjoy the same food. My favourites, of course, were spaetzle (dumplings) and schnitzel (breaded pork).
"I am happy to report European Meats, located at the corner of Frood Road and Kathleen Street, offers great meats as well as European-style food that you can take home."
Michael Cassio contacted Sudbury.com concerning the May 31 Memory Lane article which included information about Cassio's owners.
"Romano Cassio was never called ‘Antoine’, and Mary Cassio, his wife, was an integral part of the businesses. She was there every step of the way and should be recognized. She was his partner."
Mary (née Cecchetto) died in 1999 and Romano died in 2002.
Los Angeles event planner Cheryl Cecchetto is the Cassios' niece. In her 2014 book, Passion to Create: Your Invitation to Celebrate, Cecchetto, who has organized the Academy Awards Governors Ball for many years, said she got her love of food and entertaining from large family gatherings in Sudbury including many at Cassio's Venetian Room.
John Lindsay claims he has eaten in almost every Sudbury restaurant since he moved to the city in the mid-1960s.
"About half of these venues remembered are gone or repurposed. Maria's Cosy Corner on Notre Dame just recently closed. It had a generous menu as did many smaller restaurants in other Sudbury communities, like Alley Katz in Lively which is still with us.
"The Fox and Hound (now Wacky Wings) on Shaughnessy was always busy and especially on play nights at the Sudbury Theatre Centre.”
Lindsay's family was in the restaurant business and he said he understands the dedication and many hours that are involved in making this type of venture a success.
"Hats off to those past and still with us for providing culinary and social experiences fondly remembered including relatively new ventures such as The Laughing Buddha and the Tucos Taco Lounge for those of us more vegetarian.”
In the 1980s, Lindsay created an organization for singles and he remembers a special event he organized at Cassio’s on Lorne Street.
"I recall an arranged blind date for eight singles years ago, before internet dating, that resulted in several long-term liaisons.
"Now Cassio's is the home of the Sizzle Mongolian Grill. It has become one of my favourite eating locations, which I can hardly wait to reopen for indoor dining as well as so many others."
Vicki Gilhula is a freelance writer. She is a former editor of Northern Life and Sudbury Living magazine, and has a special interest in local history. Memory Lane is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.